Ahmeti – Plomp: All those who want Macedonia integrated into EU and NATO will support the referendum

Skopje, 17 August, 2018 - 16:58 (META) 

All those who want Macedonia integrated into NATO and the European Union will support the referendum on September 30th, including the opposition, as the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration is also a commitment in their program, said leader of the Democratic Union for Integration, Ali Ahmeti at a meeting with the ambassador of the Netherlands in Macedonia, Wouter Plomp.

The statement by DUI said that Ahmeti and Plomp discussed Euro-Atlantic integration, the referendum on September 30th, the rule of law and the fight against corruption, as well as regional developments.

Ahmeti briefed the Dutch ambassador on DUI’s preparations for successfully reaching the Euro-Atlantic path through the conduct of a referendum and constitutional changes.

Regarding the reforms, the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organized crime, DUI has established a unique practice in the country, calling on and supporting the authorities to investigate all allegations of corruption and encouraging other parties to do the same.

“Ahmeti concluded that the only way forward for the region is reconciliation and full Euro-Atlantic integration with European standards,” reads the statement from DUI.

Plomp: The Nethelands will continue to be a friend and partner to Macedonia

Skopje, 29 May, 2018 - 13:45 (META) 

The Netherlands has always been and will continue to be Macedonia’s friend and partner and support its Euro-Atlantic integration, on the basis of a strict and equitable approach, responded Dutch Ambassador Wouter Plomp to electronic media ‘Makfax’ piece.

“We acknowledge the progress made by Macedonian institutions over the past year in implementing reforms, including in the area of ​​rule of law. At this point, it is important to see further maintenance and deepening of these reforms through the continuous implementation of the new legislation. On 26 June, the General Affairs Council of the European Union will decide on the recommendation of the European Commission to start the negotiations”, said the Dutch ambassador in a written response.

He says the Netherlands is following the negotiations with Greece to resolve the name issue intensivelyand that it sincerely hopes that a mutually acceptable agreement will soon be reached. Plomp adds that the Netherlands will continue to support Macedonia by providing financial assistance and expertise in some of the most important areas, such as the rule of law, human rights and good governance.

Earlier, the Embassy of France stated that the conclusions for Macedonia presented by the electronic media outlet are not final, and that France’s position will be definitely determined in agreement with its European partners after the proposals for the start of negotiations by the Commission contained in the report on Macedonia and Albania will be examined by the Council (General Affairs) on June 26, and then decided by the European Council during the same month.

Baily, Garrett, Plomp and Osmani clean rubbish from the riverbanks of Vardar

Skopje, 26 April, 2018 - 16:58 (META) 

Dutch ambassador Wouter Plomp, UK ambassador Charles Garrett and US ambassador Jess Baily together with Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, today cleaned the scattered rubbish along the city riverbanks in an eco-action, which was organized for the third consecutive year by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the Vardar river behind Luna Park with companies “Pivara” and “Pakomak”.

This is the third consecutive volunteer eco-action organized by “Pivara”, “Pakomak” and the Embassy of the Netherlands. In the previous two actions they cleaned the coast and waters of Lake Matka, as well as the quay on the river Vardar. This year they collected the entire dry waste. The annual action is also part of the activities for marking the Day of the King – the national holiday of the Netherlands.

“I am pleased that this year we had the opportunity to mark our big national holiday and with this kind of action. We merged the beautiful with the useful and once again we tried to give our contribution to the reduction of pollution, which is a big problem for people and the environment. The only efficient way to permanently overcome this problem is more work, commitment and cooperation between the public sector, companies and citizens. With our action today, we want to show that each of us can give a personal example to others and encourage the solution to any problem”, said the Dutch ambassador.

The overall logistical support for adequate transport, selection and recycling of the collected waste was provided by “Pakomak”.

US Embassy: What ideas do you have for cleaner air in Macedonia?

Skopje, 15 December, 2017 - 9:53 (META) 

Today, the US Embassy to Macedonia expressed concern over the large quantities over pollution in the air in Skopje and across the country.

They posted statements on Facebook and Twitter.

As did the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Macedonia, Wouter Plomp

There’s a dilemma: either using the car & contributing to pollution or taking the bike & inhaling it. Today I try first time with mask @NaTochak #ЧистВоздух pic.twitter.com/e6pPLXwOL4

— Wouter Plomp (@NLAmbPlomp) December 14, 2017

Bekteshi and Plomp discussed economic cooperation between Macedonia and the Netherlands

Skopje, 31 July, 2017 - 18:45 (META) 

Today, the Minister for Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi met with the Dutch Ambassador, Wouter Plomp, where they discussed topics such as tourism, agriculture and investments in renewable energy sources.

Bekteshi said that agriculture and investments in renewable energy are two branches of the economy, which are very important to the country, so exchanging experiences with the Netherlands would be of great help.

The Dutch Ambassador confirmed that Macedonia remains a desirable tourist destination for the Dutch people and he expressed interest in developing a long-term plan for the region of Ohrid, especially because of the fact that the number of Dutch tourists has increased, and Ohrid will soon need to increase its accommodation capacity.

Ambassadors have reassured Ahmeti of their support for the formation of the new government

Skopje, 3 May, 2017 - 22:17 (META) 

The president of the Democratic Union of Integration, Ali Ahmeti, today at the party’s headquarters in Mala Rechica met with British Ambassador, Charles Garrett, Dutch Ambassador, Wouter Plomp and Sweden’s Ambassador, Matts Staffansson.

