The French proposal under the scrutiny of the working group

Maricic at a meeting with party working groups/Photo: MIA

With completely opposing views, the meeting of the working group of the parliamentary parties began yesterday afternoon in the Club of Deputies to review the latest French proposal, the eventual acceptance of which would mean removing the Bulgarian veto for the country's negotiations with the European Union.

Identity issues and the Macedonian language are already protected and are not part of the French proposal, according to SDSM, the opposition VMRO-DPMNE and the trio of smaller ruling parties DS, DOM and LDP demand a change in the negotiation framework precisely in the area of ​​language and identity issues.

With these, completely opposing views, the meeting of the working group of the parliamentary parties began yesterday afternoon in the Club of Deputies to review the latest French proposal, the eventual acceptance of which would mean removing the Bulgarian veto for the country's negotiations with the European Union. The members of this group are the Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Maricic and the coordinator of the parliamentary group of the SDSM Jovan Mitreski, the MPs Antonijo Miloshoski and Aleksandar Nikolovski from VMRO-DPMNE, the coordinator of the parliamentary group of the DUI Arber Ademi, Elmi Aziri from the Alliance of Albanians and the MP Pavle Trayanov, as a representative of LDP, DOM and DS.

According to Mitreski, it is not a question of changing the French proposal, which is also a European proposal, but of conclusions that the Assembly will make and with which it will oblige the Government during the negotiations with the EU.

- I expect responsibility from all parties because it is a serious process for the country and for the future of the country. Our draft conclusions refer to our strategic commitment to EU membership, excluding bilateral historical and educational issues. The conclusions will mean unconditional respect for the determination of the special historical, linguistic and cultural peculiarities of our people. All the time we say that bilateral issues are excluded from the negotiation framework, but that dilemma opens up in the public and therefore, as an Assembly, we will confirm that bilateral issues are excluded - said Mitreski.

"Sloboden Pechat" came to the conclusions proposed by the SDSM. According to the proposed conclusions, "The Assembly, after reviewing and adopting the Government's information, accepts the negotiation framework for Macedonia's accession negotiations with the EU proposed by the French presidency." The Assembly obliges the Government to consistently adhere to the determination to unconditionally respect the language, identity and cultural peculiarities of the Macedonian people, as non-negotiable elements.

The government should act in accordance with the country's strategic aspirations for integration and full membership in the EU and accept the offered negotiation framework with the EU, excluding the bilateral historical and educational elements in the framework and with unconditional respect for the linguistic identity, historical and cultural peculiarities of the Macedonian people throughout the entire negotiation process. The government should oblige the negotiating team to conduct the negotiations on an equal and principled basis and with respect for the uniqueness of the Macedonian people. During the negotiations, the Resolution passed in the Assembly from 2021 should be fully followed. The government should continuously inform the Parliament regularly and, as needed and requested, and submit an annual report on the progress of the negotiation process".

The coordinator of DUI Ademi said that he fully agrees with Mitreski and emphasizes that DUI fully stands in solidarity with the Macedonians, that we have a common past and a common future and we should build the future together.

– This is not the time for fake news and emotional debate. As you know, the Macedonian language is clean, without footnotes, without asterisks, without additional explanations. We will have the beginning of negotiations, the president of the EU Council, Michel, pointed out that both we and Albania will immediately start the screening. There is a negotiation framework and it will be confirmed that the Macedonian language is the Macedonian language and will become the official language of the EU - said Ademi.

In the draft remarks of VMRO-DPMNE in the document General position of the EU, they suggest in point 3 that the words "the EU takes into account the respective unilateral declarations of Bulgaria and North Macedonia on the Macedonian language" be deleted and added that they will be in the Macedonian language. In point 5 of the negotiation framework, where the EU refers to the Prespa agreement and the one with Bulgaria, and calls for their respect and implementation, to delete the last paragraph, where Article 12 of the Good Neighbor Agreement with Bulgaria is noted.

In the EU Common Position document, they propose to delete point 11, which stipulates that the second intergovernmental conference will be held after Macedonia changes the Constitution, that is, it will bring the Bulgarians into them. Also, VMRO-DPMNE requests that articles 13 and 14 be deleted from the same document, which mentioned the fulfillment of the protocols of the Good Neighbor Agreement and emphasized the importance of "visible results" in its implementation.

- Our remarks refer, first of all, to the removal of all disputed parts that caused controversy in relation to the existing proposal, which causes open damage to state and national interests. The amendments to the text refer to the removal of the section on constitutional amendments that would oblige the state, as well as the rejection of the possibility of amending textbooks, historical facts as well as the risks that exist for denying the Macedonian language - Mickoski emphasized before the meeting in an interview with Deutsche say.

In the draft conclusions of the DS, which have not yet been harmonized with DOM and LDP, and which "Sloboden Pechat" reached, it is requested that point 3 of the conclusions be omitted from the negotiation framework in its entirety, and that bilateral issues be omitted from all acts. . All other documents are also required to be on a reciprocal basis.

"The Council of the European Union in the draft conclusions in point 4 defines an obligation for Bulgaria to implement the decisions of the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, related to the rights of Macedonians in Bulgaria. After incorporating the conclusions adopted by the Assembly, the Government should accept the negotiation framework" - it is said in the conclusions proposed by the DS.

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