EU: Macedonia Needs Tangible Results

resizer53Macedonia has to produce some concrete results very soon if it wishes to make a positive impression before the European Commission drafts its report on the country’s progress this fall, the EU ambassador to the country said.

At a press conference in Skopje yesterday afternoon, EU Ambassador to Macedonia Erwan Fouere noted that EU action plans that Skopje presented for the second year in a row are insufficient to mask the lack of urgent reforms.

“Macedonia has no time for wasting. It should keep working on reforms that are vital for its future economic prosperity and political stability. Each day without progress is lost for Macedonia, Fouere warned.

Skopje is hoping that the EC will recommend a start date for its EU accession talks this fall. Since Macedonia became an EU candidate country in 2005, the EC has been postponing the decision, citing lack of reform progress.

Macedonia’s state secretary for European affairs, Pero Dimsoski, also recently warned that the country had four more key laws to adopt very soon if it is to have any chance of convincing the EU of its commitment to integration obligations.

The police law was handed to Parliament for adoption Tuesday, although debate over the law could be prolonged due to wrangling among the ruling parties. So far, only the laws on financing of political parties, the state administration and parliament have been scheduled to be put in motion.

Last week, the country’s deputy prime minister in charge for European affairs, Ivica Bocevski, resigned unexpectedly. Some, including the opposition, saw this as a sign that Macedonia’s EU bid is crumbling.

Dimsoski, who has temporarily taken over Bocevski’s duties concerning EU affairs, doubted the true intention of current Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to bring the country closer to the EU. In an interview he gave this week, he urged the PM to take the matter more seriously.

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