North Macedonia: credible elections set ground for continued reforms 

Press Releases 
 
 

MEPs hope for consensus on the EU agenda, with the parliamentary majority and the opposition working together for the future of the country.

Following the general elections in North Macedonia on 15 July, European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for North Macedonia Ilhan Kyuchyuk (Renew, BG) and the Chair of the European Parliament's delegation to the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT) said:

“We welcome the orderly and impartial conduct of competitive elections held under the challenging circumstances of COVID-19. A considerable turnout despite of the pandemic shows a high level of civic engagement in deciding the future of the country.


Voters and political forces alike have demonstrated a political maturity, setting an important milestone for further democratic consolidation in the country.


The soon-to-be-formed Parliament and the Government will play a key role in building consensus and driving the reform process forward. We look forward towards a formation of a solid stable majority that can take a political responsibility for the European future of the country. Such a coalition should rally around a strong, inclusive, reformist consensus and inter-ethnic cooperation. It is essential that following the formation of the governing bodies, the parliamentary majority and the opposition work hand in hand for the future of the country. Now more than ever, a consensus on the EU agenda, based on the inclusive societal dialogue, will play a key role. Therefore we encourage the new government to continue the pro-European and reform oriented course of the last years.


We urge the EU Member States to swiftly agree on the negotiating framework, to be followed by the scheduling of the first intergovernmental conference that will kick-start the accession talks still this year. The accession negotiations will be an additional driving force for strengthening the rule of law in fundamental areas, such as human rights, media freedom and the fight against corruption.

The European Parliament is committed to a continued engagement with the Sobranie, building upon the previous sessions of the Jean Monnet Dialogue, and with the Government, which should demonstrate its continued commitment to the rule of law reforms and effectively address economic, social, healthcare and environmental challenges.


We urge the authorities to take note of the preliminary conclusions on the electoral process issued by a special election assessment mission (SEAM) of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and look forward to a timely implementation of recommendations of its forthcoming final report, expected by an early autumn.”



Background:

Early general elections in North Macedonia were originally planned for 12 April but then put on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis.


North Macedonia submitted its membership application in 2004 and became a candidate for accession to the EU in 2005. The Council decided to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia on 25 March 2020, following the Commission's proposals on a revised enlargement methodology.


In June 2020, the Commission presented draft negotiating frameworks that, once finalised, will be used to negotiate the accessions to the EU of the two Balkan countries. The EU Member States need to adopt these documents and the Council Presidency will present them at the start of the accession negotiations. The publication of the European Commission’s 2020 enlargement reports has been postponed until autumn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.