Third luck is a charm towards EU and NATO

Erol Rizaov

Until January 15, the last big tour of a number of important people will be arriving in Macedonia, Nobel laureates, scientists, statesmen, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, politicians, diplomats, bankers, businessmen, senior EU and NATO officials, journalists and analysts of world-famous media. As the uncertainty in the adoption of the constitutional amendments conditioned by the Prespa Agreement with Greece rises, in the middle of winter we will be having more and more guests, invited and uninvited.

Everyone will tell us the same thing that should have been crystal clear to us already, but obviously it’s still not clear. We will hear for the millionth time the words: put narrow party interests aside, make a historic decision for a better future for Macedonia and its citizens. Realize your most important state priorities for which, from the first day of independence, you have opted with general consensus in the country, become a NATO member and start negotiations with the EU, with great predictability that in less than ten years Macedonia will be a member of The European Union, which in history terms is near future. You decide for that yourself.

This set of Members of the Assembly had the honor, but also the historical responsibility to pass constitutional changes that are a prerequisite for achieving the strategic interests of Macedonia, on the basis that third luck is a charm. So it is written in the Constitution, to vote three times for the same thing. But, if everything is so clear, why such pressure and concern both at home and in our future and current allies that the deal can flop at the last moment and constitutional amendments are not passed, although all claim that a two-thirds majority s secured. Even though the job was done twice in Parliament and on а referendum boycotted with propaganda and spy work, when 610,000 citizens voted “for”, or over 90% of those who went to vote. The answer is because in Macedonia nothing can pass if it is not tangled, if it is not painful and goddang difficult, if there is no hassle and hatred.

How can it be simply and convincingly explained that in ten, twenty and a hundred years, the people living in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, will be Macedonians speaking Macedonian language, that it is a universal right that no one can take away from them. How can it be convincingly and understandably explained that NATO and EU membership is actually the biggest guarantee that this will happen and that these identities will be preserved as well as in all nations and countries belonging to these two major political, economic and military alliances that nurture the specifics. How can it be explained differently, and better understood by the party directives and nebuloses of the president of the state, that what has survived for centuries will continue and that this is the greatest protection against the threat of disintegration and disappearance of Macedonia.

Well no, it can not, because in such crucial and delicate situations some tribal chiefs saw a chance that there should be several more constitutional amendments more than the Prespa agreement stipulates. They do not want this issue to be resolved by opening the chapters in the EU negotiations, which are an integral part of the obligations for further democratization of Macedonia.

Also worrying is the fact that the lesser evil is still different from the larger one. In the clash between justice and politics, the deal with Greece and the adoption of constitutional amendments could end in a fiasco. Emotions and ignorance, the fear of a world and neighborly conspiracy against Macedonia in the hot heads causes a dangerous confusion that can be decisive if everyone responsible does not do their work according to laws, written and unwritten rules. This means that the court should do its job. To judge and decide according to the laws and evidence and the weight on who is to blame for the events of April 27. Nothing else. Politicians in the Assembly will make the decision of great interest to the state, accepting responsibility for the scope of amnesty and forgiveness that will not jeopardize state interests, that is, NATO membership and the start of negotiations with the EU. The public will accept from it as much as it can in a ratio on Macedonia and its citizens will gain and lose from it. If some of the culprits for the events of April 27 are released by a political decision on amnesty, this will be part of the already calculated risk of the amount of the penalty in the next election. The acceptance of such a sacrifice for higher goals has been made even during the negotiations with Greece. And there is no escape from it.

The most accurate estimate of how much Macedonia lost and gained will be seen during the negotiations with the EU and after NATO membership. Expectations are always higher than the gains, but at the same time it should be kept in mind that losses if Macedonia does not achieve its goals as a European country are far more difficult and even catastrophic. The premise that we endlessly reiterate  – that Macedonia has no other alternatives than being a member of NATO and the EU –  is just not true. Of course, there are always alternatives, but in this case much worse. That’s why nobody offers better solutions. Macedonia, in case The Prespa Agreement fails, can not be returned to where it was until yesterday, but where it was 74 years ago, before it was a state. Be careful, it can become a very welcome solution for someone.