ALDE demands responsibility from Greece and normalize the work of the Parliament

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The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, the pan-European party that brings together liberal-democrat parties, called for the opening of Macedonia’s European perspective and for normalizing the work of the Macedonian Parliament to push through the necessary reforms. The ALDE press release, signed by their group leader and former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt, was published after the talks in Strasbourg which aimed to find a way out from the political crisis in Macedonia.

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“Following negotiations held between the leaders of the main Macedonian political parties, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (VMRO) and Zoran Zaev, chairman of the largest opposition party (SDSM), the ALDE Group in the European Parliament is looking forward to a solution to end the current crisis. Both parties agreed to put the interest of Macedonia first and confirmed that Euro-Atlantic integration is top of their priorities. I urge Prime Minister Gruevski and opposition leader Zaev to work on a political solution to the current crisis and find a way for the Parliament to start again working on much needed reforms. At the same time, its important the accession perspective for Macedonia is clarified and the name issue is finally solved. This is a call for EU leadership and also for the Greek side to assume its responsibility for stability in the Western Balkans”, the ALDE press release informs. Greece has blocked Macedonia from joining NATO or opening its EU accession talks. SDSM has maintained a boycott of Parliament for over an year, since losing the 2014 general elections.

Ivo Vajgl, the Slovenian member of European Parliament who is the rapporteur for Macedonia, and is also a member of ALDE, was present at the talks in Strasbourg. “An agreement has been reached on some important principles for further talks which will take place both in Skopje, with the leaders of the other Macedonian political parties, and in Brussels, with MEPs and the Commission. Although differences on how to bring the confrontations to an end still persist, the commitment to a political solution can be considered as a constructive step forward. It is important that the political crisis in the country, especially after the tragic incidents of Kumanovo, has drawn the attention of EU institutions, OSCE, Council of Europe and NATO. Macedonia´s path towards EU integration has been blocked for too many years and this situation has contributed to the deepening of the political crisis, even though the country fulfils many criteria for the start of accession negotiations”, Vajgl is additionaly quoted in the press release