Flash News
MIC – June 25, 2013 – 8:40am

- Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said in his interview with the Bosnian newspaper Dnevni Avaz that he expected Macedonia and Serbia to be on the agenda of the meeting of the European Council and be set a date for opening accession talks. However, in his view, not all countries share his view considering “some of them have problems with Macedonia.”

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SETTING SERBIA DATE AND LEAVING MACEDONIA BEHIND WOULD BE EU DISGRACE
MIC – June 24, 2013 – 12:48pm

The Irish Presidency of the European Union dispelled all hopes that the Union would set the Republic of Macedonia a date for opening accession talks at the June summit of the European Council following five positive reports on Macedonia by the European Commission. According to the EU Presidency, the issue of setting Macedonia a date will be reopened in autumn and decided at the December summit of the European Council during the Lithuanian Presidency of the Union. At the summit next week, experts say, there will be neither a date nor a conclusion for Macedonia.

Ambassador Risto Nikoski told Vecer that it would be a disgrace for the Union if Serbia was set a date for launching negotiations and Macedonia was left behind.

“The announcement of the Irish Presidency that Macedonia will not be on the agenda is not at all surprising. On the contrary, it is logical in a way and there are two key factors why it is so. The first one is Bulgaria’s intention to block, too. The second one is related to the first one – blocking Macedonia again while setting Serbia a date for negotiations will be a disgrace for the Union. Even though Serbia held the whole region hostage for ten years because of Milosevic’s policies, Belgrade is now making headway, while Macedonia is left behind. This would truly be a major disgrace for Brussels,” Nikoski explains.

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NEITHER CONCLUSION NOR DATE FOR MACEDONIA AT EU SUMMIT IN JUNE
MIC – June 20, 2013 – 2:11pm

After seven years of holding the status of a candidate member state and four consecutive recommendations from the European Commission, Macedonia will not be set a date for opening membership negotiations at the summit of the European Council  later this month.

The Irish Presidency of the European Union dispelled all hopes that the Union will eventually prove to be broad-minded setting Macedonia a date for opening membership negotiations following five positive reports with recommendations from the European Commission, MIA’s Brussels-based correspondent reports.

After two days of meetings by the COREPER group made up of the ambassadors of the EU member states, the Irish Presidency said that at the summit of the European Council on 27 and 28 June, only setting Serbia a date for talks would be discussed.
 

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CoE to reopen its office in Macedonia
MIC – June 19, 2013 – 9:55am

After almost three years, the Council of Europe wishes to reopen its office in Macedonia. If the recommendation of the report of Robert Walter from the European Democratic Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is put into practice, Macedonia is going to join the nine countries – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldavia, Serbia, Ukraine and Kosovo – where the CoE has offices. The Council of Europe used to have an office of informative nature in Macedonia for 13 years and closed it in end 2010.

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Flash News
MIC – June 19, 2013 – 8:42am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki at Tuesday’s press-conference after the US-Adriatic Charter ministerial meeting in Skopje said that Macedonia in the name dispute is advocating intensive talks based on arguments as the arguments are on our side, adding that Greece is the one holding all the cards.

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Flash News
MIC – June 18, 2013 – 9:51am

-    Macedonia’s top priorities remain opening accession talks with the EU and joining NATO, in the attainment of which the country is strongly backed by the USA. This was agreed upon at the meeting between Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and Philip Reeker, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, in Skopje Monday. Reeker is on a visit to Macedonia to attend the conference of the Adriatic Group set for Tuesday. The two officials also said that Croatia’s accession to the EU and the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina were the most significant events in the region recently that would reflect positively on the stability of the whole region and its European integration.

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Flash News
MIC – June 17, 2013 – 8:46am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki over the weekend took part in the annual European Forum Wachau in Austria and met with Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger. Poposki stressed that it is crucial for Austria and for the countries in the region the EU enlargement process to continue. He added that it would be beneficial for entire Europe to continue expanding the most successful project of peace and stability. The discussions at the forum were focused on several issues, including security and defense policy, solidarity, growth and budget consolidation and the role of culture in European integration and EU external relations.

