European Socialists believe that the beginning of negotiations for Macedonia’s membership in the EU can have a positive impact on the country and give impetus for progress in problem areas, including outstanding bilateral issues, said Deputy Chairman of the Joint Committee for parliamentary cooperation between the EU and Macedonian, Bulgarian MEP and leader of the PES Sergey Stanishev.

– This decision, however, won’t be a “gift”, but a consequence of the results achieved by clear criteria – Stanishev said before today’s visit to Skopje.

Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament yesterday adopted the report on Macedonia’s progress and for the ninth time makes a recommendation to the Commission to start accession negotiations with the EU. Previous recommendations remain unrealized because of the name dispute with Greece, and the lack of progress in the field of good neighborly relations, reports Bulgarian “Offnews”.

According to the portal, MEPs also point serious criticism of the current political polarization, the judiciary, freedom of expression and the media, the manifestations of extreme nationalism, which deepens the lines of division in society and more.

Stanishev also assess that the Macedonian Government lacks real will for practical steps towards a common celebration of famous historical figures and dates, objective interpretation of history. In the proposed in the text to the resolution, he required to pay special attention to the responsibility of the Government to ensure dialogue with the opposition and civil society, especially when making new laws and constitutional amendments.

Stanishev estimates that recent political ferment in the country put the democratic principles and values of Macedonia into question.

– The findings of the leader of the opposition SDSM, Zoran Zaev, on mass tapping, control over the media and other irregularities, put not only Macedonia’s progress towards European integration, but also basic democratic principles and values, into question. Maintaining an independent and impartial investigation of the case will be a serious test for the judicial system, but also for freedom of the media in the country. Deepening the political conflict between the Government and the opposition prevents a constructive political dialogue, and its place is in the Assembly. The absence of the opposition in the Assembly undermines the legitimacy of the current policies and legislation acceptance; both sides are accountable to all citizens of Macedonia to find a way out of this situation in the name of the common goal of EU membership and economic and social prosperity – estimated Stanishev.