Wednesday, 11 July 2012
ADDRESS of Mr. Trajko Veljanoski, President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia at the official finalization of the IPA Project- Technical Support for the parliament
Distinguished Ambassador Orav,
Distinguished Ms. Arifi,
Distinguished Mr. Birznietze,
It is my sincere pleasure that today, after 18 months from the beginning of the project for strengthening the capacities of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Integration process and the negotiation process; we are officially finalising the project and reviewing our achievements and results. In the same time, this project is a verification of the achievements of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia noted in the EC Progress Reports on the Republic of Macedonia.
The path to negotiations for the Candidate States’ Governments and the Parliaments is neither easy nor simple. The Parliaments are tingled by the fact that that they are losing part of their competences in the negotiations process, and in the same time they need to make efforts to keep their communication with the electorate- the citizens and to meet their demands.
During this process the Parliament should review and adopt thousands of pages of the Acquis, which should be appropriately transferred in the domestic legislation, and the application thereof is not always welcomed by the citizens.
On the other hand, in the pre-accession phase we are faced with series of constitutional, legislative, institutional and organizational reforms which should be incorporated, making us an equal partner with the Member States’ Parliaments and the European Parliament.
The Assembly must inform the public in details on the benefits from the European Integration and, vice versa, to receive information from the society for the essential issues in the everyday work and living. In addition to the domestic tasks, the Assembly is obliged to promote its role and reforms abroad. This will be executed in the framework of the parliamentary activities of the Member States’ Parliaments and in the European Parliament, seizing every opportunity to promote the Assembly and the Republic of Macedonia as a country which deserves to become Member State of EU. In this context, I consider that the more intensive contacts with our colleagues MPs and MEPs will contribute in the distribution of the information in the European Integration process.
The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia contributed in this Project, purchasing archive equipment for the Macedonian video history of the Plenary Sessions of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, since its independence, as a mark of development of the Macedonian democracy in the past 20 years, as well as in direction of increasing the transparency towards the citizens. In this context and on the basis of the comparative experience, we have opened the EU Info Centre in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, where the citizens can receive information on the news, policies, institutions, history, values and the legislation of the European Union.
The knowledge and the information gained in this project can be applied in the Pre-accession dialogue between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the European Commission, in which the Assembly will have an important role. As a Candidate State for 7 years and as a state which successfully implements the Agreement on Stabilization and Association, the opening of this phase in the relations with the European Union is marked with precise guidelines for our future activities.
The Republic of Macedonia and its institutions welcome the opinion of the Commission that the enlargement process should be credible for all Candidate States, especially those that are progressing in the achievement of the Copenhagen criteria. Nevertheless, it must be underlined that the goal of this dialogue is to provide a new impetus of the reform process, strengthening the trust in the European Perspective of the Country, and this dialogue is not a substitute, but a bridge to the opening of the accession negotiations with the EU.
The Membership in the European Union means implementing many basic reforms. In the Republic of Macedonia, this process of reforms and harmonization with the Acquis is comprehended as a need to achieve the European standards and rise the competitive power of our economy. The Assembly, as a true representative of the citizens has a especially significant role in the process of incorporating the principles, standards and values of the European Corpus in the everyday life.
The successful finalization of this project for strengthening the institutional capacities of the Assembly is another proof for the preparedness of the institutions to open accession negotiations with the European Union. I sincerely hope that the European Commission and the European Council will consider the preparedness and the reforms of the Republic of Macedonia and will determine the date on opening accession negotiations with the EU, since this is the strategic goal of all political parties and the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
Finally, I would like to express sincere appreciation to all participants in this project,