Macedonian opposition is blocking the adoption of ‘Open Balkans’ laws.
The Macedonian opposition has blocked the passage of several laws in the assembly related to the Open Balkans initiative due to transparency issues and doubts about their actual effectiveness.
The agreements on free access to the labor market, cooperation in the areas of veterinary medicine and food safety, and communications and electronic identification have been blocked in the Macedonian Assembly committees led by the opposition party VMRO DPMNE.
“When we get information about the purpose of the initiative and what it brings to our country, we can sit down and discuss more concretely about supporting or not supporting this initiative.”said party leader Hristijan Mickoski.
He is also waiting for Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski to invite him to a meeting to explain what North Macedonia wants as part of a regional group with Serbia and Albania.
The leaders of these three countries believe that the “Open Balkans” initiative between Belgrade, Tirana and Skopje aims to make the movement of goods and people between the countries easier and more advantageous after the signing of trilateral agreements.
Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina have declined to take part, fearing it could jeopardize their path to the EU, while Montenegro has yet to decide.
The EU’s response has proved muted. While she has said she supports regional cooperation, the Berlin process – which aims to speed up the countries of the region’s accession processes to the EU – remains critical.
According to some critics, the forging of closer alliances with Serbia is a cause for concern and poses a security risk for the region as it refuses to impose EU sanctions on Russia and is actively signing agreements for closer cooperation with Russia in areas such as foreign policy.
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