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Back in parliament: The MPs from the position and opposition meet for the first time after 15 months

August 31st 2015, Skopje, Macedonia

Mr. Emil Atanasovski, Director of WFD Western Balkans programme addressing the present MPs  at the event. 

After 15 months of boycott, and one day earlier than the officially announced return, the MPs from the biggest opposition party in Republic of Macedonia returned to the parliamentary benches. The reason for their return was the event organized by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Skopje. Key speakers included the Speaker of the Assembly, The British Ambassador to Macedonia, the director of the WFD Western Balkans programme and the key parliamentary whips.

The aim of the event was to mark seven years of cooperation between the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The meeting provided an overview of the implemented activities and also looked into the opportunities and perspectives for future cooperation.

“Four years ago, in this building, I had the pleasure, as Speaker of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia, together with the UK ambassador, to sign the memorandum for extension of the cooperation with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. This was three years after the start of the now long running cooperation between the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia and WFD in 2008. During this whole period, with joint efforts, we worked on straightening the representative, legislative and oversight role of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia.” – said Mr. Trajko Veljanoski, Speaker of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia, at the opening of the event.

In his address to the MPs, the British Ambassador to Macedonia, H.E. Charles Garrett stressed that:

“The Parliament lies at the heart of Macedonia’s democracy. It is, in fact, the heart of Macedonia’s democracy. It is what pumps the blood around the system, bringing oxygen to all the vital organs. It is where laws are made; where ideas are proposed and good ones passed, and bad ones amended or rejected; it is where the executive should be held to account and kept in check; it is where the country must come together, regardless of background. Above all, it is where the people are represented.”

Mr. Emil Atanasovski, Director of WFD Western Balkans programme, made an overview of the activities and the results of the cooperation between the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia and WFD, stressing that WFD continues to be committed to helping the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia to further straighten its capacities. He noted that since 2008 WFD and the main political parties have developed multiple recommendations for improvement of the work of the parliament. Some of them have been implemented and some are yet to be implemented. He stressed that in the time ahead the Macedonian parliament will be faced with many challenges and only though joint and inclusive cooperation between all parliamentary groups those challenges can be resolved. .

The coordinators and representatives of the biggest political parties in the Assembly of Macedonia, were given the opportunity to address their colleagues, the representatives of the diplomatic core, representatives of the media and other participants present at the event.

This event was jontly organized between the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the British Embassy in Macedonia.

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