Friday, 22 October 2021
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT XHAFERI AT THE CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS OF PARLIAMENT THE COMMON FUTURE OF ALL EUROPEAN CITIZENS
Distinguished President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Constantine Tassoulas,
Distinguished President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Mr Rik Daems,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to greet you on behalf of the Members of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia and on my personal behalf and to extend gratitude and congratulations to our host for the excellent organization of this Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe, for more than 70 years, developing a unique system of conventions, essentially assists the improvement of the democratic institutions of Europe, the development of the rule of law, as well as the protection and promotion of the rights of all European citizens. The Council is necessary more than ever before, now, when the world faces new challenges, so that we can successfully surpass them, avoiding creation of new lines of divisions and jointly shape the future of the citizens of Europe, following the European values, needs and expectations.
It seems that we are slowly exiting the pandemic crisis and it is time to reflect where we are and where we want to be in the years to come. We have the responsibility to empower increased democratic participation, aiming the citizens, especially the youth to feel represented in the political and economic system which should be tailored to their needs. As state we pay great attention to the youth participation, hence in 2020 we have adopted the first Law on Youth, accompanied by youth policies and providing broad, inclusive and wide approach to the youth participation, aiming to strengthen the youth participation in the policy making process, their active information, protection of their interests, as well as rising the awareness for the importance of the youth and their social role. In addition, we are focused on the current post – pandemic healing, which is more than needed, considering the consequences caused by the pandemics on the healthcare and economic systems of the states. Certainly, we are focused on the new generation of rights, decrease of pollution, green and digital transformation, as well as more efficient reaction to climate changes. In this context, we allocated a special programming the budget, counting also on the possibilities offered by the international financial institutions.
Today, the European Union holds a Conference on the future of Europe, as a public forum for open, inclusive and transparent debate with the citizens on numerous key priorities and challenges. We, as a candidate state and the rest of the Western Balkan States are included in the debate, aiming to confirm our aspirations for membership and to contribute in the promotion of the European Project, proving that our membership will additionally strengthen the Union. In regard with the efficient treatment of the human rights, democracy and the rule of law, in addition to the efforts invested by each state, it is my personal pleasure to be part of the Council of Europe, which is in the best position to develop the vision for the common future of the citizens of Europe, since it is in position to involve the key stakeholders of the Continent, including the Governments through the Committee on Ministers, the Parliaments through the Parliamentary Assembly, local and regional governance as well as the NGOs through the Conference of the International NGOs. It is important to think and to act in same direction, to set aside the individual interests and to focus on the connecting points, which are the joint and are necessary for all citizens. Let is try and win back or return the trust that the citizens have in us, as bearers of the legitimacy awarded to us by them. Satisfied citizens mean loyal citizens, since strong state mean strong region, while strong region means strong Europe.
The Republic of North Macedonia celebrates 30 years since its independence, 25 years since our membership to the Council of Europe, but also 20 years since the ratification of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. All these anniversaries are signs of our growth and maturing, but also a strong basis for our conclusion that we, as a state, have achieved significant success in the implementation of the values, principles, aims and standards which are the foundation of the Organization.
I wish you fruitful and successful work!