On the 26th anniversary of the Republic of Macedonia’s independence, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung forum conducted an interview with Radmila Šekerinska, the former leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and current Minister of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia.
Asking her on Macadonia’s new policies and what changes will occur, Šekerinska said that the Macedonians spent the last two years protesting, not so that one authoritarian and corrupt government could be replaced with another of the same kind.
Describing the action of the government, she explained “We laid out all the necessary reforms in a concrete plan named 3-6-9, which will allow the public to hold us accountable for our promises and what we deliver. I think it is essential for the public and civil society to closely monitor and challenge our policies and the direction the government is taking.”
The Defense Minister went on to say “We are also committed to regaining people’s confidence in state institutions which is why we have declassified a number of files and processes in the spirit of transparency and accountability. When the eye of the public, civil society and the judiciary is on the decision-makers and their policy, the margin of error or of undemocratic governance significantly drops.”
Describing the philosophy of the current Macedonian leadership, Šekerinska told the source “Beyond ethnic divisions, we reached out to those who were disenfranchised by a system which catered to party interests and blurred all lines between party and state. We made it clear that party membership is a matter of ideology not the center of everyday life. The currency for success will be a good idea and hard work, not allegiance to the new government. We want to end identity politics and bring discourse concerning actual progress to the fore.”
Moreover, the official pointed out that Macedonia along with the other Balkan countries are facing very complex diplomatic challenges as a region. Yet, she emphasized “but those are not the only challenges we are facing. We are also struggling with unemployment, brain drain, low economic growth, corruption, environmental issues, and other problems that directly affect everyday life.”
All the above issues, according to Šekerinska, were the very inspiration for the slogan they adopted which said “Life for everyone.”
Commenting on the interaction between the countries of the region, the Minister concluded “If our regional relations revolve around trade, effective communication, cooperation, and common growth, I think our future prospects will definitely be brighter.”