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Flash News
MIC – June 14, 2013 – 1:39pm

- Macedonia should get set with a date for the EU accession talks date and the positive experience of parallel development of processes should be applied, President Gjorge Ivanov told counterpart at Thursday’s Central Europe Summit, held in Bratislava. Ivanov stressed that EU could not speak on behalf of Europe, adding that “when our region joins the EU, then the Union can speak on behalf of Europe. That is why Europe is an incomplete process.”

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BORCE DAVITKOVSKI APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF INQUIRY COMMITTEE
MIC – June 13, 2013 – 12:30pm

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev took little over two hours to persuade Borce Davitkovski, Dean of the Faculty of Law, to accept the office of president of the inquiry committee tasked with investigating the events of 24 December and before and determine whether the Constitution and the laws had been violated.

Professor Davitkovski will be chairing a 5-member committee most of whose members are professors at the Faculty of Law in Skopje. The committee includes Professor Ljubomir Frckoski and Renata Treneska-Deskovska as representatives of SDSM and MPs Blagorodna Dulik and Ilija Dimovski as representatives of VMRO-DPMNE.
 

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Flash News
MIC – June 13, 2013 – 8:42am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki met Wednesday with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz and discussed about the activities surrounding the name issue. Following the meeting, Poposki expressed his pessimism about the outcome of the June Summit in Brussels because Greece avoids and has no intention to seriously negotiate about the name issue. Experts also say that Greece is to reject Nimetz’ latest proposal and block Macedonia’s negotiations with the EU at the EU Summit.

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Flash News
MIC – June 12, 2013 – 8:42am

- Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, addressed Tuesday the MPs in the Macedonian Parliament and emphasized that he hopes that Macedonia will get set with a date for negotiations soon and this will represent a logical continuation of the realized reforms. According to Mignon, the March Agreement enabled normalization of the situation and the EU is saluting the progress in the judiciary, Ohrid Agreement and the fight against corruption.

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COUNCIL OF EUROPE RETURNING TO MACEDONIA
MIC – June 11, 2013 – 12:46pm

The Council of Europe “seriously doubts” that Macedonia is politically stable enough to carry out the required reforms and has therefore announced opening of an office in Skopje, Utrinski vesnik reports.

This is the main message in the report of Robert Walter, rapporteur on Macedonia in Strasbourg, which will be presented next week and which Jean Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, presented in Skopje Monday. According to the report, Macedonia faces challenges to its stability and social cohesion at a number of levels, partly as a result of its partisan society.

The report says that ten years of the Ohrid agreement, interethnic relations are still frail and there have been serious incidents (the case Monster, the ethnic protests, etc) and so it appeals to politicians to refrain from nationalistic rhetoric and draft internal trust building measures. Strasbourg also wants the census to be finally taken, the March agreement with the EU, particularly the part of it referring to the setting up of the inquiry committee, to be carried out, media freedom to be ensured by the Government and Greece to demonstrate greater flexibility in regard to Macedonia’s name.

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Flash News
MIC – June 11, 2013 – 8:33am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki on Monday in New York met with ambassadors of the UN Eastern European Group countries in a bid to promote Macedonia’s nomination to join the UN Human Rights Council in the period 2014-2016.The ambassadors voiced support for Macedonia’s nomination and Minister Poposki promised that if Macedonia is chosen as a member, it will work responsibly and transparently.

Minister Poposki is to meet in New York with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and mediator Matthew Nimetz in connection to the name negotiations. Poposki’s meetings in New York are important because there are only two weeks left until the EU Summit.

