Saturday, May 25, 2024

MEMBERSHIP OF MACEDONIA IN THE EU, IN 5 YEARS

Why not set ourselves the goal of entering the EU in five years instead of constantly discouraging ourselves with twenty or fifty-year forecasts? Although politics is not everything, everything is politics in the EU.

Author: Denko Maleski

In the absence of unity among political parties, we entered the UN divided, and, on that issue, have remained so to this day. Unity is not possible, President Gligorov once told me, pointing out a fact from Macedonian politics that I could not come to terms with. But he knew better. These days, thirty years later, we need unity which is more difficult than that entering the UN more than ever. It requires the parties to roll up their sleeves and commit, in the years ahead, to bring the country into the EU together. But the unity, it seems, is again not possible. Even in moments when the Yugoslav ship was sinking and our lives were in danger, instead of grabbing buckets and pumps, we started clearing old accounts in the Macedonian parliament.

I notice that now, as an established country in the international community and as a member of NATO, convinced, wrongly, that “the cannon does not beat us”, we are once again settling old scores. The President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are calling for an agreement between the parties that will produce unity without which there is no success for the country, but, it seems, in vain.

The question that logically arises is: What we will do if, again, unity is not possible? Then the current government should push itself forward as much as it can. Even if he burns in that political battle, aware that without domestic unity, there is no EU. For that, she needs a majority in the parliament. If the opposition refuses to cooperate, there will be no other way for the government. It can only, without a fight, hand over power to the opposition, which naively believes that with a majority of MPs won in the elections, it will revise the process and fight for a fairer agreement with Bulgaria and the EU. I don’t know of another example of a country where the political parties have failed to reach any agreement on EU accession. I do not know of an example in which the government managed to achieve membership without cooperation with the opposition. Because this is not a decision to enter the EU, but an agreement between the parties for multi-year mutual cooperation until the country’s entry into the EU.

Of course, democracy is a system that gives legitimacy to disagreements. But it is up to the politicians to know how far they will go in such a disagreement. There are countless examples in the world of those who would sooner destroy their country than to accept a compromise. And vice versa.

Why not set ourselves the goal of entering the EU in five years instead of constantly discouraging ourselves with twenty or fifty-year forecasts? Although politics is not everything, everything is politics in the EU. The last speech of the German chancellor Olaf Scholz says that the changed geopolitics after the Russian aggression against Ukraine mandates the expansion of the Union and the strengthening of its security component vis-à-vis the Russian danger. If we prove successful in reform, the new political situation in Europe could drastically reduce the time intervals necessary for membership and reactivate the fast lane for admission. But for that to happen, unity of purpose between the government and the opposition in Macedonia is necessary.

A fellow professor from Bulgaria describes to me the atmosphere in the Bulgarian parliament at that time, when Simeon Saxeburggotski, as prime minister, brought the country into the EU in five years. The parties, he says, have decided to make EU membership their most important priority. They agreed that everyone would be present in the parliament for all the votes, that no one would get sick and no one would die. And a miracle jhas happened: no one got sick and no one died.

Të fundit