Analysts predict that North Macedonia may Fall Behind in EU Membership Negotiations

Southeast Europe | August 20, 2023, Sunday // 08:40|  views

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A political crisis in the Republic of North Macedonia after debates on constitutional changes ended inconclusively and a vote on them was postponed indefinitely. MPs in Skopje debated whether to change their basic law, including whether Bulgarians should be included in the constitution. According to analysts, North Macedonia risks seriously falling behind in negotiations with the EU.

Mutual accusations, political impasse and buying time. Such an atmosphere reigns in the Republic of North Macedonia after the debates on changing the constitution.

President Stevo Pendarovski joined the government of the Social Democratic Union in accusing the conservatives of the opposition that they have no alternative to the "French proposal" and that another path to the EU is impossible.

VMRO-DPMNE want new elections, but so far they do not have the broad support of the Albanian parties. The rulers are still buying time to gather 80 deputies.

And during this time, the country is seriously late with the implementation of what was agreed on the road to the EU.

Not only the European integration of the Republic of North Macedonia is at stake, but also the ethnic relations in the country. Albanians in the country are staunch supporters of accession, and falling behind Albania on the road to Brussels could lead to tensions within the country.

According to Dimitar Georgievski, the chances of the constitution being changed are minimal. But he is counting on the US to influence the opposition.

Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski and the government have said they are not giving up on the process and will look for ways to achieve a majority of 80 MPs. The prime minister accused the VMRO-DPMNE opposition of blocking the country's European path.

President Stevo Pendarovski asked the conservatives from VMRO-DPMNE, without whose votes a two-thirds majority in the Assembly cannot be achieved to pass the changes, what alternative do they offer?

The opposition remained adamant. Immediately after the debates, he asked for a quick vote in the Assembly to make it clear that the cabinet does not have a majority and that the chosen path to the EU - the French proposal - leads to a dead end.

The proposals for changes in the constitution provide for the inclusion of the Bulgarian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Slovenian, Egyptian and Jewish people in the basic law, which would guarantee their rights and active participation in the political life of the country.

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Tags: north macedonia, EU, Skopje, VMRO-DPMNE


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