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EUROPEAN UNION PUTS FORWARD PROPOSALS FOR INQUIRY COMMITTEE PRESIDENT
MIC – June 10, 2013 – 2:17pm

Distinguished European politicians are on the list that the European Union has provided to the two largest political parties in Macedonia – SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE – so they can appoint the president of the inquiry committee tasked with shedding light on the events of 24 December last year. All persons on the list are known to the Macedonian public and have been directly or indirectly connected to Macedonia over the past two decades, as two of them are members of the European Parliament, Utrinski vesnik reports. However, neither SDSM nor VMRO-DPMNE has yet voiced their views of the list of candidates.

Following the meeting between Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev on Thursday, there is little chance for the president of the committee to be a home expert for it is hardly likely that anyone in Macedonia would undertake that responsibility as those proposed by one party are unacceptable to the other.

According to information that Utrinski vesnik obtained from diplomatic sources, the four experts on the list include Daniel Tarschys from Sweden, Graham Watson and Michael Lee from the UK, and Monica Macovei from Romania.

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Flash News
MIC – June 10, 2013 – 8:27am

- President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Jean-Claude Mignon, from Monday to Wednesday, is to pay an official visit to Macedonia. He is to meet with the state leadership and address the Macedonian Parliament.

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Flash News
MIC – June 7, 2013 – 9:10am

-    Both Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev assessed their meeting Thursday as a huge positive step in the direction of opening dialogue between the government and the opposition. The Government stated in its official press release that the close communication between the two leaders was going to continue.

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DATE FOR LAUNCHING ACCESSION TALKS SHOULD NO LONGER BE TOP NEWS
MIC – June 6, 2013 – 12:33pm

As the summit of the European Council set for 27 and 28 June approaches, it is getting increasingly more certain that Macedonia will again not be set a date for opening membership negotiations with the EU. It is in this direction that statements of Macedonian politicians as well as their Greek counterparts, who keep arguing that the name issue has to be resolved first, have recently moved. Last month, after meeting Stefano Sannino, Director General for Enlargement at the EC, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Popovski said a positive outcome from the June summit was unlikely, stressing thereby that Macedonia had long deserved to open accession talks yet it was just as certain that Greece was not ready to give its support without which the opening of talks was impossible, Nova Makedonija reports.

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MACEDONIA HOPES FOR BUT DOES NOT EXPECT MUCH FROM LITHUANIAN PRESIDENCY OF EU
MIC – June 5, 2013 – 8:34am

Lithuania is a great supporter of the EU enlargement, which is going to be on the agenda of its EU Presidency starting in a month. However, despite the announced pro-active approach, Macedonia cannot expect a major move that would help it resolve its present European integration impasse, experts comment in the lead-up to the Lithuanian Presidency that begins on 1 July 2013, Dnevnik reports.

Although they are unanimous that the activities and interests of the Presidency will focus on the eastern partnership, that is the relations with Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldavia, the authorities in Vilnius put enlargement high on their agenda.

“Lithuania is a staunch supporter of the enlargement policy of the EU and this issue is going to remain high on the agenda of our Presidency. We are ready to further intensify our cooperation and make all effort necessary to continue the inherited and very ambitious agenda, as well as to make sure there is headway in the implementation of the enlargement strategy,” Rasa Jakilaitiene, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian Presidency told Dnevnik.

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Flash News
MIC – June 4, 2013 – 8:32am

- The Macedonian and Serbian Government held Monday a joint government session in Belgrade at which the processes of the European integration, the trade exchange and the joint appearance on third markets were discussed. According to Prime Ministers Nikola Gruevski and Ivica Dacic, Macedonia and Serbia met all the necessary criteria for negotiations with the EU and want to cooperate on the road to the EU. PM Gruevski stressed that the two countries were facing conditions that did not have to be met by other countries urging that Macedonia and Serbia "are neither discouraged nor unmotivated." The joint government sessions will be held once a year and the next meeting will take place in Macedonia.

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GOVERNMENTS OF MACEDONIA AND SERBIA HOLDING JOINT SESSION IN BELGRADE
MIC – June 3, 2013 – 2:30pm

Promoting regional cooperation as a way of making a step ahead in the process of European integration, as well as promoting economic cooperation and trade are some of the items on the agenda of the first joint session of the Governments of Macedonia and Serbia to be held in Belgrade Monday. In addition to these priorities, concrete infrastructure and energy projects, capturing together third markets and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, health and culture will also be tabled.

