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EP adopts resolution on Macedonia: First results from the reforms, then negotiations


Strasbourg, 14 June, 2017 - 16:53 (META) 

With 503 votes “for” and 113 “against”, today the European Parliament adopted the resolution on the European Parliament’s Special Rapporteur for Macedonia Ivo Vajgl, linked to the report by the the European Commission for 2016. 45 MEPs abstained on the resolution that recommends Macedonia continue its path towards European integration.

MEPs welcome the formation of a new government on 31 May and urge it, together with all political parties, to restore confidence in the country and its institutions. They also call on the new government to maintain efforts towards EU integration and fully commit to robust reforms in the areas of rule of law, justice, corruption, fundamental rights, home affairs and good neighbourly relations.

“Once there is tangible progress in implementing the 2015 Pržino agreement and on urgent reform priorities, the European Parliament will support opening EU accession negotiations”, reads the resolution.

Looking back to 2016, MEPs regret that Skopje is continuing to backslide in the reform of its judiciary and deplore recurrent political interference in the appointment and promotion of judges and prosecutors. MEPs are also concerned about the political attack against and obstructions to the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

“The Parliament has taken positive note of Macedonia’s progress towards EU membership. The new government has committed to important reforms, which enabled the country to hold transparent elections and overcome a protracted political crisis. Macedonia should now accelerate the process of adopting EU standards, values and principles, thus also contributing to the stability in the Western Balkans”, Vajgl said.


Today European Parliament will vote on a resolution on Macedonia


Strasbourg, 14 June, 2017 - 11:59 (META) 

Today, the European Parliament in Strasbourg will vote on a resolution on Macedonia, which is the recommendation of Parliament linked to the report by the the European Commission for 2016.

The resolution was proposed by MEP Ivo Vajgl from Slovenia, who otherwise is the EP special rapporteur for Macedonia, and was debated on April 5th, and today a vote is expected within the three-day plenary session. Resolutions on Serbia and Kosovo are also on today’s agenda, and they will also decide on other activities within the EP.

The vote is expected to finish by 15:00 pm.

With this resolution, which was adopted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, the start of accession negotiations between Macedonia and the European Union will be recommended.


Kukan, Vajgl, and Fleckenstein expect the European Parliament to vote on the report about Macedonia


Brussels, 2 June, 2017 - 13:21 (META) 

The three MEPs, Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein have welcomed the formation of the new government and have stated that all parties should act in a constructive spirit of reconciliation. They state that after three delays due to a political instability they expect that the European Parliament to vote for the report about the country for the year 2016 at a session set sometime in June.

“Also, we are looking forward to the collaboration with the European Parliament with the Macedonian Parliament for the fulfillment of the citizens’ aspirations and the necessary reforms that will allow the state to take necessary measures towards the EU membership”, stated the press release issued by the three MEPs.

They have congratulated Zaev for the formation of the new government.

“We congratulate Prime Minister Zaev on the formation of the new government and its programme. We are encouraged by the constructive parliamentary debate about the programme and by the government’s commitment to unite the country around a programme that serves the needs of all citizens, and delivering on urgent reform priorities as well as working towards Euro-Atlantic integration. We hope that all political parties will now act in a constructive spirit of reconciliation, in the common interest of all citizens, and work with the new government on restoring confidence in the country and its institutions, including through the full implementation of the Przino Agreement and Urgent Reform Priorities. The Macedonian people have already waited too long and deserve to see the new government advancing with vigour on this inclusive and reformist agenda”, said the joint press release issued by Vajgl, Kukan, and Fleckenstein.


Vajgl, Kukan and Fleckenstein: We expect a government within two weeks, further delays will have consequences


Brussels, 2 May, 2017 - 18:30 (META) 

MEPs Eduard Kukan, Knut Fleckenstein and Ivo Vajgl who were mediators for the  Przino Agreement, on July the 15th, 2015, today issued a joint statement again calling on President Gjorge Ivanov to respect the will of the Parliamentary majority and urged those politically and criminally responsible for the violent attacks on the Parliament to bear the responsibility.

“An official investigation should efficiently identify and prosecute the perpetrators of these unacceptable criminal attacks. The political responsibility should also be determined and appropriate consequences taken to deter such undemocratic activities”, reads the statement.

The three MEPs welcomed the election of Talat Xhaferi as the new Parliament Speaker, and expressed support and expect that the new Speaker will fully assume his responsibilities in the interest of the country and all Macedonian citizens immediately.