“At the meeting, all the guests welcomed the election of the new Speaker of Parliament by the parliamentary majority of the Parliament of Macedonia and they reaffirmed their complete support in terms of the formation of the executive bodies of the country through a new pro reform government, to proceed on the path towards integrations protests to the EU and NATO”, says DUI.

Judges detain people because it is cheap

Skopje, 15 February, 2017 - 18:00 (META) 

At today’s presentation of the study on “Legal and budgetary implications of unjustified detainment”, held at the EU Info Centre in Skopje, it was pointed out that Macedonian courts have a going rate or amount of how much it costs each day spent in custody, which ranges from 2,500 to 3,500 denars (40-50 euros).

“Knowing that the ‘price’ to restrict freedom in the country is very low and that judges in civil courts have established a way for passing small and insignificant amounts of compensation, has a negative impact on judges in criminal proceedings when they rule on detainment without a second thought” was the conclusion of professors from the Faculty of Law Justinian I in Skopje, Gordana Buzarovska, Vanco Uzunov, Neda Zdraveva and Boban Misoski who are the authors of the study, which was financially supported by the Dutch embassy in the country.

The research covers the period from 2011 – 2015, and according to the data, in this period 138 Macedonian citizens were unjustly detained and later, no charges were brought against them or they were released after complaints during judicial proceedings.

According to the Public Prosecution, in the period between 2011-2015, nearly 6,700 defendants were found guilty. From this number, 1,700 defendants cases ended with acquittals, and nearly 3,000 defendants had their cases rejected by the court.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands, Wouter Plomp, who opened the presentation, stressed that the protection of human rights is a priority in the Netherlands, and that as a friend of Macedonia, the Netherlands invests a lot in these areas in the country. He noted that a major problem, which was noted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, is the length of the duration of detention, which in Macedonia is significantly higher compared to countries in the EU and the Netherlands.

Plomp: There is no time to lose, we expect a pro-reform, accountable and responsible government

Skopje, 15 February, 2017 - 16:52 (META) 

There is no time to lose and it is solely up to Macedonian politicians to decide the future of their country, said the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Wouter Plomp, at today’s presentation of the research “Legal and budgetary implications of unjustified detainment” at the EU Info Centre in Skopje .

“If you are asking me to comment on recent developments and the negotiations to form a government, I can only repeat what Commissioner Johannes Hahn said, as a representative of the European Union during his recent visit to the country, which is – there is no time to lose. On the other hand, I want to point out that it is solely up to Macedonian politicians to decide the future of their country”, said Ambassador Plomp.

He added that the Netherlands hopes that Macedonia will have a government that will be reform-oriented, especially reforms related to the rule of law as well as in other areas that are important in this process.

The Dutch Ambassador stressed that as part of the reforms, the most significant is accountability and of course, the support of the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

“One of the important issues on which the future pro-reforms government should focus on, are accountability and responsibility. When we talk about accountability, it means supporting the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, and of course support from the courts and other authorities, to allow the SPO to complete their work independently”, emphasized Plomp.

Ambassador Plomp tweets photo of a billboard in the Hague advertising vacations in Ohrid

Skopje, 3 February, 2017 - 18:36 (META) 

Dutch Ambassador, Wouter Plomp on his “Twitter” account shared an image of an advertisement for tourism in Macedonia on billboards in the Netherlands.

“Seen in the Netherlands (from the train TheHague – Leiden) holiday destination #Macedonia #Ohrid”, wrote Ambassador Plomp on “Twitter”.

On the ad, Ohrid is shown and it says that Dutch tourists can get an eight day holiday for 189 euros.

The advertisement is from the tour operator “Corendon” which Dutch tourists use when visiting Macedonia.

Plomp: I am concerned about the general climate of hate speech

Skopje, 24 December, 2016 - 19:37 (META) 

The Ambassador of the Netherlands, Wouter Plomp appeared as a guest on the show “360 degrees“, and stated all countries whose ambassadors had obituaries published on the social network “Imgur,” called Macedonian ambassadors in their countries and requested an explanation about this diplomatic scandal.

“Honestly, when I first saw them, I wasn’t bothered too much. But when the ministry became aware of the pictures, they were very much concerned, and they immediately started to call the Macedonian ambassador to the Hague, to ask what was happening in Macedonia, and so did a lot of the other ministries of the ambassadors concerned. Fortunately, after that we got firm reassurance from the Government of Macedonia that they totally condemn this kind of hate speech towards foreign ambassadors, and that they would do everything in their power to find and sanction those responsible, as well as to provide maximum safety to all the ambassadors”, said Plomp.

The Dutch Ambassador added that he was concerned about the general climate of hate speech and harsh language used after the elections. According to him, it will lead to further divisions, making it more difficult for political parties and the civil sector to work together.

“Working together is exactly what is needed to form that stable government, and that can get the country out of the political crisis. What I would like to say is that what worries me is the harsh language towards the civil society. I think civil society in every country has an important role to play. I feel very much welcome in this country, I love Macedonia. I’ve lived here for one year and a half now, I love the people of Macedonia, and I have no concerns at all”, added Plomp.

The Dutch Ambassador assessed that election day went quite well, but found worrying the criticism directed towards state institutions which came from the ruling party, which surprised Plomp.

“It is that kind of criticism of state institutions that could eventually delegitimize the elections which I think would not be helpful at all. Fortunately, the state institutions have carried out their work, done what they had to do, and as I understand the final stage of the elections will be the rerun of the vote in one polling station in Tearce, and we simply have to wait for the final results. And that of course is of paramount importance, that the sooner the better, as soon as possible, a stable government will be formed that can get the country out of the political crisis”, said Ambassador Plomp.