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Flash News
MIC – June 3, 2013 – 8:34am

- Strumica Mayor Zoran Zaev is SDSM’s new leader. According to party sources, he won even in the first round at the congress which was held Sunday and won 395 votes from delegates. His first statement after the election was that “SDSM won and in the following four years, he will have the honor to lead the party that should be a strong opposition”. Zaev said that he is known for being a man that unites and hopes that SDSM is hope for all young forces.

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Flash News
MIC – May 30, 2013 – 9:19am

-    President Gjorge Ivanov cancelled the summit of heads of state and government of the participating states of the South East European Cooperation Process and the forum of the Dialogue of Civilizations that should have taken place in Ohrid and Struga over the weekend. Ivanov said that the state interest and Macedonia’s dignity made him take that decision and that the country acted in full agreement with the founding documents and rules and as a responsible Chair of the SEECP. “I will not let Macedonia pay the price for the Balkan prejudices,” he said in his official statement.

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MACEDONIAN INTELLECTUALS CALL FOR ENDING NAME ISSUE TALKS
MIC – May 29, 2013 – 1:46pm

While waiting for some kind of progress in the talks conducted under UN auspices, on which it depends whether Macedonia is set a date for launching EU membership negotiations in June, some fifty Macedonian intellectuals, poets, writers and other public figures decided to issue a manifesto calling for an end to, as they say, the pressure on Macedonia. In their declaration entitled “A Macedonian Manifesto to the Home and International Public on the Occasion of the Increased Pressure on the Republic of Macedonia to Change its Constitutional Name,” to be promoted Wednesday, they demand of the Government inter alia not to call a referendum because no one has the right to change the country’s name and to terminate immediately the talks conducted under UN auspices. Writer Eftim Kletnikov, one of the authors of the manifesto, says they decided to launch this initiative now in the light of the dramatic pressure being put on Macedonia in this period, Nova Makedonija reports.

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BOTH EC AND MACEDONIA EXPECTING NEW GREEK VETO IN JUNE
MIC – May 28, 2013 – 1:56pm

The Republic of Macedonia and the European Commission are aware that at the June Summit of the European Council Macedonia will be blocked again by Greece in being set a date for opening EU membership negotiations. This is the conclusion that Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Stefano Sannino, Director for Enlargement at the European Commission, jointly made at their meeting in Brussels Monday, Vecer reports.

Minister Poposki confirmed in his statement for MIA what both Macedonia and the European Commission, which has been issuing positive recommendations for opening accession talks between Macedonia and the EU for five years, are sure of.

“The taking of the decision for launching membership negotiations is very clear to us and the Commission’s expectations are on the same line. It is certain that the Republic of Macedonia has deserved for a long period of time to open negotiations yet it is just as certain that the Republic of Greece is not ready to support that decision and without its support that cannot happen,” Minister Poposki stressed, reminding that a promise was made ten years ago that the Union would enlarge with the countries of the Western Balkans.

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Flash News
MIC – May 27, 2013 – 9:23am

-    Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is set to meet Monday the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU member states and candidate member states, including Macedonia. The meeting is expected to focus on the stability in the EU’s neighborhood and the prospects of promoting cooperation between the EU and the countries of the Eastern Partnership. The Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet revealed whether Minister Nikola Poposki is going to discuss with Ms Ashton the problems concerning Macedonia’s European integration. However, he is set to meet Stefano Sannino, Director for Enlargement at the EC.

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MEPS TO VOTE ON MACEDONIA RESOLUTION
MIC – May 23, 2013 – 1:38pm

The European Parliament is set to vote Thursday on the resolution of the European Commission and the European Council over Macedonia's progress, with MEPs urging for the opening of the country's EU accession talks at Wednesday's debate, MIA reports.

Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule reiterated the European Council's December summit and the Commission's spring report conclusions, saying reforms have resumed after the political crisis, but the March 1 agreement remains to be implemented, along with the name row settlement.

EP Rapporteur for Macedonia, British MEP Richard Howitt, also urged Skopje and Athens to make progress and solve the name issue.

"EU leaders on the other hand should not use this matter for new postponement of Macedonia's EU accession talks", he said.

Vast majority of MEPs supported the resolution on Macedonia, which urges the Irish EU Presidency to carry out intensive diplomacy in order to achieve satisfactory outcome and a decision for start of Macedonia's accession negotiations by the end of June.

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COLD WAR IN BRUSSELS SURROUNDING THE VISAS
MIC – May 21, 2013 – 1:16pm

Visas will be reintroduced, visas will not be reintroduced – this is the dilemma in the European Union that is hard to follow from Macedonia after certain member-states since 2009 began to demand establishment of a safety mechanism which will reintroduce the visas for the citizens from Western Balkan due to the large asylum demands, Utrinski Vesnik writes. Although publically all apostrophized countries state that they do not demand reintroduction of visas but “establishment of a safety mechanism,” the topic cannot be closed regardless of the fact that the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs already categorically said “no”. On Monday, Deutsche Welle reported news that with a letter, the Ministers of Interior of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Great Britain demanded the topic to be put on the daily agenda at the June meeting of the Council of Justice and Home Affairs.

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LAST WARNING FROM FULE AHEAD OF THE JUNE SUMMIT
MIC – May 20, 2013 – 2:00pm

Macedonia is once again on EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule’s route march. He is to pay a visit to Macedonia on 1 June to, as he announces, participate in the South-East European Cooperation Process in Ohrid. It is expected for him to use his stay in Ohrid to monitor the developments on the Macedonian political scene and the fulfillment of the obligations from the spring report which are the basis for the country to get set with a date for start of EU negotiations, daily newspaper Utrinski Vesnik writes.

Nano Ruzin, University Professor and Ambassador, considers that the announced visit is Fule’s last attempt to force the domestic political factors to do something ahead of the EU Summit in June. He points out that the EU Commissioner insisted on all solutions and that he had a multidimensional approach toward things. From this standpoint, Ruzin expects a warning, but also encouragement from Fule.

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SDSM DOES NOT WANT KAMBOVSKI TO BE INQUIRY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
MIC – May 17, 2013 – 1:52pm

Vlado Kambovski, President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and University Professor, was proposed by President Gjorge Ivanov as chairman of the inquiry committee that should investigate the incident of 24 December 2012 at the meeting of the secretaries general of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, Kiril Bozinovski and Andrej Petrov, at President’s Ivanov Office Thursday. VMRO-DPMNE immediately replied they accepted the proposal, while SDSM officials said that had already discussed this proposal and voiced their view that Kambovski was unacceptable to them considering he served as a minister in a government led by VMRO-DPMNE, which does not guarantee that his work will be unbiased. SDSM also reminded Thursday that they had proposed Constitutional Law Professor Svetomir Skarik yet VMRO-DPMNE refused that proposal.

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GAC TO DECIDE MACEDONIA’S EU INTEGRATION ON 21 MAY
MIC – May 16, 2013 – 1:24pm

The General Affairs Council (GAC) of the European Union is going to decide at its session next Tuesday in Brussels whether to appeal to the European Council to decide to open membership negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia at its summit on 27 and 28 June.

Considering the latest impasse in the implementation of the Belgrade-Pristina agreement and bearing in mind that only Serbia and Macedonia are EU candidate member states, the whole discussion Tuesday is expected to focus on Macedonia’s European integration, the state news agency MIA reports.

According to unofficial information, the Greek and Bulgarian ministers of foreign affairs are going to attack Macedonia with the argument that “Macedonia has no democratic capacity and does not meet the Copenhagen criteria” considering the inquiry committee that should shed light on the events in Parliament on 24 December has not yet been set up.

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