EP and Members of Sobranie resume dialogue after two-year break
MEPs and Members of the Assembly of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia met in Strasbourg on 7-8 February 2018 for the 14th joint meeting.
Due to the political situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, this marked the first full format meeting of the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in over two years. The meeting, co-chaired by Mr Alojz PETERLE (EPP, SI) and Mr Goran MILEVSKI (SDSM, Sobranie), marked a return to inter-parliamentary dialogue after the formation of a new government last year.
Mr Peterle welcomed the participation of the opposition party in the JPC meeting, emphasizing that boycotts have no constructive role in the political society and cross-party cooperation is a necessary in any democracy. At the same time, he encouraged that the rule of law be respected and cautioned against using the justice system to implement retaliatory measures between political parties. Mr Milevski thanked the EU for its continued support for the country and reiterated the full commitment of the Parliament to fully implement the reforms in the key areas.
Parliamentarians held in-depth and fruitful discussions on a number of important issues including the implementation of the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Agreement and other reforms in the country, including judicial and electoral reforms. Additionally, they discussed the importance of independent media and the role of civil society.
In the wake of the Commission's announcement of the new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans, the co-chairs noted that both sides have renewed dedication to the process of integration for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Berlin Process was highlighted as a valuable tool to complement the accession process, not to be seen as an alternative to the process.
The adoption of joint recommendations at the conclusion of the meeting was a significant indication of new momentum and consensus regarding the way forward. Both delegations demonstrated continued commitment towards the European future of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The 15th EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia JPC meeting will take place in the second half of 2018 in Skopje.