Fouere: FYROM’s lack of good governance mainly responsible for the failure of getting a date to start negotiations with EU
The Albanian Portal PortAlb interviewed Mr Erwan Fouere, former EU Special Representative in FYROM. Mr Fouere replied to questions regarding the present situation in FYROM and the country’s road towards EU. The main points of Fouere’s remarks are as follows:
– The events of 24 December were a tragic reminder of the continued failure of the Gruevski led government to engage in any meaningful political dialogue over the past years.
– While the opposition parties are not blameless, nevertheless the government made no attempt to repair the damage after those events or even to stretch out a hand of reconciliation to all the political parties. Instead in early February, it pushed through a change in the parliamentary rules of procedure to limit debate, despite the absence of the opposition parties which continued to boycott Parliament following their forced eviction. These developments, including the failure of the Commission of Inquiry on the dramatic events of 24 december to finish its work within the agreed time limit, and the unwillingness of the government to promote a spirit of compromise and consensus, have led to a further erosion of basic democratic values and standards in the country, as well as deepening the mistrust in an already deeply divided society.
– It was no surprise therefore that there was no mention of the country in the EU Council conclusions of last June. The blame for this state of affairs has much less to do with the name issue, and much more to do with the state of democracy in the country, and the lack of good governance in a candidate country.
– It is a great tragedy, the governing party VMRO-DPMNE is not capable of leaving aside its narrow party political interests in favor of the broader interests of the entire country.
– The reluctance of the Greek government to engage with FYROM in a more proactive manner in resolving the name issue is unacceptable, and not in keeping with its EU membership obligations.
– FYROM’s government is distinguished over the years for its refusal to accept any criticism from whatever source. Even the critical remarks contained in the European Commission’s Progress Reports are regularly dismissed by the Prime Minister, as reflected in his latest speech on the occasion of the 2nd August Krusevo commemoration.
-What is particularly disturbing are the Governing party’s regular attacks on civil society organizations as well as on the media, all of whom have a vital part to play in any functioning democracy. These attacks aimed at discrediting these organizations are also direct attacks on the democratic process in the country.
– With an unemployment rate of over 30 percent, including the highest youth unemployment, with over 30 percent off the population living below the poverty line, is it wise to be spending at this point in time so many millions in monuments and statues?
– What is needed therefore is a radical change of approach from the governing party.