Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration: Advancing Common Interests Cover Image

Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration: Advancing Common Interests
Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration: Advancing Common Interests

Author(s): Livia Plaks
Subject(s): Governance, International relations/trade, EU-Accession / EU-DEvelopment
Published by: PER Project on Ethnic Relations
Keywords: Movrovo Process; Ohrid agreement; Macedonia and EU; Macedonia and NATO; Macedonia and Greece;
Summary/Abstract: The seventh Mavrovo roundtable of leaders of Macedonia’s parliamentary parties revealed deep fissures between the leading political parties in the government and those in the opposition, as well as within some of the opposition parties. Tensions between the two major ethnic Albanian parties, and between the leading Albanian opposition party and the government, were evident in a series of events that occurred in the weeks immediately preceding the meeting. They were reflected in the decision by a key Albanian opposition leader not to participate in this Mavrovo meeting. The internal divisions within each of the Albanian parties were evident in the discussions. Reconciliation between the government and the main Albanian opposition party was hampered by disputes between them over issues of local governance, establishment of the parliamentary committee on communities, adoption of the police law, and implementation of the language provisions of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA), and by the suggestion that the leading party of government was intent on “splitting” the Albanian opposition rather than working with it. Senior members of the government at Mavrovo made it clear that the government has accepted responsibility for continuing the policies of the previous government with respect to EU accession, and is intent on adhering to EU standards. But, at the same time, the government showed its impatience with the delays inherent in democratic processes, and pressed for changes in parliamentary procedures designed, according to them, to energize the parliamentary process, or as the opposition sees it, to reduce opportunities for debate and disagreement. Participating MPs who are not members of the three major ruling coalition parties all criticized the government’s proposals for limiting parliamentary debate, and called for dialogue between government and opposition to be carried out within state institutions, including the parliament. Representatives of the main opposition parties expressed deep skepticism about the government’s calls for dialogue and professed their unwillingness to enter meaningful dialogue at this stage on any issues other than those required by the EU accession process. Internal differences among opposition leaders, evident in their statements at Mavrovo, complicated the task of shaping any process of consultation or dialogue with a strong potential to achieve consensus.

  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Language: English