Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Address of the President Xhaferi at FON University’s Students
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished Rector of FON, Professors and Representatives of the academy,
26 years ago, pursuant to the result of the referendum, when the citizens voted for independent and sovereign state, the first parliamentary composition realized this decision through the Assembly. One of the first priorities, defined and adopted then, was the overall integration of the Republic of Macedonia in the Euro – Atlantic structures, in other words, full – fledged membership in NATO and EU. I would underline another dimension of our strategic determination for EU and NATO Membership, the overall political consensus among all relevant political entities that has not changed in the past 26 years of independence. The most important is that the citizens give the great support to the Euro – Atlantic integration. A support which, for us, who are part of the politics, is obliging and hold us accountable in its achievement, but, in my opinion, the science and above all. The universities, through the research activities and education contribute in the achievement of these strategic determinations.
Now, the question that is implied is how far we have reached in the accomplishment of our strategic determinations. We are all aware that the path to EU, as well as to NATO, contains the greatest problem – the absurd dispute for our constitutional name, imposed by our Southern neighbor. However we speak that this is an absurd issue, it is a real issue, and as such must be resolved if we are willing to realize these strategic determinations.
The EU integration is a process in which the Parliament holds the key role. This does not refer to the Republic of Macedonia alone, and our membership in EU, this is the path that all EU Member States have been through. Namely, the harmonization of the national legislation with the Communautaire Acquis, as well as the reforms that cover all aspects of the society including the reforms three governance (legislative, executive and judicial) can be implemented through the parliament alone. The Republic of Macedonia received the candidate status in 2005 and, if one may say, formally starts this process. Prior to this, in April 2001, we have ratified the Agreement on Stabilization and Association with EU. Certainly, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia itself needed internal organization in order to face the challenges of the process of EU accession. Thus, in October 2007, upon a decision of the Assembly, the National European Integration Council was established in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. This is an Assembly body, which is comprised by MPs, Vice Prime Minister on European Affairs, representative of the Cabinet of the President, Representatives of MANU, Local Self Government Units, Journalists Association, religious communities, syndicates, Chamber of Commerce and the NGO Sector. The National European Integration Council is chaired by MP from the opposition. The National European integration Council, in its work emphasizes the so called public debates connected with the integration processes, from the topic of energy to the one in the last parliamentary composition dedicated to “Seceding with the Past Pursuant to the Recommendations of the European Commission”.
When the harmonization of our legislation with the Acquis is concerned, since 2005, when we received the candidate status, hundreds of laws have been adopted; these laws are marked with European flag. A special attention is paid in these years to specialized trainings of the administration of the Assembly, as well as of the Deputies for the topics in the context of the EU integration. Certainly, as parliament we pay great attention to the EC Progress Reports for the Republic of Macedonia. Namely, since 2009, we constantly receive recommendation for opening accession negotiations with the EU from the Commission, but due to the well known reasons, the standpoint of our Southern neighbor we are being left with a recommendation only, conditioned by particular standards that we need to fulfill. What we miss as assembly, in the Euro Atlantic integration processes, and generally, in the functioning of the parliamentary democracy is the insufficiently developed oversight role of the Assembly above all, over the executive governance Hence, we are lagging behind in the reforms in many areas, but also in the implementation of the adopted laws and acts in the scope of the Assembly. I am convinced that the crisis we have been trough in the past two years must result in the insufficiently developed oversight role of the Parliament, which is underlined by the reports of the European institutions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We slowly exit the mentioned crisis. The fact that this parliamentary majority has the political will and capacity to return to the European path and metaphorically speaking, uses both feet and large strides walks towards the achievement of our strategic determination – full flagged membership in EU and NATO. Believe me, in my formal and informal communication and meetings with our international friends, this new wind in our internal and foreign policy is recognized and appreciated publicly that the affairs change for better. On the other hand, the recent meeting of the leadership of EU in Tallinn underlined that our region is not forgotten, and to refer to the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Tsipras, who requested the Western Balkan to be one of the priorities of the European Union.
Hence, I would seize this opportunity and appeal to the parliamentary majority and the opposition, the executive, academy public, the Ngo sector, business community and each individual, let’s role our sleeves, as people say, and everyone, from their position, knowledge, as well as overall responsibility to approach the realization of our strategic determinations. The European Union and NATO must be comprehended as values and standards that provide stabile present and better future.