Mogherini and Hahn confirm the arrival of the notification about the new name of Macedonia

Brussels, 15 February, 2019 - 16:25 (META) 

EU’s High Representative/Vice President for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn today confirmed the arrival of the notification by the Republic of North Macedonia about its new name and congratulated Skopje and Athens on the acchievement.

“Today, the European Union has formally been notified by the Republic of North Macedonia of its new name, following the entry into force of the Prespa agreement. We warmly welcome this historic step, which sets an example of reconciliation for the Western Balkans region and beyond. We congratulate the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia on this major achievement, turning a new page of our common EU future”, Mogherini and Hahn state.

Kacin: Macedonia – Greece compromise should be carefully studied in the region

Skopje, 14 February, 2019 - 15:13 (META) 

Without solving of all bilateral disputes, there will be no further enlargement in the region of Western Balkans, said Jelko Kacin in a statement for “European Western Balkans”, who is the Permanent Representative of Slovenia to NATO and former Rapporteur for Serbia and Montenegro in the European Parliament.

The decision of the Republic of North Macedonia to change its name is a result of historical political agreement, he emphasized.

“It is a political compromise that should be carefully studied by other states in the region who didn’t yet solve their bilateral problems with neighbors that occurred after dissolution of the former Yugoslavia”, he said.

Documents with new name will be received by citizens after Ministry of Interior completes purchase

Skopje, 11 February, 2019 - 15:19 (META) 

The identification documents that contain the new name Republic of North Macedonia i.e., passports, id cards, driver’s licenses will be acquired when the government announces in the Official Gazette the date when the constitutional amendments and the constitutional law enter into force.

The protocol from Athens is expected to be sent today.

When asked when can the citizens acquire documents containing the new name, the government’s spokesperson, Mile Boshnjakoski told Meta agency that when the demand is sent and published in the Official Gazette and then MoI will have to call for the procurement of new documents.

“MoI will have to procure new passports, documents. There is no limitation whether the citizens can acquire new documents while the procurement is underway because they will receive old documents and then they will have to replace them in a period of 5 years” said Boshkoski.

Meta agency is waiting for a reply from the MOI about how long the procedure for procuring new documents will take.

Otherwise, the change of the inscriptions and the tables from state institutions and the Parliament has begun, and this morning the inscription “Government of the Republic of Macedonia” was removed from the building of the Government.

Juncker, Mogherini and Hahn welcome the ratification of Prespa Agreement

Brussels, 25 January, 2019 - 18:38 (META) 

In a joint statement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn welcomed the ratification of the Prespa Agreement in Greek Parliament.

“We warmly welcome the next crucial step in the ratification of the Prespa agreement, taken with today’s vote by the Hellenic Parliament.

From the very beginning, the European Union has strongly supported the historic agreement signed by Prime Ministers Tsipras and Zaev, following negotiations under the auspices of the UN. It took political courage, leadership and responsibility on all sides to resolve one of the most entrenched disputes in the region. Both countries have seized this unique opportunity which sets an example of reconciliation for Europe as a whole and will give a further boost to the European perspective of the region.

While we look forward to the next procedural steps leading towards the full implementation of the agreement, we can already say with confidence today that Athens and Skopje have, together, written a new page of our common EU future, ” said Juncker, Mogherini and Han.

“Obituaries” for Macedonia handed out in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki, 25 January, 2019 - 18:31 (META) 

Today, a few opponents to the Prespa Agreement in Thessaloniki, in front of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, handed out “obituaries” to passers-by with the name “Macedonia” written on it, protesting and calling it a “betrayal on Greek Macedonia”.

“Today we bury Macedonia” says the text, and is signed by “Mother Greece, Macedonian children and Macedonians”.

At 2:30 pm today, Greek parliament is scheduled to vote for the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, which will officially come into force, and Macedonia will receive its new official name for the overall use of the constitutional changes – North Macedonia.

Otherwise, just like in Thessaloniki today,”obituaries” for Macedonia were handed in protest against the ratification of the Prespa Agreement and the constitutional changes in Macedonian Parliament, accusing Macedonian politicians and MPs of surrendering Macedonia.

“Obituaries” were spread in Macedonia in the past on the internet after a fierce speech by the then VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski outside the State Election Commission (SEC), when he strongly attacked various ambassadors of being too involved up in the internal affairs of Macedonia. At the time, the United States and the EU reacted, as did Macedonian diplomats.

Greek Parliament ratifies Prespa Agreement

Athens, 25 January, 2019 - 16:20 (META) 

The Greek Parliament this afternoon ratified the Prespa Agreement which was signed by Macedonia and Greece, with 153 MPs’ voting to end the name dispute which has lasted nearly three decades.

