The newly appointed President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU), Zhivko Popov, delivered a speech on Wednesday outlining his vision for the 2024-2027 term. During his address, he addressed various “social anomalies” and emphasized “crucial challenges” that, according to him, merit increased attention, echoing concerns raised in the annual reports of the European Commission.

Popov acknowledged the complexity of the societal divide in the country and stressed the imperative need for national unity on key issues. He emphasized the Academy’s role in focusing on the state and increasing involvement in national projects in the upcoming period.

The President highlighted MANU’s institutional capacity to address significant social issues through science-based strategies. He asserted that while politics and political parties have no place within the Academy, it should not remain silent if it possesses the knowledge, opportunities, and capacity to provide advice and strategic guidance.

Popov underscored the importance of MANU maintaining a politically independent position, urging the Academy to be more vocal by issuing press releases and sharing information with the public about its work.

Expressing his desire to promote the European idea for Macedonia, Popov asserted that the Macedonian people identify themselves as European. He attributed Euroscepticism to unjust obstacles imposed by the EU on Macedonia’s European path. Popov advocated for equal dialogue and cooperation with neighbors and the EU as the means to find rational solutions while preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the Macedonian people as a European value.