On the eve of the start of the session of the Macedonian Assembly, which will officially start the procedure for changing the Constitution by adding to the Preamble several other nations whose parts live in Macedonia in addition to the majority Macedonian people, we will emphasize once again that as an intra-party faction we support this change of the constitution.
First of all, I would like to remind you that the Constitution of Macedonia has been opened or changed 8 (eight) times since it was adopted in the last thirty-two years. It was first changed already in January 1992 with amendments 1 and 2, or just less than two months after its adoption. Then in 1998 with amendment 3. The biggest and essential changes were made in November 2001 with amendments 4 to 18, during which the Preamble was completely changed in its meaning and essence. Then it follows the change of the constitution with amendment 19 in December 2003. In December 2005, the Constitution of Macedonia was amended again with amendments 20 to 30. In January 2009, amendment 31 was added. Then in April 2011, the constitution was changed with amendment 32. And in January 2019, the last amendments were made, for now amendments to the Constitution of Macedonia with amendments 33 to 36 which refer to the change of the constitutional name of the state, but also repeated changes in the Preamble.
Thus, after eight amendments to the constitution, this should be the ninth time and the third time that the text of the Preamble has been changed – supplemented by the specific entry of several more parts of peoples living in Macedonia.
With this addition, no essential changes are made in the Constitution and there is no real danger of reducing someone’s rights, especially endangering the identity of the Macedonian people, the Macedonian national identity, the Macedonian language and culture.
Amendments 4 of November 2001 and 33 and 34 of January 2019 directly changed the Preamble of the Constitution of Macedonia and redefined Macedonia as a state, and in the purified text, the Preamble today reads as follows:
The citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Macedonian people, part of the Albanian people, the Turkish people, the Wallachian people, the Serbian people, the Roma people, the Bosnian people and others, taking responsibility for the present and the future of their homeland, aware and grateful to their ancestors for the sacrifices and the dedication in their efforts and struggle to create an independent and sovereign state of North Macedonia and responsible to future generations for the preservation and development of everything that is valuable from the rich cultural heritage and coexistence in North Macedonia, equal in their rights and obligations towards the common good – the Republic of North Macedonia – in accordance with the tradition of the Republic of Krusevo and the main decisions that are stated in the Proclamation from the First Session of ASNOM to the Macedonian people for the held session of ASNOM and the referendum of September 8, 1991, which expressed the will to create an independent sovereign state and the Ohrid Agreement, constitute the Republic of North Macedonia as an independent sovereign state, with the intention to establish and strengthen the rule of law, to guarantee human rights and civil liberties, to ensure peace and coexistence, social justice, economic well-being and progress of personal and common life, through its representatives in the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, elected in free and democratic elections adopt this CONSTITUTION.
When we already have a factual situation, which I am clearly presenting to you so that it is completely clear to you how the Preamble of the Constitution of Macedonia reads in its entirety today, two key questions arise that we need to answer ourselves:
1. For what reason and for what purpose is there a need to re-open the Constitution and supplement – change the Preamble in the first place by adding to it by name parts of peoples who live in Macedonia in small numbers?
2. If the need to amend the Constitution of Macedonia is determined, what will be done specifically, that is, what will be specifically or fundamentally changed first in the Preamble?
It is necessary to answer these two questions, because eight changes have already been made to the constitution, of which the changes in 1992, amendment 2, the changes in 2001, amendments 4 to 18, and the changes in 2019, amendments 33 to 36, made the essential changes in the Constitution. of Macedonia and thereby effected radical changes on the character of the state.
Hence, it is necessary to answer the two key questions we asked ourselves, and we will explain it:
1.The reason and purpose for which the Constitution is changed and the Preamble amended by specifically naming parts of four other peoples living in Macedonia as constitutive, but minority and different from the majority Macedonian people and separating them from the term “others”, is starting negotiations with the European Union.
If we want to argue about this situation, whether there is a need to separate these four parts of peoples (Bulgarian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Jewish), we can argue. We can argue about the motives why some insisted on their separation and emphasis in the Constitution. All these issues should be debated, no matter how useful such a debate is, but the most important thing is to give ourselves an answer that the opening of the Constitution of Macedonia and its addition at this moment and in this context has a single purpose, and that is to start the negotiations with the European Union for full membership of Macedonia.
Starting from the question posed in this way and the answer given, we can be free to state that “there really is a need to open the Constitution and supplement it”, that is, to supplement the Preamble in the first place.
This conclusion is not arbitrary at all, but is based on the strategic determination of Macedonia (including all political parties) for our membership in the EU.
