Introduction

D-MK: Delegation to the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia JPC

The European Parliament's relations with the Sobranie, the parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, are channelled through its "Delegation to the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee", abbreviated as D-MK.

As the name of the delegation indicates, a specific forum - a "Joint Parliamentary Committee" (JPC) - has been established to bring together elected representatives from the European Parliament and the Sobranie.

The 13-member D-MK delegation, created in 2004, represents half of this committee.

Members and Chair

In addition to its 13 full members, the European Parliament's D-MK delegation counts a number of substitute members.

The delegation to the Parliamentary Committee sent by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia includes the same number of members, providing a balanced counterpart to the European Parliament's group.

The Chair of the European Parliament's delegation is MEP Alojz Peterle, a Slovenian member of Group of the European People's Party in the European Parliament. He is supported by two Vice-Chairs: MEPs Sergei Stanishev and Angel Dzhambazki.

As Chair of the Delegation, Mr Peterle is also Co-Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Delegation work


The delegation meets on its own occasionally in Brussels or Strasbourg.

These meetings address administrative matters, such as the election of Chair or Vice-Chairs and the preparations for the Joint Parliamentary Committee sessions.

The meetings also examine matters of substance, such as the political and economic situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the bilateral relationship.

Members of the delegation regularly invite outside experts to make presentations or exchange views on relevant topics. The European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's Ambassador to the EU, for example, recently participated in D-MK Delegation meetings.

Joint Parliamentary Committee meetings

The lion's share of the delegation's work is invested in the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The committee meets once or twice a year, either in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or within the European Parliament, usually in Strasbourg. Each event normally continues for two days and includes representatives of the country's government, the European Commission and the EU, and rotating presidency, who are guests of the parliamentarians.

An agenda of each meeting usually focuses on 4-6 topics important to bilateral relations. The first topic concerns bilateral relations and preparations for the country's EU accession negotiations. The Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations may participate, as may the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's Minister for European Integration or other high-ranking officials.

Subsequent topics of discussion are introduced by a "first speaker" - usually a member of parliament. The first speaker's introduction is followed by an exchange of views with all the committee members.

At the end of its sessions, the committee generally adopts a set of recommendations. These must be approved by a simple majority of the members of each delegation who are also present at the meeting. To date, the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee has adopted recommendations at most meetings.
Committee meetings often finish with a press conference of the Co-Chairs.

The Committee sessions are public. Minutes of the Committee meeting are adopted at the following meeting, and audio recordings of the meetings are available on request. Some meetings may be webstreamed on the web page of the European Parliament or of the Sobranie.

Travelling

When travelling to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for meetings of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, the European Parliament's delegation tries to organise additional discussions with ambassadors from the EU, NGOs and representatives of the country's administration. These provide useful and informed - though also sometimes divergent - views of the local situation.

MEPs also participate in field visits to projects financed from EU sources, so they can scrutinise how the EU funds are used abroad.

Article 114, Stabilisation and Association Agreement

STABILISATION AND ASSOCIATION AGREEMENTbetween the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, of the other part


Article 114

A Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee is hereby established. It shall be a forum for Members of the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonian Parliament and the European Parliament to meet and exchange views. It shall meet at intervals that it shall itself determine.

The Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee shall consist of members of the European Parliament, on the one hand, and of Members of the Parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on the other.

The Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee shall establish its rules of procedure.

The Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee shall be chaired in turn by the European Parliament and the Parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in accordance with the provisions to be laid down in its rules of procedure.