MEPs discussed the European Commission's 2015 progress report on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during the European Parliament's plenary session this evening.

The Commission draws up a progress report on all the so-called “enlargement countries” or countries that are candidates or potential candidates for EU accession every year.

During the debate, GUE/NGL shadow rapporteur, Sofia Sakorafa, emphasised that with the 2015 report, the Commission and the Parliament were approving “the regressive negative effects of the country's current situation that would inhibit any worthwhile progress.”

She continued: “These developments are fully confirmed: the systemic deficit of the country in key areas culminated in the postponement of the April elections. The Copenhagen and political criteria relating to the rule of law, the functioning of democratic institutions, freedom of expression, legal independence and press freedom are in no way near to what we have in our European acquis.”

As for the crucial issue of refugees, Ms Sakorafa said “it's an insult to categorise FYROM as a 'reliable partner' when it violates international treaties on a daily basis with its closed borders, refugee quotas and incidents of violence”.

On the name issue, she said it is not a bilateral issue between Greece and FYROM. “It's an open international question and the only way to solve it is to continue negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.”

MEP Sakorafa concluded: “Resolving disputes strictly within the framework of good neighbourly relations is an essential element of the enlargement process.”


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

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