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North Macedonia encouraged to stay committed to European objectives, despite EU’s ‘unfulfilled promise’ over accession

PACE’s co-rapporteurs for post-monitoring dialogue with North Macedonia have said the EU’s “unfulfilled promise” on opening accession negotiations with the country has “fostered political instability in the country, uncertainty and disillusion” – and encouraged the authorities, opposition and civil society to remain committed to their European objectives and keep working with the Council of Europe.

In a revised information note made public today as part of the Assembly’s post-monitoring dialogue with North Macedonia, Lise Christoffersen (Norway, SOC) and Zsolt Csenger-Zalan (Hungary, EPP/CD) said there was still a “solid consensus” in the country in favour of a European integration process.

But they added: “Despite the positive signal received from the EU in 2020, it was disappointing to see that the EU failed so far to keep its promises, and has not yet managed to open the EU accession negotiations.”

Despite several traumatic events in 2021, North Macedonia has shown resilience, inter-ethnic relations have remained stable, and the emergence of new political parties shows a lively political scene, the co-rapporteurs said, assessing recent developments.

The country has made “many efforts to improve its standards” in recent years, but this progress “needs to be consolidated, and the laws fully implemented”, they said. “The prospect of EU integration could be a strong push factor to make reforms, improve norms […] and eventually improve living conditions.”