The European Parliament’s report on North Macedonia 2021
This report looks at the 2021 Commission report on North Macedonia. The European Parliament reiterates its clear support for North Macedonia’s commitment to democracy and rule of law, underpinned by its strategic pro-European orientation, and unwavering commitment to European values, EU-related reforms and the process of EU integration, as well as with good neighbourly relations and inclusive regional cooperation.
The report underlines the need to further strengthen the legislative, oversight and budgetary capacities of the Assembly of North Macedonia, while reducing parliamentary polarisation. It emphasises the need to further advance the judicial reform, strengthening institutional independence, funding, quality, coordination and transparency of the judiciary and the functioning of its self-governance bodies. The text highlights the need to finalise the electoral reforms, in line with the outstanding OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission’s recommendations and to further align the legal framework for online and offline media in accordance with the EU acquis and European standards, thereby ensuring its independence from political interference. The report welcomes North Macedonia’s faster than expected recovery and increased economic growth in 2021, as well as the adoption of the Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.
Regarding the fight against corruption and organised crime, the report welcomes the progress made under the “Action21” anti-corruption plan and urges the authorities to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement bodies to fight organised crime, terrorism and radicalisation. We encourage ongoing steps to building further trust among communities and the functioning of a multi-ethnic society and democracy, while recalling the importance of upholding the rights of all communities and effectively tackling all instances of discrimination. We urge the relevant bodies to proactively prevent and systematically prosecute all instances of hate speech, hate crimes and intimidation, to thoroughly investigate related attacks and to ensure the safety and security of their targets, such as journalists, people belonging to minorities and other vulnerable groups. The report welcomes the ongoing endeavours of the authorities of Bulgaria and North Macedonia aimed at strengthening good neighbourly relations and building a respectful relationship based on mutual trust and closer people-to-people contacts. It calls on Member States to officially open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The European Parliament commends North Macedonia’s swift alignment to the EU sanctions against the Russian Federation for the war of aggression against Ukraine, increasing the country’s alignment to EU’s foreign and security policy to 100%.