In a recent response to a parliamentary question by left-wing MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis about the “highly nationalist and ethnic rhetoric of the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama” during the Macedonian political crisis which eventually led to the formation of the current Zaev government, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has stated that “EU representatives, in their statements, but also through direct contacts with political leaders, are perpetually warning that any form of provocative rhetoric, internally or externally, should be avoided.”
Papadimoulis’s full question:
FYROM has been reeling from the ongoing political instability, leading to an escalation in the political and inter-ethnic divide. Matters have intensified with regard to the climate of political rivalry, the continuing uncertainty in the matter of government formation and the lack of prospects in lifting the political deadlock. The media are silenced, the independence of the judiciary is challenged, violence and conflicts are escalating.
The alarming situation in FYROM is exacerbated by the highly nationalist and ethnic rhetoric of the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and the Kosovo policies, attempting to disorientate public opinion from the real problems of poverty and widespread corruption. These phenomena endanger the stability and development of the Western Balkan countries, as well as their European course.
In this context, Greece is a pillar of stability, peace, and security in the region, contributing to the strengthening of democratic dialogue, legality and the rule of law.
Having said that, can Ms Mogherini and the Commission say:
- What specific de-escalation initiatives does it intend to take in the region, as part of its political mandate and respecting the related UN mandates?
- What view does it take of the provocative statements which challenge the principle of independent and territorial integrity in the Western Balkan countries?
Recent visits by the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission, the President of the European Council and the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement clearly demonstrate the EU’s full and ongoing commitment to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and a region as a whole.
The EU’s presence and engagement in the western Balkans is crucial for the region’s peace and stability as well as economic recovery. In that regard, the EU expressed its readiness to work with the new government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who already made some positive steps towards stabilisation of relations with its neighbours.
EU representatives, in their statements, but also through direct contacts with political leaders, are perpetually warning that any form of provocative rhetoric, internally or externally, should be avoided.
The EU has been promoting peace, reconciliation and regional stability through dialogue and compromise, and will continue to do so.