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The recent interview with Blue Europe member Sonja Stojadinovic on Cross-border Talks[1] explores the implications of North Macedonia’s recent elections: the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE party’s victory reflects public dissatisfaction with the ruling left-wing SDSM. Key issues discussed include:

  • Corruption: SDSM failed to dismantle the entrenched corruption from previous regimes, comprising also nepotism in the public sector, leading to public disillusionment.
  • Economic challenges: The party’s inability to address economic challenges and improve living standards contributed to its defeat.
  • Identity politics: Controversial policies regarding Macedonian identity and disputes for the EU accession with Bulgaria and Greece also played a role in the election results, leading to a more polarized political scenario.
  • Ethnic issues: Widespread corruption and family ties among current Albanian and Macedonian political figures have further contributed to the ethnically divided society.

Future challenges in a complex scenario

Looking ahead, the new government faces significant challenges, including managing relations with the EU and addressing integration concerns; tackling economic reforms, reducing emigration and ensuring better governance; restoring public confidence by fighting corruption and improving transparency; and strengthening the judiciary, which has long received low marks in European Commission reports.

Stojadinovic emphasizes that while the victory of the VMRO-DPMNE marks a change, the underlying problems of corruption and economic instability remain pressing, along with a blurred vision of the country’s foreign policy direction. The interview underscores the importance of systemic change and effective governance for North Macedonia’s future stability and growth.

References

  1. Vladimir Mitev (May 2024), “Sonja Stojadinovic: The Macedonian left-wing SDSM lost the election, because it did not dismantle the Gruevski regime of nepotism and harmed the Macedonian identity.” Cross Border Talks. Available at https://www.crossbordertalks.eu/2024/05/13/stojadinovic-mk-elections-en/
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