Vajgl: EU may give Macedonia negotiations date as soon as this summer

Special Rapporteur for Macedonia in the European Parliament Ivo Vajgl, in an interview for MIA, said that there is a real chance that EU leaders give Macedonia a green light and a date for negotiations as soon as this summer.

He pointed out that the EP has long pushed for the negotiations and the name solution to go together as a package deal if the dispute with Greece was not settled by then.

“Now it’s the European Council’s turn to have its say,” Vajgl said. “I believe that enough progress has been made; there is no question about it. But, of course, it greatly depends on the success of the name negotiations with Greece.

“Right now, the negotiators keep us in suspense regarding any agreement details, which is wise of them. It’s not a good idea to publish biased information, as it may mislead the public. It’s best for the negotiations to be confidential.”

He pointed out that, as a rapporteur, he has always demanded and received support from the EP to enable EU negotiations to run parallel to the name negotiations.

Asked if another EU member state, other than Greece, could block Macedonia due to any enlargement resistance, Vajgl said he did not believe that such a scenario was possible.

Vajgl has also been working on a new EP resolution for Macedonia, which mainly objects to the country’s political dialogue.

“I follow Macedonian politics,” Vajgl said, “and we can all agree that the situation has improved. The rhetoric has been calmer. But, there are still many exaggerated and unfounded accusations made by both sides. If Macedonia wants to develop a credible democracy, it should give up the constant competition, constant pre-election atmosphere, as it were.

“When elections are won or lost, people should say, ‘Now the responsibility belongs to those who formed the government’ and give the citizens a chance to breathe and relax. Macedonia has not reached that point yet.”

Ivo Vajgl will attend the Jean Monnet process round of talks, which will take place in Ohrid on May 17 and 18. The talks, among other things, aim “to strengthen personal empathy among the MPs”.