30 November 2018
Commenting following a European Parliamentary session assessing the progress made in Macedonia and other Western Balkan countries, the European Green co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“We are pleased to see that Macedonia is showing a strong commitment towards urgent reforms that should pave the way towards opening EU accession talks next year. The country has succeeded in implementing the Pržino agreement that ended the Macedonian political and institutional crisis in the first half of 2015 and ratifying the Prespa agreement with Greece that foresees the country’s constitutional name change to the Republic of North Macedonia. These are major steps that will help the country enact important reforms in the wider interests of all of its citizens.
“Macedonia must now use this momentum to dismantle systemic corruption and restore faith in democracy and the rule of law. We call on Hungary to respect the request by the Skopje authorities for the extradition of the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski who fled justice on charges of corruption. They must not be allowed to make a mockery of the country’s justice system. It is also imperative that Macedonia continues to defend cross-party and inter-ethnic cooperation and improves consultations with civil society. Another priority must be to take environmental concerns seriously and urgently implement measures to improve air quality in urban areas and restrict development in Natura 2000 protected sites.
“This is a chance for Macedonia to break free from a prolonged period of political isolation and embrace a path towards greater self-determination within Europe and the world. It is essential that the EU welcomes Macedonia’s spirit of openness and cooperation and helps facilitate its path towards joining the EU in 2019.”
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