Optimistic creative ideas for the name dispute

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Bruce Jackson, president of the Project on Transitional Democracies and long-standing supporter of Macedonia’s NATO accession, believes the country’s Alliance and EU perspective will be clearer by the end of 2013.

“I hear a lot of creative ideas from the European Commission, which is optimistic. I believe an agreement can be reached in the issue. As the U.S. economy recovers and the European one improves, one can be optimistic that 2014 will be a good period to pass political decisions in NATO. I believe the Chicago proposal to put Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Georgia in one group is not fair, placing our best candidates in the same group with states having structural problems. There are two qualified candidates – Macedonia and Montenegro”, Jackson told MIA.

He criticizes the prior engagement of President Barack Obama on the issue of Europe as a whole and the standstill in the NATO enlargement.

“The Obama administration has not done nearly enough for the Balkans, especially for Macedonia. President Obama is known for his lack of interest in foreign affairs, especially for Europe. State Secretary Clinton has excellent experience on the Balkans, but it has not effectuated in her mandate, which is not her fault. I believe President Obama was not interested in the Balkans, thus giving no instructions to Assistant-Secretary Gordon to do the job. No one did anything for the Balkans in Chicago. The President believes Macedonia has been a NATO member for five years, the situation exists even without the accession treaty. Why should the President waste his prestige on such an issue, when people die in many other places and there are serious threats to global economy””, says Jackson.

According to him, Greece is the main obstacle in the name row settlement, adding its economy would continue to sink in 2013.

“The rule was that we should not tell Greece anything about the name row because they were too strong, NATO and EU members. Now we should not tell Greece anything because they could break up as a country tomorrow. Their economy has been dropping for five years and they’ve still not hit the bottom. There is a threat of their complete economic decay and abandonment of institutions, thus solving Macedonia’s formal EU accession. However, Greece’s economy is large enough to drag Macedonia and the entire region into default”, underlines Jackson.

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