Interview of Radmila Shekerinska for the BBC – Beyond 100 days – 14.12.2018

Shekerinska for the BBC: We have emerged stronger from the crisis and showed that with the right policy and leadership Macedonia has become again a positive Balkan example for the EU and NATO

Minister of defence Radmila Shekerinska was a guest in one of the BBC central news programmes “Beyond 100 Days”.

Announcing the interview, the correspondent from the Washington studio, Katty Kay, presented Macedonia as a country that wants a seat at the EU table and the NATO table, after 10 years of nationalist rule and the new government elected on a ticket of anti corruption and economic reform is now pushing to get ahead. Reporter Christian Fraser also talked with the Minister in the studio in London and he asked Shekerinska why does Macedonia want to be a member of the EU.

- We have gone through the 90s. We have gone through the difficulties of Yugoslavia falling apart and we know how important it is to have stable governance, to have decent democratic values, and to belong to something which is better and bigger. And in these were the key issues that have emerged from our citizens.
Being asked about the events of 27 April and the pictures of violence in a country that wants to be a member of the EU, Shekerinska said:

- You know, democratic and serious countries get into trouble, and I think that the key question is how do you prevent that. Macedonia has been going through a protracted political crisis that was going on for the last 3 years, and it was specifically the lack of checks and balances, the lack of anti-corruption efforts, and of course a lot of pressure on media, on opponents, on businesses, that have left the country into such a situation. But you know, Macedonia is a small country, and it manages to recover its strength rather quickly. Not more than 7 months have passed from these images, and we are talking about the country that can actually be a beacon of hope for many, many Balkan countries, especially. We are a very diverse country, ethnically, religiously, politically speaking, and we have emerged from this crisis as a more united, more cohesive country. And this is at least this is what I heard from my colleagues in Bosnia or Kosovo, or elsewhere in the Balkans, this is a reassuring sign, that you can actually go through the ordeal, but with the right policy, and with the right leadership, you can actually make your country stronger. So, the new government is really focusing very much on the democratic reform agenda. We have, I think, come up with tangible results, very decent elections where we got the endorsement of a wide part of our population, and I think that we are again the positive Balkan example both for the EU and NATO.

This is the link to the interview with the Minister of Defence Radmila Shekerinska and the transcript of the interview.