Reforms in Macedonia continuing in spite of political tensions, EC report says

The European Commission has commended Macedonia for continued reform efforts while urging a continuation of the momentum for political dialogue so that the effects of the country’s political crisis can be fully overcome.

The EC issued on April 16 a report on Macedonia’s progress in implementing EU-related reforms and on steps taken on good neighbourly relations and on the dispute with Greece about the use of the name Macedonia, as requested by the European Council in December 12

“The Commission commends continued reform efforts despite recent political tensions, and highlights the pressing challenge of keeping the momentum for political dialogue so that the effects of the political crisis can be fully overcome,” the EC said.

Overall, the implementation of EU-related reforms in the former Yugoslav republic has continued, with progress on almost all the targets and indicators.

Relations with neighbours remained good, and steps have been taken in bilateral relations with Bulgaria and Greece. Formal talks on the “name issue” also took on new momentum during the reporting period, according to the Commission.

The report also highlights the importance of the implementation of the political agreement of March 1 2013 by which the recent political crisis was overcome. The crisis followed a December manoeuvre by the government in which the opposition and journalists were expelled from the parliament building in Skopje to force through approval of the budget.

“Progress has been made over the last six months. The challenge is now to maintain that momentum, so that full use can be made of the existing opportunities. To that end the political agreement of March 1 should be fully implemented, including on the Committee of Inquiry, the cross-party Memorandum of Understanding on fulfilling the country’s strategic goal of EU membership and resuming dialogue with the journalists,” European Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle said.




The Sofia Globe staff

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