July 2, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) congratulates Montenegro for receiving its official date to start accession negotiations with the European Union (EU). Montenegro made significant progress towards achieving the necessary requirements for EU candidate status since becoming independent in 2006. UMD believes this progress is a positive stimulus for the integration of the entire Western Balkans in the EU; however UMD is deeply disappointed with the contemptible politics played towards Macedonia year after year by the EU Council.
While both the European Commission and the European Parliament have recommended starting accession negotiations with Macedonia three years in a row, the EU Council has failed to implement their recommendations. The Council clearly disregards this fact and the fact that Macedonia has fulfilled all criteria for negotiations. UMD is concerned with the EU Council’s repetitive failures to open negotiations with Macedonia due to the irrational opposition by one EU member-state, notably Greece.
“When it comes to Macedonia’s EU progress, the EU Council plays double-standards,” stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski expressing his regrets because the “EU is a long-time prisoner of Greek nationalist policies that negatively affect its image of a ‘just and potent’ actor.” In the meantime, it is the Macedonian citizens, who feel part of Europe and want to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the rest of Europe, but in the same time they are constantly left out of the Union because of Macedonia’s neighbor’s political stubbornness to not see Macedonia in the EU family.
“Macedonia’s starting accession talks to join the EU would not only benefit Macedonia, but the EU, and importantly Greece,” added Koloski. “Greece needs to come to reality that Macedonia exists.”
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