On February the 15th, MEPs Elmar Brok and Andrey Kovatchev, who are members of the European People’s Party, sent a letter of protest to the President of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, regarding the attacks by “Stop Operation Soros” (SOS), which the initiative say are close to the government of “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
Brok and Kovatchev, writing as members of the Union of European Federalists (UEF), began the letter by stating that they wanted to bring an incident to Gruevski’s attention, that he may have considered small, “but it sends a disturbing message about the future European orientation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, not least in the circles of the firmest supporters of an eventual accession of the country to the EU.”
The two MEPs especially focused on the attack by SOS against the “Young European Federalists” in Macedonia at a press conference held by Nikola Srbov, Cvetin Chilimanov and Nenad Mirchevski on February the 3rd, when they attacked many NGOs and marked them as enemies of Macedonia.
“To our great surprise one of the organizations listed are the Young European Federalists (JEF) Macedonia”, reads the letter. Kovatchev and Brok pointed out that “the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) and its national section JEF Macedonia are non-partisan pluralistic youth organizations working towards a free and united Europe, governed according to the principles of democracy and the rule of law, striving to ensure peace, prosperity, security and justice.”
Both MEPs pointed out that Chilimanov, Srbov and Mirchevski are close to the Macedonian government, and that they respond to statements by government officials concerning the “desorosization” of the country, and implicitly asked whether VMRO-DPMNE had changed their orientation in terms of European integration.
“Given the vicinity of the SOS leadership to the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and considering other recent statements made by government politicians regarding the so-called “Desorosization” of the country, we are concerned for the activities of our local groups and we are even more concerned that those incidents might lead to the impression that the values supported by the UEF and JEF are not shared by the government of FYROM”, says the letter.
Brok and Kovatchev went on to say in the letter that they have full confidence that Gruevski has the power to reign in such attacks against European Federalists and they called upon him to make use of the instruments at his disposal, and to further nurture civil society activities in the country, as well as common European values and goals.