Exposition of Academician Zivko Popov: MANU has the capacity to help the state in dealing with difficult social phenomena

photo: MIA, first exposure of academician Zivko Popov, president of MANU

"There is no top science without finance and no advanced society with the marginalization of science", said the new president of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU), Academician Zivko Popov, in his presentation, after he was elected as the first person of the Academy at the end of November for the mandate period 2024 – 2027.

In his presentation on the management of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the mandate period 2024-2027, the new president of MANU Zivko Popov referred today to several, as he said, "social anomalies" and "crucial challenges that should be addressed special attention" and which, he said, are subject to criticism in the annual reports of the European Commission.

In his speech, Popov emphasized the "general partisanship" of the institutions, especially in the public administration. At the same time, he emphasized that the balancer should be "abolished as soon as possible during employment in the institutions" because it "omits the criterion of quality and competence". He also warned of the "ruining of the health care system, and directed the biggest criticism at the management of the University Clinical Center."

"Actually, Skopje's prestigious clinical center in the region has turned into the only expensive, partisan and dysfunctional hospital system organized in such a way. In that way, the heart of Macedonian medicine disappeared, from where quality medical personnel came out and it was an example of a good health organization. If we add to that low personal incomes, insufficient funding and investments in the infrastructure and equipment in state medical institutions, as well as the weak development of regional hospitals, the logical result is a mass transfer of the highest quality medical staff, in which the state has invested for decades, to the private sector and abroad, with subsequent ruining of the state health system and endangering its sustainability", said academician Zivko Popov, president of MANU.

Underestimation of scientific and research work, hypertrophied network of higher education system, excessive use of the European flag, dysfunctional justice system and selective justice, according to popov, are the biggest problems and challenges in the country. He also pointed out the demographic problems, the monocentric development of the state that causes mass immigration to the capital and the migrations abroad, especially of young highly educated staff. It is true, Popov said, that the state is making numerous quality reforms in the judiciary with good solutions, but they have poor implementation.

"The thing that makes the most waves in the public and generates dissatisfaction is the Republican Judicial Council and the Academy for Judges and Prosecutors. Namely, with a judicial council in which those who have never had a relationship with the court can be members, and the ruling political structure always has a majority, and with an Academy in which personnel are enrolled again according to the previously stated principles, so that in a competition for the selection of judges and prosecutors, no other non-partisan distinguished professionals, lawyers can also be called, in no case is it possible to create a fair, non-partisan judicial system".

In his exposition, he emphasized that the state of the country, in which the society is divided on several grounds, is complicated, and therefore, above all, national unity is needed for the most important state issues. It will be necessary to direct the Academy towards the state and significantly increase the number of national projects in the coming period, said Popov.

He believes that MANU "has the institutional capacity through scientifically based strategies to help the state in dealing with these difficult social phenomena".

He emphasized that politics, parties and daily political topics have no place in the Academy, but that it "must not remain silent if it has the knowledge, opportunities and capacity to advise and give strategic directions".

"The independent and politically independent position of MANU should always be present and emphasized. But something like this requires greater volume of the Academy, more announcements, much more information to the public about what MANU is doing," said its president in the exposition.

On this occasion, as he said, he once again wants to promote "the European idea for Macedonia, which is as old as the Macedonian country". He pointed out that the Macedonian people are aware that they are a European nation and that their place is in the European community of nations and that the Euroscepticism that has appeared lately is "the result of the obstacles that the EU has unfairly placed on our European path".

"They mostly refer to the internationally undertaken obligations in connection with the Prespa Agreement and the Good Neighbor Agreement with neighboring Bulgaria, which actually passed without a proper referendum, even though they represented referendum questions, the consequences of which are evident and the end of which is not yet in sight. For them, the country made painful compromises, but in spite of that, the opening of the negotiation process with the EU was missed. "Only through equal dialogue and cooperation with the neighbors and the EU can reasonable solutions be found for the created problems, while preserving the cultural and historical heritage that belongs to the Macedonian people, as a European value," said the president of MANU.

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