VNR: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: EU perspective cements society together
On 9 November 2005, the European Commission released its opinion on the readiness of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to become a candidate country for EU accession. After Slovenia and Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is the third of the ex-Yugoslav republics to have officially applied for EU entry. The EU integration prospect is very important for the Macedonian citizens, composed of a majority of Macedonians of Slav origin, and a quarter of the population Albanian.
We portray the mayor of an Albanian municipality, to see how decentralisation of power works at local level.
We follow the Chief of the Border Police, a newly-established service in this country where borders where until recently controlled by the Army. Border control is now in civilian hands, a pre-requisite to get closer to EU standards.
An effective police goes hand in hand with an efficient judiciary, an area seen by the EU as very problematic in the country. We interviewed the President of the Judicial Council of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as a European Commission expert working on judicial reform, to understand the problem. We illustrate with pictures of a court hearing in Skopje, related to high-level corruption.
Adopting European democratic values is essential for this Balkan country. We see how a well-known Macedonian TV journalists tries to explain Europe to his viewers. And we understand from the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia how essential the EU perspective is for the future of the country – any doubt about the commitment of the EU to integration the country in the long run would mean a return to the past. And the recent past in this troubled region means war and destruction