EU Commissioner Hahn: January 15 Key Deadline for Agreement

Time: 1:13 p.m. CEST

Leaving EU Residence

Another marathon session of European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn should begin tomorrow in Skopje about 10:30 a.m. local time at the Residency of the European Union in Skopje’s neighborhood Przino. There is no detailed agenda for the meetings with political parties presidents in Skopje, but the meetings should start on Friday morning.

On January 15, the European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn will visit Skopje, the European Commission said in a statement published online on the Commission’s website. Ahead of the visit, Commissioner Hahn said: “January 15 is a key deadline of the political agreement, the implementation of which is important both for the government and the citizens of the country. I expect that the outstanding elements of the political agreement will be resolved before or during my visit, allowing the election authorities to organise credible elections according to the agreed timetable.”

On the meeting, as the statement said, Commissioner Hahn will reiterate their responsibility to implement their agreement, which the representatives of the four main political parties signed last June/July. Hahn would point out the need to make sure the conditions for credible elections, according to the deadlines, which they agreed. The statement also says, Commissioner Hahn “will also recall the importance of implementing the Urgent Reform Priorities to which the leaders have also committed themselves.”

On July 15, the presidents of four political parties in Macedonia agreed to an array of responsibilities defined in June 2 and July 15 agreement to solve the political crisis, which started to unfold since last January when president of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev disclosed selected materials of reported intercepted communications. In the most tense year that followed after it, Nikola Gruevski from VMRO-DPMNE, Zoran Zaev of SDSM, Ali Ahmeti of DUI, and Menduh Taci of DPA agreed to implement set of measures that will lead to an early elections on April 24, 2015.

Meanwhile, the institutions in Macedonia started to implement the agreement, but with significant delays, which resulted in opposite views if elections are possible on April 24, 2016 due to short terms to pass through clearing up the voters list, one of the key aspects of the requirements of the opposition. The July 15 agreement required formation of new government. “The incumbent Government will submit its formal resignation to Parliament in due time to enable the new Government to be sworn in on 15 January 2016, 100 days before the parliamentary elections which shall be held on 24 April 2016,” the Agreement said.

On January 14 at 1:13 p.m. a day before the official visit of Commissioner Hahn, current Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski did not submit the resignation to the Parliament. On December 26, Gruevski said will respect what is agreed to have a new government on January 15. In addition, today in a statement to the media, Special Public Prosecutor Katica Janeva said that the prosecution will have the cases until March 15. The role of the Special Prosecution is to investigate cases from the reported intercepted conversation. Even though, the prosecution started with the work, procedural shortcomings influence the dynamic of its work.

A week before the date of resignation, Gruevski departed to Washington D.C. on a formal visit to Vice President Josef Biden. After the meeting, Gruevski gave a statement, while Biden’s office issued short readout from the visit. In addition, yesterday, deputy adviser to the President for national and security issues, Ben Rhodes fade out Macedonia’s wishes to join NATO at the next summit in Poland, regardless NATO’s open door policy.

“I think clearly NATO has an open door policy and supports the aspiration of states that meet requirements to join NATO. With respect to Macedonia, I think July would be a highly accelerated timeline, so I think there is a process would likely play out over a longer period of time. Countries, like Montenegro took us significant years to meet requirements and thresholds to come entry as an NATO member. We support asspirations, we have an open door policy, we also have a series of specific steps, capabilities, dialogue with NATO that has take a place, before we can get to the complete membership, and I think that is a process likely play out. This would be discus in July. NATO aspirants are often part of the dialogue around Summits, so we can review the progress that has been made and would be able to talk at that point as how far long on that progress country like Macedonia is,” Rhodes said yesterday.

A Note: At 7:00 p.m. Gruevski talked to the public about his resignation.


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