Saturday

23rd Feb 2019

Macedonia PM to go as part of EU-brokered deal

  • EU commissioner Hahn (c), flanked by PM Gruevski (l) and opposition leaders Thaci and Zaev. (Photo: European Commission)

Macedonia's four largest political parties have reached a deal that will see prime minister Nikola Gruevski resign and is hoped to ease tensions in the former Yugoslav republic.

The agreement was brokered by EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, three MEPs, and the EU and US ambassadors to Skopje.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The EU commission announced the deal on Wednesday morning (15 July).

Under the deal, Gruevski's government “will submit its formal resignation to parliament in due time to enable the new government to be sworn in on 15 January 2016”.

His party will nominate a new prime minister to lead the transitional government, whose tasks “shall be limited to the organisation of the early parliamentary elections”, to be held 24 April 2016.

The political crisis began in February when opposition party SDSM released wiretaps that showed corruption in Gruevski's ruling party.

In May, the political crisis turned violent when 14 ethnic Albanians and eight policemen died during a police raid.

The violence triggered EU member Bulgaria to send soldiers to its border with Macedonia as a cautionary measure.

In June, politicians reached an EU-brokered agreement, but some details, such as the future role of Gruevski, were left to discussion.

These details have now been addressed.

Among them is also that SDSM will return to Macedonia's parliament, which it had boycotted, on 1 September.

The opposition party will also nominate several (deputy) ministers, to be appointed on 20 October, who will stay on in the transitional government.

The deal also established a special prosecutor who will investigate “the interception of communications”. This investigator will start by 15 September.

In a social media message, commissioner Hahn said the agreement “keeps the door open [to Macedonia] for the Euro-Atlantic perspective”, i.e. the possibility of an EU and/or Nato membership.

Opinion

Does Hahn get the Macedonia crisis?

Last week’s statement by Hahn on Macedonia’s election record comes at a terrible time and gives the impression he's out of touch with reality.

Opinion

Macedonia: the EU's democratic dilemma

If the EU gives its blessing to April elections in Macedonia under present conditions, it will let slip a unique chance to protect democracy in the Western Balkans.

News in Brief

  1. May to meet Tusk on Sunday at Arab summit
  2. Report: Russia offered Italy's Salvini €3m for EU election
  3. EU and US could 'quickly' clinch mini-trade pact
  4. Belgium to gather evidence on Syria 'foreign fighters'
  5. Dozens of Tory and Labour MPs threatening to quit over Brexit
  6. UK will struggle on free-trade deals, EU says
  7. Juncker pledges climate action alongside Swedish activist
  8. Swedbank brings in external help on money laundering revelations

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Brexit and Orban in spotlight This WEEK
  2. Swedish activist urges EU to double climate goals
  3. EP budget chair seeks clarity on Saudi lobbying and College of Europe
  4. Microsoft warns EU on election hack threat
  5. Brexit talks to continue after May-Juncker meeting
  6. Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all
  7. EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling
  8. 'No burning crisis' on migrant arrivals, EU agency says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us