Final Conference organized by EACM as part of the project “The Impact of the Euro-Atlantic integrative Processes on the Inter-ethnic Relations”. Print
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:28

On 11 November 2016 at the ERA Centre, Skopje, Diplomatic Hall, starting at 10:30 am, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia held its final conference as part of the project "The impact of the Euro-Atlantic integration processes on Interethnic Relations" .


The research which lasted 6 months was aimed at exploring the public stances in respect of the effects that the Euro-Atlantic integrations would have on the overall inter-ethnic relations in the country. In addition to the research, EACM organized 4 public debates in four regions in Macedonia which among presenting the results of the research were also aimed to raise awareness on these issues of importance, outside of the capital. The aim of the final conference was to present the results of the research, and to encourage a debate on the relationship of the Euro-Atlantic integrations and the improvement of the inter-ethnic relations in the country.

The conference was opened by Mr. Ismet Ramadani, President of ATA Macedonia, who in his introductory speech emphasized the need for inter-ethnic dialogue and understanding as a prerequisite for successful integration of Macedonia in NATO and EU. He further pointed out that economic development and uniform standards are crucial in the promotion of the interethnic relations in the country.

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The Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Mr Arber Ademi said that all ethnic groups in the country regardless of their political ideology should strive towards a common goal i.e. for a successful integration of Macedonia into the EU and NATO. He noted that the integration means fostering inter-ethnic relations and that the survey conducted by the EACM is of paramount importance in this respect.

The Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association, Mr. Jason Wiseman, welcomed the research and stressed its importance and tremendous value for the Macedonian endeavors in becoming a NATO member. He made a comparison between the situation in Belgium and Canada and the one in Macedonia which according to him are illustration of multi-ethnic society and a mix of different cultures. In this regard, he concluded that improvement of interethnic relations in the country can be viewed as political leverage in Macedonia's efforts toward full integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

At the end of the first panel session, Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, member of the Presidency of ATA Macedonia, presented the results of the research and also highlighted the importance of the research for the Euro-Atlantic path of Macedonia and the importance of the recommendations that will be disseminated to the institutions and policy makers.

According to Mr. Trifun Kostovski, Executive Director of the Business Club of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, which opened the second panel, NATO and the EU represent postulates of equality and other values that are crucial for the progress of society. He stressed that the Euro-Atlantic integration have the capacity to positively affect the business community in Macedonia and to improve the business climate which is very important for the promotion of the interethnic relations. He noted that Macedonia should invest more in infrastructure, capital investment and energy projects which are important for fostering the inter-ethnic relations in the country and its Euro-Atlantic integration processes.


Prof. Diana Gupta, President of ATA BiH, in her speech drew a parallel between the interethnic relations in Macedonia and interethnic relations in BiH. She observed that, similarly as in Macedonia, BiH is faced with stagnation in its economic development; the religion is consumed as hatred, while the politics is impeding the Euro-Atlantic processes. She underlined that the Dayton Peace Accords has undermined the inter-ethnic relations in the country rather than to advance and to promote them. She pointed out that cooperation is a key element in building a multiethnic society.

Dr. Rizvan Sulejmani, University Professor, explained the impact that globalization has on the overall processes and noted that one country in following global trends and developments should open its borders and be integrated into the broader security and economic structures.
Dr. Zidas Daskalovski, University Professor, assessed the interethnic relations in Macedonia as minimal and limited between elites, but also determined by geographical distribution. In his speech he raised the question whether the constant support of NATO and the EU is substantial or just instrumental and underlined the risks of potential ethnic strife if the name dispute is not resolved. Finally, he stressed the necessity of innovative solutions directed at strengthening the democratic capacities as a precondition for the successful integration of Macedonia in NATO and EU.


Mr. Albert Musliu, Political Analyst, deliberated upon the subject noting that in Macedonia there is a long tradition of coexistence. He emphasized the necessity of strengthening the Euro-Atlantic reform and the need the Ohrid Framework Agreement not to be viewed as a social valve, but as a cohesive factor and a tool for increasing confidence in the institutions.