A report to improve the conduct of parliament and the press was approved by unanimous consensus.
By Marina Stojanovska for Southeast European Times in Skopje -- 30/08/13
Borce Davitkovski, president of the ad hoc commission of inquiry, announces the results of its work. [Tomislav Georgiev/SETimes]
The Macedonian government's decision to sign off on a commission report that closes the inquiry into a raucous parliament protest allows the country to continue the EU integration process, analysts said.
The Commission of Inquiry was created in March to sort out the events in parliament of last December, when parliamentary security ejected the opposition MPs during a heated debate on the state budget. In the chaos, security also cleared out journalists, which in turn led to an opposition boycott.
The commission's report includes 11 recommendations to improve the work of parliament; these are to be implemented by a special parliamentary commission.
They include specifying a procedure to adopt the state budget; open a dialogue with journalists about acceptable working methods to ensure greater transparency; and separate the jurisdiction of parliamentary security from interior ministry officers.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, whose mediation led to an agreement in March that provided for establishing the commission, welcomed the conclusion of the commission's work and the unanimous consensus it reached on the final report.
"This shows that constructive solutions can be found, with political will, through dialogue and compromise. I look forward to the follow-up and implementation of the recommendations contained in the report, as well as of the rest of the March 1st political agreement," Fule said in a written statement.
The achieved result helped address the pressing domestic political issues, but it also shows that EU integration continues to be important to all political parties, Fule added.
The EU's recommendations for Macedonia's EU accession, to be published in October, depended on a positive outcome of the commission.
Commission President Borce Davitkovski said he was right to be optimistic about harmonising the commission members' views despite huge initial differences.
"The fact that the two political parties VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM found the strength to obtain a final solution is a great step for Macedonia towards EU integration," Davitkovski told SETimes.
Davitkovski said the result is proof of the political leaders' democratic capacity, which put aside narrow political interests for the benefit of the country.
"The implementation of the recommendations from this agreement that includes amendments of the parliamentary rules and procedures and the Law of Parliament are in the interest of us all, in the interest of the development of the democracy as is appropriate for a European country," Davitkoski added.
A different outcome would have been disastrous for Macedonia's EU integration process, according to Mersel Biljali, professor of international law at FON University in Skopje.
"We would have risked the recommendation for the initiation of EU negotiations unless reason and the interests of the country prevailed. That could have increased EU skepticism. Now, this [development] will give a positive impetus to the other issues that Macedonia needs to accomplish in order to obtain a positive report from the European Commission this fall," Biljali told SETimes.
What can Macedonia do to ensure the commission recommendations are implemented? Add your opinion to the comments section.