Macedonia: PM’s EU Commitment Questioned

resizer39Macedonia’s State Secretary for European Integration, Pero Dimsovski, has appeared to criticise his own government for its alleged lack of commitment to bringing the country closer to the European Union.

In an interview on Monday for Radio Free Europe, commenting on last week’s unexpected resignation of Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of European Affairs, Ivica Bocevski, Dimsovski said that “Bocevski did what he could, what he was allowed to do”.

Dimsovski took over Bocevski’s duties pending the appointment of a new Deputy Prime Minister. He implicitly pointed a finger at the Prime Minister, Nikola Grievski, and questioned his commitment to bringing the country closer to the EU by saying that Macedonia now needs “not only a Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs but a Prime Minister for Europe as well”.

Bocevski’s resignation came as a surprise. The true reasons for it remained unexplained although the media has suggested worsening personal relations with the Prime Minister may have been a factor.

Dimsovski warned that the country now has to harmonise four key laws with EU standards in two months, if Skopje is to have any hope of obtaining a start date for EU accession talks this autumn.

Laws on internal affairs, the financing of parties, the state administration and parliament need to be adopted urgently, he stressed.

If the country does not receive a date this autumn, it would be the fourth year in a row that the European Commission had delayed giving Macedonia a green light, citing the sluggish pace of reforms.

Macedonia obtained the status of an EU candidate country back in 2005. Gruevski has been in power for the last three.

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