European Western Balkans

Joint statement by HR/VP Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn on the latest developments in the FYROM

BRUSSELS – The Constitutional Court’s ruling clears the way for Parliament to reconvene and to cancel the 5 June elections, the conditions for which were not there. This is a renewed opportunity for the country to address a number of serious issues at the heart of the prolonged political crisis. The way forward must be defined by all main political parties together, since it is only a mature dialogue, inclusiveness and commitment to democratic principles and to the necessary reforms and their implementation that will bring the country back on a Euro-Atlantic path.

All parties must preserve and respect the Przino Agreement which they agreed last year. This framework remains the best way to move the country out of the current crisis. Work should continue to prepare for credible elections as well as on the urgent reform priorities, through an inclusive process.
The parties must also urgently address the serious concerns about President Ivanov’s pardoning of a number of officials. The April 12 pardons should be rescinded without delay to preserve the principle of accountability, counteract serious concerns about impunity and avoid selective justice. It is a fundamental democratic principle that all citizens should be equal before the law.
In the same vein, the parties must guarantee full support to the Special Prosecutor’s Office and ensure its unhindered operation. The Special Prosecutor’s Office and its work are central parts of the Przino Agreement.
All sides should avoid interventions that risk undermining years of efforts within the country and by the international community to strengthen the rule of law. We call on all parties to find a common agreement that serves all citizens. Approaches which would not respect this principle are something that the EU cannot support and stand behind. An engaged opposition and civil society play critical roles in shaping and ensuring the government’s commitment to needed reforms.

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