Address by the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov,
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:40   

PRM_obrakanjeDistinguished citizens of the Republic of Macedonia,

In the performance of my official duty as President of the Republic of Macedonia, I have always acted with responsibility towards and full respect of the Constitution, laws and interests of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.

On January 11, 2018, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia passed the Law on the Use of Languages, without a prior public debate, scientific debate or inclusion of the academic and expert milieu, as well as without the opposition.

Even before the Law was passed, on several occasions, I pointed to the fact that it is not good to reopen already absolved issues for the sake of gaining short-term political credit, and to the detriment of the lasting interests of the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian people.

In my last annual address I underlined the point that this Law was to be labeled with a European flag, without the existence of an actual European directive implying the harmonization of Macedonian legislation with the European Union's acquis. With this law, the Republic of Macedonia will perhaps become the only European country that imposes conditions for membership in the Union that no one even requires. In order for the absurd to be even greater, even the observations of European Union representatives were not respected and were ignored.

The European flag has been misused in order to pass a law with simple majority – a law that will amend systemic laws that are themselves passed with a majority of two thirds.

This law introduces very costly parallelism in all state bodies, which will in turn lead to their full blockage and non-functionality. In conditions of blockage, there is a danger of opening the issue of constitutional redefining and jeopardizing the unitary character, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia.

Instead of building a multi-ethnic society in the spirit of dialogue and coexistence through just and generally accepted laws, we are passing an unjust and repressive law favoring only the Albanian language.

Therefore, taking into consideration my observations on the incompatibility of the Law on the use of Languages with the Constitution, but also the expressed views of both expert and general public on the unconstitutionality of this Law, and on the basis of Article 75 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, I have made the decision not to sign the Decree proclaiming the Law on the use of Languages.

Today I sent a letter to the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia informing them that I will not sign the Decree proclaiming the Law on the use of Languages. Attached to the letter is a detailed legal rationale of my decision.

I urge the Member of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia to carefully consider my remarks. I expect that they act in a responsible and conscientious manner, because it is the only way to reach a comprehensive and genuine promotion of the use of languages, without creating divisions in the process.

Thank you.

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