Todays Date
December 6, 2022

Macedonia and Europe

By Trifun Kostovski


I felt the need to share my thoughts on one of the thorniest and most important issues – the establishment of Macedonia in the European family and the establishment of the negotiation date with the European Union. From the middle of May until today we are under the pressure of the question whether we will get the desired date or not. The way in which all the information about this “date” is placed is so frivolous that I think that it is right for the union to play with us. I wonder if we really want to enter the European family. If we want, then we should carry out all the fundamental reforms in all social segments indicated in the official documents of the European Union, we should not play the lottery. Modern democratic world is very pragmatic. The times when the European Union received in their own family states that did not meet the criteria for democratic development and institutional functioning have passed.

Someone will say, maybe, are we the ones they are to carry out their criteria on? Perhaps this is my characteristic, but if I have to enter the European Union, as many members did, without real reforms in judiciary, in the government itself, in all segments and to be treated as an orphan in that European family, it is better for me not to enter at all.

Neither I am an orphan, nor are you. However, the key question is whether we have the capacity to make the right reforms and stop playing in the betting house.

In the previous articles I mentioned the place and role of judiciary and all institutions in the rule of law. And unfortunately, I still feel that these issues related to the non-functioning judiciary are the metastasized social cancer which we cannot free ourselves from.

The bulky and completely incompetent state administration is paid out of money that is not in the budget, so we have to borrow. Transparency in spending budget funds, whether at central or local level, is lacking. Only these three segments give a realistic picture of who we are, where we are and where we belong.

In the last interview of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev it was said that if we do not get a date, the nationalists will come, which will take the state in a complete chaos. I am asking, who are these nationalists? Which lines do they come from? Are we saying that all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are nationalists!?!

Everyone is aware of our multiethnicity. And we have citizens who no longer believe that not only the government, but any political and party group could take the country on the right path.

In order to be a dignified EU member, I would like to knock on the door that will open to us when we are worthy of admission, with reforms in judiciary, health, education and institutional models.

What do we expect? That if the European Union starts the negotiations and if we become members, there will be floods of money in Macedonia? The European Union is an expensive toy in which we will have to participate. Brussels is an expensive institution in which we have to participate. That is why I propose to all stakeholders who have decided to deal with politics to concentrate on the EU reports that we have been receiving for ten years now and with urgency and dedication to bring the institutions of the system in line with the standards that govern the modern world. Commitment to all remarks and deep analysis and resolution of all the decrees that the European Union has given us as homework.

I would not like these words of mine to be understood maliciously. On the contrary, I believe in the democratic capacity for critical argumentation which will lead to serious and deep thinking about the necessary changes within the frames of the parties themselves, and then on the whole society.

I would like to experience the day when my fellow citizen will go to the polls, but not to vote by default for those he likes, but to give his vote to those who will really have the capacity to change the social narrative.

Unfortunately, it must be borne in mind that the political parties have completely split the tissue – we have split into groups, subgroups…The society is fragmented into one million pieces. Thus, the feeling for a common good and community has been lost. Only particular interests are in game.

Every government promises transparency, reforms. But, my answer to all these promises is just one thing – show it with actions, not words and pamphlets.

In the end, I would like to summarize – we are not in the European Union, but we are Europeans. The European culture is immanent to us. Will we ever be able to say it is enough! For three decades the political parties in power and opposition have been leading us through our independence, but without any results. We remain to be one of the least developed countries in the Balkans. With fragile economy, poor health, decaying institutions and public administration that is a burden of the state budget, and is not effective.

I have surely had enough!


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