SKOPJE – Representatives of the European Union, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Members of the European Parliament Eduard Kukan, Knut Fleckenstein and Ivo Vajgl visited Skopje on Tuesday. They met representatives of the Macedonian parliamentary parties and discussed current political situation in the country. After the meeting they released a joint statement.
“We met today with the representatives of the parliamentary parties. We reiterated very clearly that all leaders of the country, including the President, must now respect the outcome of the recent elections. In a democracy, everyone must acknowledge parliamentary majorities,” they stated.
They said that they therefore encourage the Macedonian President to reconsider his position urgently. “There is no time to lose. We now expect all political leaders and institutions to let the democratic process run its course – in the interest of the country’s citizens. The delays of the past months are already damaging the country´s economy,” statement continues.
“We thus call on a swift formation of a new government committed to implement overdue reforms. The parties and the new government are expected to continue implementing all parts of their Przino agreement,” EU representatives highlighted.
“In particular, we urge everyone to refrain from any actions and statements which might fuel inter-ethnic tensions or undermine good neighbourly relations. No one should be tempted to play with fire. We are deeply concerned about tensions and hate speech. The freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression are fundamental rights in democratic societies, but they come with responsibilities,” it is stated.
They said said that in the same vein, negative rhetoric targeting the international community and civil society organisations is entirely counterproductive – “It undermines the country’s standing internationally, and the credibility of those who use it.”
“We need to see in the very next days serious and responsible statesmanship by the relevant institutions to enable a swift formation of a new and solid coalition. That is the only way to get back onto the EU path – which is what your citizens want and deserve,” they concluded.