All 300 MPs were asked the question of whether they are “for”, or “against”, or would “abstain” concerning the ratification of the Prespa Agreement.

Of all the MPs, 153 were in favour, 146 were opposed and one MP abstained.

Macedonia, on January 11th, voted in favour for the approval of the changes in the Constitution, and completed the procedure regarding the implementation of the Prespa Agreement.

Greek Parliament starts the process of ratification of the Prespa Agreement

Athens, 21 January, 2019 - 19:50 (META) 

For the draft law on the ratification of the Prespa Agreement to come into force, it will be discussed today by the Commission for National Defense and Foreign Affairs in Greek Parliament.

On Saturday, the draft law was submitted to Greek Parliament, and is expected to be passed by Friday.

Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis is expected to hold a meeting with the vice presidents beforehand in order to determine the parliamentary procedure, ie how many meetings the commission will hold and when a plenary session is to be scheduled.

The bill proposed by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs contains three articles.

The first article is the signed agreement as a whole, the second article refers to raising the level of the Liaison Office in Skopje at the embassy and the Office of Consular, Economic and Commercial Affairs in Bitola at a Consulate General level. The third article explains that the law comes into force after its publication in the Official Gazette, and the ratification contract in accordance with Article 20.

New amendments to Constitution published in the “Official Gazette”

Skopje, 14 January, 2019 - 20:42 (META) 

Amendments from 33 to 36, together with Constitutional Law on their proclamation, which were voted in with 81 votes, were adopted at the 75th session of Parliament, on Friday, and were published in the 6th issue of the “Official Gazette” this year, i.e. on January 12, 2019.

With these amendments to the Constitution, after the Prespa Agreement comes into force, the name of the country will be the Republic of North Macedonia. The Prespa Agreement will be official after it is ratified in Greek Parliament.

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Moscow: The constitutional changes are against the will of the people, the UN’s Security Council should discuss the name

Moscow, 14 January, 2019 - 18:54 (META) 

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for Informing and Press Relations has called the passing of the new amendments of the Macedonian Constitution in order to change the country’s name as “an artificial change of the country’s name in order for an enforced entering of Skopje into NATO” and stated that the problem with the country’s renaming should be discussed by the UN’s Security Council in accordance with Article 3 of Council’s Resolution 845.

“It’s about the continuation of the process of the artificial changing of the country’s name under foreign pressure in order for Skopje to join NATO by force. This is a violation of Macedonian laws. The opinion of the President of the state and the majority of the population that reject the Prespa Agreement are being ignored. The constant protests in Skopje and other Macedonian cities show a deep polarization in the society. It is obvious that this manner of solving issues of national significance for the country’s future is not a reflection of the will of its population and cannot serve as a tool for a longterm solution for the name dispute” said the press release.

The Russian MFA state that the development of the occurrences in Greece i.e. the resignation of Panos Kammenos, the now former Minister of Defense and President of the Independent Greeks, SYRIZA’s coalition partner is talking about the “explosiveness of the situation.” Additionally, it accused that Greece was subjected to the same formula as Macedonia – a pressure in order for the Prespa Agreement to pass through the rejection of the will of the Greek nation.

“The opinion of the Russian Federation regarding the name dispute of the Macedonian state remains unchanged: a sustainable solution has to be found far from outside pressures, imposed solutions and conditions from forces outside, and a solution that will be based upon a wider public support, both in Macedonia and Greece, and within the rule of law. We think that this issue has to be discussed by the UN’s Security Council in accordance with Article 3 of Security Council’s Resolution 845.

Constitutional amendments were passed with 81 votes

Skopje, 11 January, 2019 - 19:38 (META) 

With 81 votes in favor and no votes against or withheld, this evening, MPs have cast their votes at Parliament i.e. the amendments from 33 to 35, which are Macedonia’s obligation according to the Prespa Agreement that was signed on the 17th of June last year.

Previously, the Alliance of the Albanians and BESA’s MPs withdrew their amendments.

According to Constitutional law which was also passed, these amendments will come into force as soon as the Prespa Agreement comes into force completely i.e. as soon as it is ratified in Greek parliament. According to article 1 of this law, the amendments will not come into force and will be annulled if Greece doesn’t ratify the agreement.

As soon as the 33rd amendment comes into force, the citizenship will be Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia ” which neither determines nor defines the ethnic background of the citizens.” The adjective shall be “Republic North Macedonia” or “North Macedonia.”

With the 35th amendment, the Republic guarantees that it will follow the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of neighboring countries: the Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Greece, Republic of Kosovo and Republic of Serbia.