1. Recalling the EU commitment under the Thessaloniki Agenda, the 16 December 2014 Council Conclusions and the Candidate Status of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Council expresses its grave concern regarding the deteriorating situation in the country, in particular in the area of rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of media, which are core democratic values at the heart of the EU and its enlargement policy. In the interest of the citizens, democracy, rule of law and political stability, the Council urges political leaders to rapidly address those concerns.
2. The Council urges all sides to assume their respective responsibilities and take immediate measures towards a sustainable solution, constructively engage to restart political dialogue and restore trust in the institutions by adequate political steps. All allegations should be investigated by the relevant authorities, including those allegations of potential wrongdoing being made public, with full regard for due process, the principle of independence and the presumption of innocence.
3. The Council welcomes the facilitation by Members of the European Parliament of talks between the main government and opposition parties and calls on all sides to show restraint and to focus on finding solutions to the ongoing political crisis as soon as possible.
4. Reaffirming the continued EU engagement, including through regular reporting by the Commission and the EEAS on the situation in the country and on the country’s European integration progress, and in line with its 16 December 2014 Conclusions, the Council remains seised of the matter and will revert to the issue in the next months.