Vote on 2012 progress report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
- extracts from the debate (22/05)
- extracts from the vote
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 15/05/2013 First transmission: 15/05/2013
While Bosnia and Herzegovina is still far from meeting the conditions for the entry into force of the stabilisation and association process with the EU, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is ready to launch accession talks, MEPs said in two separate votes on Thursday. They insisted that all candidate and potential candidate countries for EU membership must be treated on their own merits. "The EU is rightly welcoming progress between Serbia and Kosovo. Those leaders didn't have to show less courage than what is required today between leaders in Athens and in Skopje. But equally I ask the European Council to understand that when you are in a queue and find yourself continually pushed past, at some point you walk away from the queue altogether," Richard Howitt (S&D, UK), rapporteur for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, said, asking the member states to start accession talks with Skopje without delay. The resolution says that the start of accession negotiations could itself be a "game-changer" for the current status quo, giving positive impetus to further reforms and better relations with the country's neighbours. It also stresses that the name issue must be solved without delay and that all political forces must respect the country's parliament as a key democratic institution.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg
||Extracts from the debate (22/05) - SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, Irish Minister of State for European Affairs: "It's vital that the political leadership in the country sustains and develops the EU integration process despite the difficult background and the circumstances. I know that this Parliament shares this view and that you will use your contacts to help to achieve this".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Štefan FÜLE, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy: "I remain deeply concerned by the follow up to the political crisis that affected the country last winter".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Štefan FÜLE, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy: "While efforts are continuing to get the committee of enquiry up and working, the results have been slow. These delays and the current political dialogue between the parties raise doubts about their commitment to fully implement the 1st march agreement, a message I conveyed very clearly to the Prime Minister Gruevski".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Richard HOWITT (S&D, UK), rapporteur: "Europe is rightly welcoming progress between Serbia and Kosovo. Those leaders didn't have to show less courage than what is required today between leaders in Athens and in Skopje. Indeed I fear it is only progress on the name issue which can now keep hopes alive in June. But this Parliament does ask clear questions to the European Council too: Are you using the challenges of the country as a convenient excuse? Have you really considered what would happen if this country slides back towards conflict and fragmentation? Looking at the last year, does the European Council accept its own responsibilities resulting from the delay and rejection? Do you understand that when you are in a queue and find yourself continually pushed past, getting further and further from the front, at some point you walk away from the queue altogether?"
||Extracts from the vote (23/05) - EP Vice-President Rainer WIELAND opens the vote on 2012 progress report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
||Final vote and result: 505 votes in favour, 61 against and 31 abstentions. The resolution is adopted.