In the weekly interview show on “Radio Slobodna Evropa” the Dutch Ambassador W. Wouter Plomp was this weeks guest. He said during the interview that the clock is now ticking until elections, and it is extremely important for an agreement to be made for the media.
Ambassador W. Plomp says that in connection with the Special Prosecutor all institutions involved need to work together and make it possible for her to do her job.
“At the same time several issues need to be resolved, and some of the most important issues have to do with the elections next year. There will be some kind of transitional government, some steps have been made, some still have to be made and an extremely most important part is related to the media, because a free independent media, an objective media, are very important. And finally, the guarantee of the right to vote is another extremely important element. When I learned upon arriving here that, according to one poll, 32 percent of the population does not think that the vote is fully secret in Macedonia, and that was up from 22 percent last year, I would say that is a bit worrying, because as far as I know, the vote is really secret in Macedonia and I think it is extremely important that all people can vote and will vote, to express their choice next year, it is their civil responsibility to vote” said Plomp.
According to him, the agreement on the media should allow them to play their role in providing facts and information to citizens.
“The clock is ticking, so to say, towards April 24th next year. So it is extremely important that an agreement is reached about the media which will apply to elections next year and the long-term solutions that will guarantee that the media really can play their role as they should, as in any democracy. Most democracies, if not all, have certain rules to guarantee that the media can play that essential role in providing information, facts and information to citizens. Therefore it is important to make a clear distinctions between political advertising and objective news reporting by any media, be it public or public media.” said Ambassador W. Wouter Plomp.
The Dutch Ambassador believes that the wire tapping content contains very serious charges to be laid down and therefore it requires an investigation, which is very important to establish a political and legal responsibility.
He pointed out that the Netherlands in the past ten years has given assistance to Macedonia in the amount of 200 million Euros for programs and projects, always at the request of the citizens.
“We still continue to give assistance to Macedonia, for example for human rights, media, democratic accountability and we will continue to do it. If you ask me whether I am pleased with the results, in any country, technical assistance could play a role and it is always a process of trial and error and I think perhaps the most important aspect is that people continue to learn. It refers to people who give help, but also apply their knowledge to the institutions and people who work with other institutions. Maybe to stimulate some sort of learning attitude, critical attitude and even participatory attitude is one of the most important results that we can hope to achieve.” Said Dutch Ambassador W. Wouter Plomp.