Minister Pusic: Events in Macedonia warning to all of us

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusic attended a meeting of the Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe. In her address, Pusic recalled that CoE was founded on the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, adding that today we are faced with crisis in the Southern Mediterranean, Eastern Partnership countries and Ukraine, which, Pusic said, was a victim of war on its own territory. “We have terrorism and growing extremism in the neighbourhood, as well as in our own countries – maybe not sanctioned, but certainly within the political arena and our societies,” Pusic said, mentioning countries “squeezed between dictators and terrorism”. According to her, ‘soft power’ is retreating and we are put in a position where we have to justify our order and values. In the process, Pusic said, it was discovered that institutions, democracy, human rights and the rule of law often get distorted while travelling from the West to the East. The concept of free market becomes a market controlled by the mafia, free media is transformed into tabloidization, while independent judiciary becomes judges appointed by nepotism and the corrupt political elite. “The conclusion we can draw is that, while we are confirming the values from the European Convention on Human Rights, we have to rethink our methods and strategies of conveying and advancing these values in our neighbourhood”, Pusic said. Pusic also addressed the situation in Macedonia, which she described as chaotic in more ways than one. “That"s a big warning to all of us because much of what is going on there is the result of the fact that the country was stopped on its path of development and meeting the standards, which was a condition for its admission to international organisations such as the European Union. We must not repeat this mistake in other cases,” she said. In conclusion, Pusic congratulated Belgium on the presidency of the Committee of Ministers and wished all the best to the next president, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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