Makedonsko pretsedatelstvo


Friday, 21 May 2010

Address by the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Trajko Veljanoski on the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Distinguished President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu
Distinguished Minister,
Your Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

20 years ago, there were only 12 stars on the flag of the Council of Europe, and today- 47 countries, with over 830 million Europeans are Members of the Council. This means that the well known words of the grand statesman and European Winston Churchill – “We must genuinely create Europe” from 1946 came true. 20 years ago issues such as human rights and freedoms, parliamentary democracy, market economy were taboo for all of us on the other side of the iron curtain, these topics were just a facade covering the single party systems.

The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia is in the Council of Europe since 1993; in 1995 we became full fledged members, and today we are chairing the Committee of Ministers of this oldest European institution.

I am saying this only to remind you that the consistent respect of the principles of human rights, parliamentary democracy, solidarity and respect of others, of those different from us, is the basis on which the Council of Europe was created 61 years ago, and this is the basis on which the Europe is based, bud also the future of every country. These values and standards are the source of the moral force and reputation of the Council of Europe and its institutions, above all the European Court of Human Rights, whose respect goes beyond Europe’s borders. 

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished colleagues,

The Republic of Macedonia is a unitary state, and at the same time it is a multinational, multicultural and muticonfessional society. We have faced all the challenges respecting the principles of parliamentary democracy, with dialogue and discussions. The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia is the key institution in this process. We have adopted the amendments deriving from the Ohrid Agreement, and these constitutional amendments were transformed into laws, and this is the institution where sometimes we have bitter political debates on certain laws. All this was very clearly underlined in the last Progress Report from the European Commission, in which we have received a recommendation for our membership in the European Union; we all know why this did not happen. I know that our Conference and the Council of Europe in general are not a place where bilateral issues, like the issue with our southern neighbor, are resolved. Nevertheless, I would like to underline that, as a Parliament, we have adopted several documents which oblige the Government to continue the negotiations with Greece under the auspices of the United Nations. These documents clearly state that the solution for this issue must not interfere with the national, linguistic and cultural identity of the Macedonian nation. The respect and protection of the national, linguistic and cultural identity of every individual is one of the basic principles of the Council of Europe. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Chairman, the Minister on Foreign Affairs Mr. Antonio Miloshovski, will elaborate the priorities of the future Chairmanship with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, but I am especially pleased that the Macedonian Chairmanship begins with this meeting of parliamentarians.  Allow me to refer to some of the key points which we as parliaments do and which have two goals. The first one is our approach or harmonization with the Acquis Communautaire, and the second goal is strengthening parliamentary democracy. In this direction we are paying significant attention to the  strengthening of the scrutiny role of the Assembly regarding the implementation of the laws which are being adopted, and certainly the control function over the executive which is our constitutional competence. Also, we are working on strengthening the openness and transparency of the Assembly. This has been especially improved with the introduction of the so call E-Parliament, through which the overall legislative process is executed electronically and at the same time it is accessible for the citizens via our web site.  This means that with the new communication technologies, primarily the internet, the transparency of our work is strengthened and at the same time there it is much easier to communicate with the Assembly. This gives an opportunity for our MPs not only to hear, but also to understand the citizens’ requests, opinions and interests. We are paying great attention to the NGO sector through different joint projects. Last week, in the framework of Europe Day, two debates were organized and chaired by the NGO sector. Also, as parliament we are paying great attention to the regional cooperation. This is especially important not only for the bilateral relations, but it also has an important role in the strengthening of the stability of the region and its Euro-Atlantic perspective. Also, I have to mention our Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that contributes to the strengthening of the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe through their activities and engagement.  

 
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> AGENDA
 

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