What I couldn’t tell the Macedonian TV

Posted by Georgi Gotev on 15/02/13

Today a Macedonian TV journalist invited me to comment on Skype the “substantial announcement” made by the European Commission today (15 February) regarding the deteriorating political situation in Macedonia.

This is a precise quote of what Peter Stano, spokesperson to Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle said:

“In the context of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, I had originally intended to visit Skopje next week to assess progress in EU-related reforms.

This fourth round of the HLAD would also have formed part of the preparation of the European Commission’s upcoming Report, requested by the December 2012 General Affairs Council.

However, in light of the current political impasse, I do not consider that my visit to discuss these issues would be appropriate at this particular time.

Both in public statements and through visits by senior officials and my own – offering to facilitate the process of finding a solution – the European Union and its partners have expressed their concerns regarding the events of 24 December and their handling.

I am frustrated by the lack of progress in putting an end to the political stalemate. The previous rounds of the HLAD and the December Council conclusions created an opportunity to make further progress on EU-related reforms and for opening the accession negotiations. The current situation is putting at risk this opportunity.

It is now imperative for political leaders in Skopje to take responsibility and find a solution, demonstrating the maturity of the democratic institutions and putting the best interests of the country and its citizens first.”

Watch it here:
 http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/player/st…

Just a little bit of a reminder about the context:

>> Read: Macedonian opposition: EU ignores democratic backslide

Well, it appears that the EU is not ignoring the nasty political context in Macedonia. According to my sources, Füle has NEVER canceled a visit to a country under his portfolio, and I hear that he is quite annoyed from his contacts with official Skopje. The EU-Macedonia relations have never been worse. It’s a crisis impossible to be ignored.

This is what I wanted to tell the Macedonian TV. Actually I said it, twice, but I was told the sound was too bad.

So I will not appear on Macedonian TV. But for those interested, the message is clear.

 

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Georgi Gotev is senior editor of EurActiv more.



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