Statement on the situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Statement on the situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

by Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Members of the European Parliament Richard Howitt, Eduard Kukan and Ivo Vajgl

April 21, 2016

„As EU Commissioner and European Parliament mediators, we regret that the leader’s meeting planned for 22 April in Vienna could not take place. This meeting was intended to help the country find a way forward in the implementation of Pržino agreement, with the participation of all signatories to the Agreement.

The persisting rule of law issues in Skopje, which undermine this agreement, must be addressed without any further delay. This concerns in particular the recent presidential pardon and the steps urgently required for the preparation of credible elections which could be recognized by the international community.

We all remain strongly committed and available to assist the parties. However, we emphasize that the responsibility to ensure democratic progress and to make headway on the Euro-Atlantic path rests with the parties themselves, on behalf of the citizens of their own country. Now it is their turn to deliver and to define the way forward.

We have consistently said that the breakdown of the Pržino Agreement would have very serious consequences for the country. We deeply regret retrograde steps that move the country further away from its aspirations towards European Union accession.

In the absence of any further progress, we are now forced to consider further actions to meet the requirements clearly laid out by the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament.

We also acknowledge the statements and actions by civil society in the country and express our full support for all peaceful efforts to ensure pluralism and the freedom of opinion, which are central values in all European democracies.“