Macedonian Youth on Study Visit to BrusselsDecember 7th, 2012 Education | Macedonia | News | The European Union
For the second time this year, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (JHS) arranged a study visit to Brussels for youth from the Macedonian ruling party, VMRO-DPMNE. The study trip, which lasted between 26 and 29 November, included visits to EU and NATO. The participants, mostly students, were members of the youth branch of the VMRO-DPMNE or active in local politics.
Two of the top priorities of the Macedonian government have been memberships in EU and NATO. Macedonia was ready to join NATO, but the infected name dispute with Greece made an entrance impossible in 2009. NATO member Greece claims that Macedonia is in fact a region in Northern Greece and that it has the right to the name.
The arguing about the name has also postponed a future membership in the EU. Macedonia almost fulfils the conditions for joining the Union, but must find a solution to the name before a membership could become reality.“The popular support for memberships in EU and NATO was until recently fairly hundred percent in Macedonia, but people start to lose patience.”, one of the young politicians said.
The study trip to Brussels began with a visit to Macedonia’s EU Ambassador, Dr. Andrej A. Lepavcov, who gave a briefing on the application process for a EU membership. At NATO, the young delegation met with Balkan experts as well as Macedonia’s own representative to the defense alliance.
The visit proceeded at the Commission, where the participants were introduced to the main EU institutions and major political processes. At the center-right party organisation, European People’s Partys (EPP) headquarter, they learned about the role of the EPP in the Union.
Before leaving Brussels, the group met with the Swedish delegation of the Moderate Party in the European Parliament, and listened to one of the youngest members of the European Parliament, Radvilè Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė from Lithuania.
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