Nearly three decades ago, the politicians and citizens of this country agreed that they want Macedonia to be stronger, safer and more prosperous by becoming a member of the European Union and NATO, and pledged to solve all the problems that may hinder that road. As a Government, as citizens, we tried to do just that – to find a solution to the problems that have long plagued this country, because with every decade that has passed, the problem that we have been hiding under the rug comes out scarier, worse and harder to solve.
This was pointed out by Minister of Defense Radmila Shekerinska at the opening of the Fourth Mobile Summer University in the Balkans, organized by the Faculty of Law in Skopje and partner universities from France and Germany.
The Minister said the Government took over the responsibility for the problem which is perhaps the most difficult in the history of Macedonia, and is related to its neighbors, to solve it in a dignified manner that will show Macedonian citizens that a compromise is possible, by preserving and strengthening the Macedonian language, culture and identity . “It opens up the doors of NATO and the EU and creates a perspective that will be best used by our young people” Shekerinska added.
The Minister stressed that joining the EU and NATO depends on two other rapproachments – the rapproachment between neighbors and the rapproachment within countries, between different groups, nationalities, religions …
“Instead of focusing on what separates us, let’s try to find a common language … I believe and I am proud that Macedonia sets a different example. Less than a year ago, we signed the Agreement on Good Neighborliness with Bulgaria, we signed the Agreement with Greece and I believe that our three countries and the region are stronger because of this, rather than weaker” the Minister said.
The Minister added that in the last few years, Macedonia has shown that as a country with great diversity, it can turn crises into opportunities.
“We have gone through a very difficult political crisis and I think that we have all learned from this crisis and we have seen that communities can come closer because we realized that we share the same problems, the same difficulties. Therefore, for our countries, respecting and accepting diversity and observing the law is an indispensable formula without which we can not expect our countries and the region to be better and without which we can not expect our region to come closer to the EU and NATO. ”
Making a parallel with the part of the young British citizens who did not go to the British referendum, while expecting a different outcome, she called upon the young citizens of Macedonia not to make the same mistake in this important and crucial moment of our country.
“We really do not have the luxury to create once again a lost decade for Macedonia and I invite you to make your decisions, the decisions of your generation on time so that the burden I am bearing on my shoulders will not have to pass on your shoulders” the Minister said.