“We understand that the new Speaker will inform President Ivanov that the Parliament would like him to re-consider his position and recognise that the leader of the majority should be allowed to form a government without further delay. We expect that this will lead to the appointment of a new Prime Minister within the next two weeks. We call on President Ivanov to respect the will of the Parliament and stop obstructing the democratic path and the desire of the citizens of the country to see an end to the crisis”, said the statement by the trio.

In the joint statement stressed that “further delays in establishing a new government will have inevitable consequences.”

“We share the desire of the citizens of Macedonia to see an end to the current crisis. The inability to form a government within the next two weeks will represent a failure by the political leaders in the country to meet the wishes of their citizens. As such, we will once more recommend to the political authorities in the European Parliament that the vote on the 2016 Country Report is postponed in view of developments in the next two weeks”, concluded the statement.


Vajgl: Nobody at the EU believes there should be new elections in Macedonia


Strasbourg, 8 April, 2017 - 14:24 (META) 

I have not heard from one person in the European Parliament (EP) who believes that there should be new elections. Accordingly, the position of the EP is the same as the European Commission and Mr. Tusk’s position during his visit to Skopje, said the rapporteur for Macedonia at the European Parliament, Ivo Vajgl in an interview with “360 degrees”.

As for attacks by some people from the country that have called him a supporter of “mercenaries” and the people of Soros, Vajgl says it is nonsense and that he does not want to comment on the matter.

“I have nothing to do with Soros and I think that such insinuations are truly foolish, but I do not want to participate in these debates in Macedonia, which are on such a low level.

When asked about the position of the European Parliament, whether the political crisis in Macedonia should end through a new selection of a new government or by the dissolution of parliament and organizing new elections, Vajgl said that nobody in the EU considers that there is a basis for new elections.

He stressed that the answer to end the long attempt to elect a President of Parliament can not be done by himself or anyone else outside Macedonian politics. When asked whether the EU would recognize a government that would be elected to parliament without having received the mandate from President Gjorge Ivanov, Vajgl said that the EU will accept what the first Macedonian state institutions decide – Parliament and the Government.


EP: The situation in Macedonia is very serious and the crisis is distancing the country from the EU


Brussels, 6 April, 2017 - 12:08 (META) 

Yesterday, European Parliament expressed its concern regarding the political situation in Macedonia at a plenary session where they discussed the report prepared by Ivo Vajgl on Macedonia’s progress in 2016.

The MEPs remarked that the situation in Macedonia is very serious and that the deepening of the political crisis jeopardizes the European perspective of the country.

They asked that the processes be unblocked for constituting Parliament and for forming a government.

The representative of the Maltese presidency, Jan Borg, speaking on behalf of the Council of the European Union, said that Macedonia suffers from polarization and culture divisions and that systemic deficiencies were noticed in the judicial system, human rights and the fight against corruption.

Rapporteur Vajgl stressed that Parliament cannot work even if a new government is formed because of systemic obstructions and the behavior of the Head of state. He also called upon the countries in the region not to interfere in Macedonia’s internal political affairs especially when the situation in the country is so problematic and complicated.

Shadow rapporteur MEP Knut Fleckenstein, said that it is bad to hold a whole country hostage because the expectations of one party to remain in power didn’t materialize.

MEP and  shadow rapporteur Eduard Kukan, called upon President Ivanov “to start respecting the will of the majority and to give the mandate for forming a government, and for Parliament to start working normally.”


Vajgl, Kukan, Fleckenstein: We can see no justification for the delaying tactics


Strasbourg, 5 April, 2017 - 16:26 (META) 

We can see no justification for the delaying tactics being used in Parliament that hinder the appointment of a new Parliament Speaker and the formation of a government without further delay – said the joint statement by three MEPs, Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein after the meeting with the chief of Macedonian diplomacy, Nikola Poposki in Strasburg.

This afternoon, the European Parliament at a plenary session will be discuss the situation in Macedonia.

“As Members of the European Parliament that have supported all efforts to overcome the current crisis and that have worked hard to support the European perspective for the Macedonian people, it is with deep concern that we see the crisis being unduly prolonged with growing consequences for the country, including the worsening of inter-ethnic relations.We have already seen the vote on the 2016 Country Report being postponed twice as a direct consequence of the uncertainty in the country and tonight in the plenary of the European Parliament we will debate this situation. Despite this we still strongly believe that the situation in the country can improve by pursuing a democratic course and, as a result, the political crises can be overcome”, said the joint statement.


What is Vajgl denying: Whether Gruevski said “prison”, or that it was his faux pas?


