Albanians in Macedonia: EU Supports Ohrid Agreement
The European Union has suggested the implementation of the power-sharing Ohrid agreement is a prerequisite for
Below are extracts from an article written by Andrew Rettman and published by the EU Observer:
"I am afraid we are heading back to the 1990s when we had hundreds of problems and the EU said
"I'm trying to wake up the international community," he added, after getting the brush-off by EU officials. "If the integration of the two ethnic groups in
The conservative Macedonian VMRO-DPMNE party of prime minister Nikola Gruevski pushed the DUI out of government following 2006 elections, however, with the DUI now accusing Mr Gruevski of violating Ohrid rules on making police and media laws in an attempt to build "a Macedonia for Macedonians."
The DUI has boycotted parliament since January and recently held internal talks on blocking off roads to ethnic Albanian municipalities and forming its own, extra-governmental institutions. The plan was abandoned for fear of emboldening ethnic Serbs in neighbouring Kosovo.
"There is no alternative to the Ohrid Agreement because the alternative is chaos," the DUI's Mr Buxhaku said. "If we say now this model [a multi-ethnic unitary state] doesn't work, the signal will be heard by the Kosovo Serbs."
EU sympathy limited
EU officials admit there has been minor "backsliding" on Ohrid by the Macedonian government and feel sympathy for DUI, which struck a deal to share power in 2001 but now finds itself out in the cold after Mr Gruevski created a coalition with a smaller Albanian group, the DPA, instead.
"We encourage the DUI to go back to parliament," a European Commission spokeswoman said. "This process is still ongoing in a peaceful and cooperative atmosphere and therefore we see no reason to be worried of instability."
She added that
The EU line mirrors comments made by the VMRO-DPMNE's foreign minister, Antonio Milososki, in
EU entry date needed
The topic has also come up in the European Parliament, where Dutch left-wing MEP Erik Meijer is drafting a report urging both sides to make peace and for the commission to recommend in autumn that EU states give
The draft report "regrets the practice of boycotting the parliament" and "recommends that the country could learn from the way in which
"There will be strong opposition to this [a call for a firm EU entry talks date], with some MEPs just wanting to express that Macedonia should carry out the necessary reforms," Mr Meijer said, ahead of a foreign affairs committee vote on his text in June and a plenary vote in July.