This week European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn has a vital chance to define the democratic standards for candidates for EU membership, and show the lines that they cannot cross, write Heather Grabbe and Goran Buldioski.
Fourteen years since NATO pulled Macedonia from the brink of civil war, the ex-Yugoslav republic once hailed as a success-story of Western intervention is embroiled in a scandal that critics say has exposed its democracy as hollow, and could potentially reopen a dangerous ethnic divide.
Macedonia's opposition leader accused the government on Wednesday (25 February) of illegally wire-tapping around 100 journalists to cement control over the media, the latest revelation in a scandal that Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski blamed on foreign spies.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was due to meet with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Thursday in Brussels. However, a Commission spokesperson announced Monday (23 February) that the meeting has been cancelled.
Macedonia's chief opposition figure accused Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Monday of wire-tapping journalists, religious and opposition leaders, deepening a scandal that has engulfed the European Union candidate country in recent weeks.
Macedonia's decision to ban same-sex marriage is a further blow to its marginalized civil society and will entrench discrimination against LGBT people in the European Union accession state, campaigners said on Wednesday (21 January).
The yearly enlargement reports to be unveiled today (8 October) will be critical of Montenegro, mostly because Prime Minister Milo Djukanović has been running the country as though it were a family business, diplomats told EurActiv.
During his last appearance in the European Parliament in his capacity as EU President, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he did not know about the existence of a Macedonian language, and that this tongue was created by the communists in Tito’s Yugoslavia.
Macedonia's conservative ruling party has secured a third term in office, winning both parliamentary and presidential elections Sunday (27 April), based on preliminary results of the ballot that the opposition said it would not recognise.