Brussels, 27 March, 2017 - 13:08 (META) 

The rapporteur for the Republic of Macedonia in European Parliament, Ivo Vajgl in his statement for the state news agency “MIA” denied that he had said something in the media about the president of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, or he had conveyed something that Gruevski had told him during his last visit to Skopje.

Still, the renunciation doesn’t mention the word “prison” i.e. neither he nor Vajgl or VMRO-DPMNE in its press reaction do not renounce and don’t deny that this word was mentioned which imposes the question: Who mentioned the word prison, and who mustn’t have said it? What did Vajgl renounce and deny? That he mentioned prison or that Gruevski had said those words by himself? Maybe Gruevski had mentioned the word but Vajgl had accidentally said it?

“As a person I never personify responsibility and I don’t meddle in Macedonian politics by calling out certain names and people. I don’t know how to reduce the guilt to one name only. I was talking about what I had previously said for “Nova TV” i.e. Macedonia must live its catharsis of its own politics and the path to get there is what the Special Prosecutor’s Office does. If the judiciary determines that a certain individual is responsible, anyone, then in a law abiding country he will have to deal with the consequences”, said Vajgl.

When asked whether he personally either in a statement or in an interview has mentioned the former Prime Minister Gruevski or something that he was allegedly said to him in private, the Slovenian MEP renounces that he has spoken ever about something like that.

The media conveyed a statement by MEP Ivo Vajgl for the Turkish news agency “Anatolia” where the MP said that Gruevski had told him that he will insist on going all the way because he doesn’t want to go to prison.

“The most characteristic is, still, the statement that was given by Nikola Gruevski, the president of VMRO-DPMNE, that he will insist to insists he will go all the way because he doesn’t want to go to prison. If that is the motive for all of this then that means there won’t be any compromises with him in the long run”, quoted Al Jazeera from Vajgl’s statement for “Anatolia.


Vajgl denies that he conveyed something that Gruevski had told him


Brussels, 25 March, 2017 - 17:01 (META) 

The rapporteur for the Republic of Macedonia in European Parliament, Ivo Vajgl, today, in his statement for the state news agency “MIA” denied that he had said something in the media about the president of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, or he had conveyed something that Gruevski told him during his last visit to Skopje.

“As a person I never personified responsibility and I don’t meddle in Macedonian politics by calling out certain names and people. I don’t know how to reduce the guilt to one name only. I was talking about what I had previously said for “Nova TV” i.e. Macedonia must live its catharsis of its own politics and the path to get there is the what Special Prosecutor’s Office does. If the judiciary determines that a certain individual is responsible, anyone, then in a law abiding country he will have to deal with the consequences”, said Vajgl.

When asked whether he had ever personally mentioned former Prime Minister Gruevski in a statement or an interview and whether he had passed on something that the president of VMRO-DPMNE had told him personally, the Slovenian MEP denied that he had ever said such a thing.

Yesterday, the media released a statement by MEP Ivo Vajgl he had said for the Turkish news agency “Anatolia” where the MEP said that Gruevski has said that he would go all the way because he doesn’t want to go to prison.

“The most characteristic was the statement by Nikola Gruevski, the president of VMRO-DPMNE, he insists he will go all the way because he doesn’t want to go to prison. If that is the motive for all of this, that means there won’t be any compromises with him in the long run”, quoted Al Jazeera from Vajgl’s statement for “Anatolia.


VMRO-DPMNE: Vajgl to renounce or to apologize for political manipulations


Skopje, 25 March, 2017 - 14:54 (META) 

MEP Ivo Vajgl either didn’t understand something or he is intentionally siding with the pardoned criminal Zoran Zaev and his scriptwriters for issuing lies and made up stories, if he has ever given a statement like the one that was published, said VMRO-DPMNE’s reaction to Vajgl’s statement that the party leader, Nikola Gruevski will go all the way, because he doesn’t want to end up in prison.

“We deny that president Nikola Gruevski has given a statement that Ivo Vajgl is retelling on the media. With such malicious disinformation, if these were truly said by Vajgl, by serving other people’s interests is like putting gasoline into the fire of the current political crisis, instead of condemning the Tirana platform publicly and the interference of neighborhood states in Republic of Macedonia’s internal affairs,” said the party’s announcement.

VMRO-DPMNE adds that the main accent in the talks with Vajgl and the other representatives was given to the necessity of new early parliamentary elections as a best way out of the current crisis.

“We expect MEP Vajgl either to renounce the lies and to renounce it as a statement or to apologize for political manipulations with which he is misdirecting the general public in order to achieve someone’s agendas”, said VMRO DPMNE.