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EU ashamed, Greece and Bulgaria happy, misery for those who rejoice

Nine years after Macedonia became a candidate country and five years after receiving the first recommendation to open EU accession negotiations, the country is facing the danger of being part of another precedent, to become the first country that could go backwards after years of positive assessments and recommendations 

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Columnist: Goran Momiroski

 

The possible loss of the recommendation to start the talks would be another embarrassment for the EU, which is unable to face the Greek blockades and now is trying to get rid of its twinges of conscience about Macedonia. The deprivation of the recommendation, if that happens at all because diametrically opposed information from those published by TV Alpha are coming from Brussels, which could be a serious blow to Macedonia, but not necessarily. It is hard to say what would our country lose when everyone in Brussels is reiterating that there will not be any enlargement by 2019, apart from the rejoicement of our neighbours-EU members that believe that our “flying in place” would make it easier for them to press us to become Bulgarian or Macedonian Slavs and the possibility the opposition to debate who is guilty of the “halt” that formally has been lasting for years. Macedonia, regardless of the recommendation, remains a candidate country, which has access to the European funds. The demanded reforms, the adoption and implementations of the European legislature will continue as before. The progress, as before, will be mentioned in the annual reports each year, as the areas with no progress, areas that have status quo or areas where the situation is worsened.

Others’ misfortune never brings personal points

Although the main opposition party was challenged that the loss of the recommendation was caused by its boycott of Parliament, they soon replied that the only culprit for this development is the Prime Minister Gruevski and his government. SDSM leader Zaev and the leadership can not hope that this will get them points within the public. Just as in 2005 the candidate status was a benefit to all, so now the loss of the recommendation will be a responsibility of everyone, especially because in the general assessment the boycott of Parliament would be a major event. Additionally, SDSM will need a lot of time to explain much of the public whether one of the main purposes of the boycott of Parliament is actually loosing the recommendation. In this political calculations, SDSM missed to calculate that even if they reached their political purpose and lost the recommendation, which is yet to be determined, by boycotting, their ruined ratings by no means can be mended by the general trouble, even if the sole reason for that was VMRO-DPMNE. The confusing steps of SDSM participation in the parliamentary and presidential elections, their terrible defeat and not accepting the election results, do not give SDSM the right to have hopes for a bad scenario for Gruevski that could be good for Zaev. Same as the terrible situation that the once-powerful party is in, cannot be good for Macedonia.

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Who will be put to shame both in Brussels and Macedonia?

If, indeed, Macedonia is left without a recommendation, it will be interesting to see how the EU will explain that after five years of transitional assessments over the Macedonian reforms, now suddenly everything went up in smoke. It would be especially interesting to see the explanation how a single party that boycotts the state institutions, but not the local ones, could “condemn” all other successful reforms that, as the Europeans bureaucratists inform, are be better implemented than some of the member states. It would be interesting to watch Stefan Fule if he has to declare his biggest defeat as an European official, as a Czech diplomat and as a human before the European, the regional and the Macedonian public.

(The article was published in the 109. issue of the weekly magazine Republika, October 3, 2014)