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PACE calls for increased co-operation with 'the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' to encourage it to continue its democratisation efforts

Strasbourg, 27.06.2013 – PACE proposed today that co-operation with the authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” be stepped up and expanded, in particular through the opening of a Council of Europe office in Skopje to encourage the country to pursue its democratisation efforts.

In the resolution adopted on the basis of the report by Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EDG) concerning post-monitoring dialogue with the country, the Assembly underlines that “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is facing multi-level challenges to secure its political stability and social cohesion.

Given the persistent tensions between the communities, the Assembly encouraged the Macedonian authorities to continue the effective implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) – which aimed at improving the rights of non-majority communities after the 2001 interethnic conflict – to promote the cultural and linguistic rights of minorities and to pursue the decentralisation process.

Noting that public life remains highly divided along political and ethnic lines, the Assembly urged political parties to engage in a constructive dialogue. To ensure the proper functioning of parliament, it called on the authorities to debate the findings of the investigations by the commission of inquiry on the events in parliament on 24 December 2012, which sparked a political crisis, leading the opposition to boycott parliament until an agreement was signed on 1 March 2013.

PACE also welcomed the reforms undertaken by “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” to amend its legislation and implement the newly adopted Criminal Procedure Code, while urging it to promote the establishment of an impartial justice system so as to restore public confidence in justice. It also called on the country’s authorities to intensify efforts to reduce corruption, combat discrimination (in particular against Roma) and guarantee full media freedom.

The Assembly resolved to pursue its post-monitoring dialogue with “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, against a background in which “serious doubts remain as to whether there is sufficient political stability in the country to carry out the reforms at a regular pace”.