Aleksandar Nikoloski with invented “facts” about the conclusions from the Luxembourg ministerial meeting
During the discussion on the program “Top Tema” on the TV channel Telma, immediately after the end of the ministerial meeting of the EU member states in Luxemburg, where the issue of starting the negotiations with our country was postponed for October, the Vice President of VMRO- DPMNE presented a series of facts that could be considered invented/created, in order to alter the image of this event and attack the government for “incompetence”.
During the discussion on the program “Top Tema” on the TV channel Telma, immediately after the end of the ministerial meeting of the EU member states in Luxemburg, where the issue of starting the negotiations with our country was postponed for October, the Vice President of VMRO- DPMNE presented a series of facts that could be considered invented/created, in order to alter the image of this event and attack the government for “incompetence”
Author: Ljubomir Kostovski
The EU member states will return to the issue of opening negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania in October at the latest. This is the outcome of the meeting of EU foreign ministers that was held on Tuesday, 18 June, in Luxemburg. In sum – they saluted the Prespa Agreement and the Treaty with Bulgaria but postponed the matter of giving a date for starting negotiations due to short timing. Our situation is almost identical with Albania in regard to the formulation for postponing this matter. This was the topic for debate in the program “Top Tema” on the TV channel Telma with Simonida Kacarska from the European Policy Institute, the State Advisor for European Policies and Coordination, Dragan Tilev and Aleksandar Nikoloski, Vice President of VMRO-DPMNE.
During the debate, the vice-president of VMRO-DPMNE presented a series of facts that can be considered invented/created, in order to alter the image of the conclusions from the meeting in Luxemburg. Here are some of them.
Firstly, the debater Nikoloski stated that in March this year, the political leadership of four EU member states suggested to the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia that it should lower its expectations for the start of negotiations with the Union, without mentioning which were these countries and politicians.
SPIN: Several countries have produced their own reports and they have been submitted to the Government. Because they have been submitted, I can say they are very different from the Report as a whole prepared by the European Commission. The aim was to draft the government to make improvements in the meantime, but there isn’t anything like this… The government expected that it would receive two or three benchmarks to be fulfilled by October, in order to get a decision in October for starting negotiations, but there are no such benchmarks… And in the best scenario, it is questionable whether by December 2020 we would get a date for negotiations – noted Nikoloski.
(Source Top Tema on Telma from 22 min. date: 18.06.2019)
COUNTER-SPIN: The expert Tilev, who participated in the debate, noted that we as a country have contacts with all the diplomats in the country, as well as with politicians who decide on major issues in the Union during certain meetings, but such announcements of delays, benchmarks and similar facts are not known to him.
We are constantly receiving certain benevolent advice, for almost 15 years, with different focus from certain countries… The Report involves more factors than we know. The EC collects information from all diplomats in the country, all non-government organizations, and only information that can be proven or acceptable can enter the Report. If it is a matter of speculation or unproven assertion, of course, it will not find a place there – said the expert Tilev, who previously was an adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Regarding the benchmarks, he stressed that “the European Commission recommends that the unconditional negotiations should start …now.” Thus, Tilev emphasised, there are no conditions and no delays.
The expert Kacarska, after Tilev’s reply, stated that if there were such great disagreements from some countries, they would have to be shown in the conclusions from the Luxembourg meeting, but there were none. “There are no additional conditions in this document,” she underlined and allowed everyone to interpret for themselves. (from 26 min.)
* * *
The Vice President of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikolovski, in an attempt to restore his thesis about a hidden and invisible resistance to the start of negotiations with our country, which is also invisible in the European Commission’s Report, put forward the thesis that there are still powerful opponents.
SPIN: At first, France was a problem, now Germany is a problem, then we had a triad against Chancellor Merkel … That minority (which Han mentions) is made up of countries that, by the number of residents or economic power, are the majority, i.e. they are the strongest member states of the EU – said the Vice President of VMRO DPMNE. (from 34 min.)
COUNTER-SPIN: The editor of the Macedonian newsroom “Deutsche Welle”, Boris Georgievski, joined with his own report in the discussion.
The main reason for postponing the decision on the date for starting negotiations is the hearing in the Bundestag, which is to be held in autumn. The German government cannot change its decision without the support of its Parliament. If the hearing is held by the end of September or early October, there should be no obstacles for Macedonia to start negotiations, at least not from Berlin. The State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry, Roth, today confirmed that the German Bundestag will give a recommendation no later than October.
Georgievski then carefully revised the German newspapers. From them, it can be also concluded that in the European capitals there are dilemmas whether Albania is no longer in the combination (Paris) or it is almost certain that Albania falls out (Berlin and The Hague). It is indicative that Johannes Hahn, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, does not mentioned Albania in his last speech. Thus, for North Macedonia, there are no obstacles. (from 36 min.)
The Foreign Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák, who arrived in Skopje the following day directly from Luxembourg, said none of the 28 EU member states opposed the opening of negotiations with Northern Macedonia at a meeting of the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
There was not a single member state that said “no” to North Macedonia. Member states have a problem with Albania and this is a dilemma which we must contemplate and deal with. There is one resolution from the Dutch Parliament, stating that they are opposed to an invitation for Albania, and I think that the government in Tirana should use this period until October to deal with such concerns from the member states regarding Albania. They said that this is not the time to expand, and that we should focus on Brexit and consolidation, but the prevailing opinion is that your country has done excellent things with the Prespa Agreement and has done a great deal of work with the reforms. It is now our responsibility to finish our part of the homework and send you an invitation. I expect this to be materialized in October – Lajčák said at a press conference with the Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov. Lajčák arrived in Skopje in the capacity of chair with the OSCE.
Therefore, much of the facts presented in the program “Top Tema” by the Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski can be considered as political spin and false.