Saturday, May 25, 2024

THE ANTI-EUROPEAN NARRATIVE AND THE AMBASSADOR’S ALERT

It remains paradoxical, that despite all this money invested by the EU, we still have such an anti-European spirit as it has been showing lately. It is precisely the anti-European narrative injected by some subjects, by the media and certain NGOs, that is creating an absurd sentiment against the EU, a sentiment that is “embracing” sometimes latently and sometimes in open forms of “friendship” of countries that have done nothing for North Macedonia, except for the production of fake news and fabricated dramas, which seek to paralyze the European journey. Taking money from Europe and being part of anti-European narratives means hypocrisy. The Dutch ambassador expressed this whole situation in the form of a question and with surprise that he is actually alert in himself.

Author: Bardhyl Zaimi

While North Macedonia has been on the road to European integration for more than 30 years, populism still remains a way to mobilize and claim victory in elections whenever they are held. Certain political subjects have always played with the “psychology of the crowd” depending on the ups and downs of parties and depending on certain political contexts. The trajectory of the fragile democratic life in North Macedonia has known simulated crisis situations, which in essence have only aimed at power as it has always been understood in the purest possible forms only as power for benefits without taking into account the cultivation of a culture democratic and a European value system.

With the Russian aggression in Ukraine and in a context of turbulent political dynamics, it seems that the threads of these populist simulations continue to be stretched in a new geostrategic reality, which moreover has already created an anti-European narrative with many unknowns inside. It is not the first time that such narratives are being created in North Macedonia, which seek and insist on fabricating dramatic situations within the country and in relation to the international factor in order to benefit politically. Sometimes in a sophisticated way and sometimes in an open way, ideological dramas are concocted in order to paralyze normal developments, to actually hinder another paradigm that believes in and cultivates with full responsibility European values, which militates the pro-European orientation of the country as an alternative the only one for North Macedonia.

In this entire anti-European narrative landscape, all kinds of protagonists are assembled who push the promoted European content, constantly raising the decibels of isolation, anachronistic mythologies and all those hysteria that are then projected as the will of the citizens. Unfortunately, it is being witnessed that a large part of citizens fall prey to these vocal narratives, which are sponsored by dubious sources and by protagonists who have openly declared their connection with Russia, along with all other actors who have anti-European attitudes.

In fact, much in these developments remains political, but the raised anti-European narratives remain such sites and create a pronounced anti-European sentiment even among citizens, even if temporarily. And, it remains extremely fatal, that in this whole situation, in this whole anti-European narrative hysteria, many non-governmental organizations and other protagonists have been involved over time who have received financial support from European funds, that is, they have operated with the money of the taxpayers of the countries. European. Contradictions of concepts, practices, sensitivities, values ​​and visions may appear, if you become part of anti-European propaganda with European money, this remains paradoxical.

Precisely because of this narrative constantly injected by certain political subjects, but also by civil society actors and other social actors in North Macedonia, we have an extraordinary increase in Euroscepticism, we have a sometimes open and sometimes latent state of anti-European orientation that it already seems to have taken over the country. The latest polls show that among Macedonian citizens there is a marked increase in Euroscepticism, while there are growing sentiments in favor of authoritarian systems.

Based on the results of the survey conducted by the Institute for Political Research at the beginning of the month, 42.1 percent of citizens say that they have lost faith that North Macedonia will become part of the European Union. This percentage, in a survey conducted four years earlier by the same institute, was only 22.2 percent.

Precisely, in this sense, in the midst of all this chaos filled with anti-European narratives, we have two moments, two pronouncements, which deconstruct this tendency and which appears as a legitimate concern. It seems that the representatives of the European countries in Skopje have already made concrete pronouncements that address this concern about anti-European narratives.

A few days ago, the Dutch ambassador in Skopje, Dirk Jan Kopp, in an interview for Radio Free Europe, emphasized this very concern through an answer in the form of a question: “How is it possible that a politician like Russian President Vladimir Putin is a figure most popular in North Macedonia?”

Furthermore, Ambassador Kopp has expressed all his concern about blaming the EU in the framework of the raised anti-European narratives. “I think that all the politicians here, the political leadership supported by some media and a large part of the non-governmental sector, blame the EU for everything. And it is very strange, why after decades of great support, the necessary reforms could have been implemented a few years ago. But instead what we hear more and more are accusations about the EU or why the EU is making us wait longer and longer, and actually I think this country is making us wait too long. You could have done it much earlier, but instead everyone is telling us a tale that somehow, we are making North Macedonia wait too long. It is not like that”, Kopp emphasized.

Perhaps for the first time, an ambassador expresses himself so openly against all that anti-European narrative raised during this period, which has already produced anti-European sentiments among the citizens.

Meanwhile, President Stevo Pendarovski emphasized that the Dutch ambassador’s statement that they cut off the money for the Judicial Council project due to recent events is correct. He has also called on the Dutch embassy and other embassies to stop funding media and NGO projects that are anti-European.

There are two moments in fact that deconstruct a vicious logic of operation, that make clear the creation of anti-European narratives. Unfortunately, it has already been proven that many non-governmental organizations that have received large amounts of money from European funds have been involved in the creation of this anti-European narrative, in the name of causes that have nothing to do with the reality in North Macedonia. The European Union and the USA, since the independence of North Macedonia, have been the biggest investors in all possible directions. Hundreds of millions of euros of taxpayers from European countries have been donated to the country for sustainable economic development, for the establishment of democratic values, for the rule of law and for the fight against corruption.

Of course, it remains paradoxical that despite all this money invested by the EU, we still have such an anti-European spirit as it has been showing lately. It is precisely the anti-European narrative injected by some subjects, by the media and certain NGOs, that is creating an absurd sentiment against the EU, a sentiment that is “embracing” sometimes latently and sometimes in open forms of “friendship” of countries that have done nothing for North Macedonia, except for the production of fake news and fabricated dramas, which seek to paralyze the European journey. Taking money from Europe and being part of anti-European narratives means hypocrisy. The Dutch ambassador expressed this whole situation in the form of a question and with surprise that he is actually alert in himself.

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