Experts welcome the initiative of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) for harnessing all the resources in developing a strategy on Macedonia’s future development voiced at the roundtable “Prospects of Development of the Republic of Macedonia in the Post-Crisis Period” held in Ohrid on Tuesday. Although the initiative comes more than two decades of Macedonia’s independence, they do not see it as belated yet are fully aware that its realization largely depends on the Government’s will, Utrinski vesnik reports.
Former ambassador Dimitar Mircev says he strongly supports MANU’s initiative for drafting a strategic platform for development.
“There have been two or three similar endeavors so far but they all failed. Such an idea existed at the time of the expert government of late Prime Minister Nikola Kljusev and a few years later he formed the Center for Strategic Development at MANU. However, I don’t know the reasons why this center, which was meant to serve this purpose, has never been put to effect,” Mircev says.
He also says it is evident that the Government needs this because “it frequently takes uncoordinated moves in certain areas”. In his view, an all-encompassing strategy needs to be drafted focusing not just on the economy but also on the minorities, the diaspora, etc.
According to Professor Tito Belicanec, this is a good initiative yet the constellation of relations and the Government’s will to honor it should be borne in mind.
“There were no government representatives at the roundtable and this initiative should be regarded as an offer of the academicians that is necessary and reasonable yet dependent on the will of the government, which, at least until now, was not very open to suggestions from scholars,” Belicanec says.
He believes that Macedonia definitely needs a compass to be able to define the directions of its further development.
“The state has to achieve unity over the important issues – the EU and NATO integration, the civil society and the economy. We are still stuck in certain projects that we have been pushing in the wrong direction. Take for example the Framework Agreement. It was meant to help build a civil society but it turned into a vicious circle of two party and ethnic communities,” Belicanec says.
Asked whether this idea is belated, Professor Nazmi Maliqi says it is never too late for a good idea. In his view it is important to have a clear goal and tangible projects.
“Closely defined guidelines and answers should be provided to the major issues in all areas in respect to both our home and foreign policy,” he adds.
He is confident that such an initiative may be very beneficial for the country provided there is sincere will with the government for carrying it out and provided the strategy is managed well.