Facing a tight EU reform schedule, Macedonia’s prime minister will seek consensus on speeding the neccessary changes in a meeting with political party leaders on Friday.
Hoping to promote the rapid passage of related legislation, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has summoned the head of the opposition, Social Democrat’s leader Branko Crvenkovski and the leaders of the primary Albanian opposition parties, New Democracy’s Imer Selmani Democracy and Menduh Thaci from the Democratic Party of Albanians, for discussions.
Gruevski’s Albanian coalition partner, Ali Ahmeti from the Democratic Union for Integration, will also attend.
The summit takes place after several failed attempts over the summer to build agreement in parliament on key laws that the country needs to win a recommended date for the start of EU accession talks this October.
It is then that the European Commission, EC, will issue its annual progress report on the country. Skopje hopes it will include the starting date recommendation, but the EC has warned that this will only be the case if Macedonia fulfills all the necessary reforms to synchronise its legislations with EU standards.
During his Thursday’s visit to the country, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn urged a speedy wrap up of Macedonia’s reform process, which includes changes to the judiciary, policing and public administration, in the next two months in order for the country to have a chance to secure the desired date.
If Macedonia falls short, this would be the fourth year in a row, since the country became an EU candidate state in 2005, that it has failed to meet the necessary criteria for the initiation of accession talks.
In his letter of invitation to the meeting, Gruevski reassures the party leaders that his government is doing its utmost to achieve a positive report from the EC this October.