If Mickoski, as the current president of our party VMRO-DPMNE, has not changed the strategic goals and determinations of the party for the membership of Macedonia in the EU, and we have not been informed about this for the time being, we see no reason at all for the deputies of VMRO-DPMNE to support the NEED for opening of the Constitution of Macedonia and initiation of the procedure for constitutional changes.
As an intra-party faction in VMRO-DPMNE, guided by the party’s strategic goals and its basic decisions for Macedonia’s EU membership, we do not see any logic in obstructing the opening of this procedure, which should enable us to open the way to the EU. First of all, this is a political issue that is directly related to our state and party political decision on membership in the EU, so from that perspective we do not see anything controversial to start the procedure for constitutional changes with a decision that there is a need for such a thing – a change to the Constitution of Macedonia (for the ninth time).
2.The answer to the second question, after the determination of the need to change the constitution, is actually the readiness of the political stakeholders to enter into the material discussion after the constitutional amendments. That is, to make a specific analysis and insight of the government’s proposal for the content of the proposed constitutional amendments, or, in what words it will be done, what wordings it will contain and how it will essentially and practically affect the state of Macedonia and its constitutional arrangement.
Starting from the above political discourses and ways of thinking, in practice there is a real possibility in the stage of public, political, expert and any other debate, for Mickoski to politically explain his pro and con positions in relation to the proposed constitutional amendments and specifically to tell us what this essentially, according to the proposed amendments to the Constitution, will affect the current constitutional position of Macedonia as a state, that is, what will be the concrete consequences for the state and the Macedonian people.
A little later, during the parliamentary debate on the amendments proposed by the government, MPs of VMRO-DPMNE (as well as all other MPs) can submit their proposed amendments. This means that we, as VMRO-DPMNE, can open a material debate in the Parliament regarding the content of the changes in the constitution and impose our views within the limits of what is possible and propose our own amendments. In this context, as an intra-party political faction, we are ready to help the party in this direction.
Of course, we should be aware that we, as VMRO-DPMNE, are not alone in the Assembly and that the material discussion itself should be primarily in the context of us taking drastic proposals for constitutional changes in the direction of changing the essential provisions already established, especially in the Preamble.
The basic point that VMRO-DPMNE should adhere to is that the need for constitutional changes is necessary due to membership in the EU, and within that framework a material discussion in the Parliament is undoubtedly needed after the proposed constitutional changes. Through these actions, as a state-building political party, we will send several strong and concrete messages to the Macedonian people and the Macedonian nation, as well as to the international community.
1. That VMRO-DPMNE is a pro-European political party;
2. That it respects the democratic principles of action in the Assembly of Macedonia and demands and expects the same from other political parties in Macedonia;
3. That we support Macedonia’s entry into the EU and specifically work in that direction;
4. That we take care of the strategic interests of Macedonia, the Macedonian people and the Macedonian nation;
5. That VMRO-DPMNE takes care of the uniqueness of the Macedonian people, preservation of the Macedonian national identity and preservation and promotion of the Macedonian language and culture and by supporting the membership of Macedonia in the EU;
6. That we are a party that supports the development of the homeland;
7. That we are not a nationalist and chauvinist party and that we have nothing against any people living in our homeland Macedonia;
Many other messages that will certainly be received and understood by everyone who loves Macedonia, especially by the entire Macedonian nation. This is a great chance for our VMRO-DPMNE to once again become a leader of the European ideas and integration of Macedonia, which was embedded in the foundation of our party since its foundation, because the constitutional amendments open the way to the EU, and we as a national party must not be unreasonably against or not actively participate in that process.
After all, if Mickoski and his leadership understood the messages from the international community, and if they work for the interests of Macedonia, the Macedonian people and the Macedonian nation, there is no doubt that there is no doubt about the entry of VMRO-DPMNE as an active actor in the process of constitutional amendments.
P.S: And finally, so that there is no doubt about the fact that the intra-party faction does not follow the daily political developments. We see and know very well what is happening and what poisonous fog is being thrown these days. We appeal to calmness and not to fall for the provocations devised and organized by power centers that do not want Macedonia to be part of the EU and aim to destabilize Macedonia, but also the region through the use of ethno-political conflict potential to the extent of causing an escalation of ethno-political conflict process. We already saw this “movie” in 2001, when after signing the “association and stabilization agreement” they organized and imposed an internal armed ethno-political conflict on us. We have already written about this, so twenty-two years later the same scenario is repeated with new actors. Precisely in this direction of preventing the escalation of ethno-political conflict, VMRO-DPMNE has a historical responsibility to move Macedonia towards the EU, and it does not ask for personal political cost, because it is about creating favorable conditions within the EU. for the survival of the identity of the Macedonian people and the Macedonian national identity.

Oliver Andonov

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