Skopje: co-rapporteurs praise reform steps, cite hopes created by name agreement

The signing of the agreement to solve the name issue in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” has raised, in the country, “immense hopes” of achieving Euro-Atlantic integration, and boosted the authorities’ intention to pursue reform after a two-year political crisis, according to PACE’s co-rapporteurs for post-monitoring dialogue with the country.

In an information note declassified today, following a four-day visit to the country in June, Lise Christoffersen (Norway, SOC) and Valeriu Ghiletchi (Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD) said that at this “historic moment” they expected all political parties and authorities involved in the process to “play and active and responsible role” to allow the referendum on the deal to take place in good conditions.

They hoped the President of the Republic would respect the will of the people expressed through the referendum, and urged that the President’s use of a “pocket veto” should be clarified in order to avoid similar situations in the future.

The pair of rapporteurs also welcomed steps taken to reform the judiciary, strengthen media freedom, review the electoral law, reform the intelligence and secret services and prevent discrimination.

“This process will be challenging; it will take time,” said the co-rapporteurs. “We are confident, however, that political will and continued efforts to restore the rule the rule of law, democracy and human rights will help to re-connect people, and re-connect communities.”