In the opening of the panel “Reforms and Confidence Building Policies in Macedonia” at the conference “The Road Ahead for the Republic of Macedonia”, Prime Minister Zaev conveyed his impressions from his last visit to Brussels, and the shift in the position of the Republic of Macedonia from the perspective of the European Union noting that “the entire region and our Macedonia are very different from the perspective of the EU and the entire democratic world in just one year. The Republic of Macedonia shines in the eyes of the European Union”.
In his address at the conference, the President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia focused on the need for confidence building in Macedonia at a time when our country is in a process of restituting the functionality of the overall political system.
On that note, Prime Minister Zaev underlined:
“Starting from the expectations of the citizens, I know that the uncompromising fight against corruption in the practice of politics, as well as the transparency, accessibility, openness and awareness of the Government of people’s needs, are the basic pillars upon which citizens’ trust needs to be gained and built. The trust of all citizens in our society.
In order to achieve this goal, responsible, inclusive and transparent decision- must be ensured making at all levels. It is necessary to create efficient, responsible and transparent institutions.
It is essential to ensure the rule of law and equal access to justice for all, as well as responsibility for all who have breached the law.
If we do not deal with corruption efficiently, with the competent functional institutions, we will continue to face all forms of organized crime, violence, exploitation and abuse, as consequences of corruption”.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, emphasized that “the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia can no longer be deprived of their recognized power. Citizens know very well that they are the ones who choose their leaders and that they participate in shaping the policies of immediate importance to them, the society and the future. A political culture has developed that will have an effect on the generations to come. “
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of European Affairs, Bujar Osmani said at the conference “The Road Ahead for the Republic of Macedonia” that “given the delivered results, I can say that we have managed to bring the country back on track”, and added:
“In 2018, as never before, a window of opportunity has opened, a momentum of European optimism that is present in the country, the region, but which has also expanded to the countries of the European Union. 2018 is a historic year of opportunities when Macedonia can, should and will close the EU and NATO issues. For that purpose, we need to build a consensus on the obligations of our European and Euro-Atlantic agenda. Inclusiveness of the civil sector in the preparation and implementation of the necessary reforms, building a political consensus on the strategic interests and key political issues, as well as an overall social consensus on the country’s commitment to EU and NATO integration”.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Radmila Shekerinska stressed at the conference “The Road Ahead for the Republic of Macedonia” that “it is crucial for Macedonia to say, yes, we had some dark moments and several years of crisis, but the strength of the country is not measured by how deep it will fall, but how fast it will rise”.
Continuing her address, Deputy Prime Minister Shekerinska noted that only 6 months after the incident in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, it is positively shocking that Macedonia can present itself as a normal democratic country with cohesion and strength.
The crisis was reduced to rivalry and conflict between political actors, but there was in fact distrust of the state institutions. I believe that we should put the emphasis on creating trust in the institutions.
It is good that the awakened Macedonian public is asking questions. That will make us a better country.
The government pays great attention to transparency because it creates immunity in society towards weaknesses, corruption, clientelism and connections. We should focus on building institutions where transparency will create resistance to such tendencies.
Does Macedonia’s membership of NATO and the EU have a value for NATO and the EU? As a French politician underlined, in order to become a model, the EU needs to be an actor and influence the events. In the last few years the EU and the United States have exerted positive influence. Macedonia is an example that when there is a reaction and an engagement, there will be positive results. Macedonia can be an example in the Balkans with respect to the treatment of interethnic issues. Macedonia rose from the crisis with greater social and ethnic cohesion.We can offer that as a positive example to the EU and NATO member states. In order to speed up the path to the EU, we need to obtain NATO membership.
We will need joint action and strong institutions, all of us, to take the most out of ourselves and take this third chance. I believe in third luck, “said Minister of Defence Shekerinska at the conference” The Road Ahead for the Republic of Macedonia”, which was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of European Affairs, Bujar Osmani.