Following the universal principles of respect for differences, nonviolence and participative democracy, and following the basic principles of the Framework Agreement (rejection of use of violence in pursuit of political aims; preservation of Macedonia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and inviolability of the unitary character of the State; preservation of the multi-ethnic character of Macedonia's society; fully meeting the needs of all its citizens and the development of local self-government), with firm conviction that answers to problems should always be sought through open and lasting dialogue, based on full mutual respect and confidence, we, the representatives of the civic organization, present the following
We support the development of decentralized government
We support the Framework Agreement as the only possibility for democratic transformation of the Macedonian society and integration of Macedonia into the European Union.
Decentralized government is not only an essential part of the Framework Agreement, but also has vital meaning for the respect and nurturing of the identity of the communities and for the development of the direct local democracy.
The process which resulted with the proposal for territorial organization of the local governments in Republic of Macedonia was nontransparent, disregarding the principles of participation of all stakeholders, public involvement, openness, and sincerity toward the citizens, which are all necessary while generating such crucial changes.
Behind ethnic problems lurk hidden political party interests
Behind part of the dispute regarding the territorial organization lurk hidden political party, group and personal interests.
Escalation of mistrust
The municipal referenda organized by the opposition and the non-parliamentary political parties were a response to the visible majorisation of power conducted by the government during the previous phase of the proposal for territorial organization. Now the situation has escalated to the point that certain political structures prepare a national referendum which might involve risks of ethnic majorisations which would, most certainly, lead to endless spiral of referenda, with ethnic designations.
Ending the escalation of party and ethnic polarization
We demand determined end of the escalation of political party and ethnic polarization.
We demand that political parties, individuals, and all participants in the public debate refrain from use of violence, and threatening and hate speech.
Joint solution for the territorial organization
In this situation, we demand that the president of the state open a process of joint pursuit for solution of the territorial organization, which will include active and sincere participation of the political parties, signatories of the Framework Agreement, and the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI).
Support for use of the languages of the communities
We support the use of languages of the communities and regard that it does not endanger the use of the Macedonian language.
Small communities also make up the multiethnic character of Republic of Macedonia
The ethnic communities of Turks, Serbs, Vlachs, Roma, and Bosniaks have been left on the margins of the process of political negotiations for territorial organization of Macedonia, which produces great damage, both to democracy and the multiethnic character of the state.
Because of that, and in order to preserve the multicultural character of Macedonian society, we demand consistent use of the principle of nondiscrimination and fair representation of the small ethnic communities, as well as the right of use of their language even when they do not consist 20% of the population of the local self-government.
Territorial organization and interethnic relations
It's completely clear that the ethnic criteria played essential role in several solutions proposed by the government. We would hereby like to express our dilemmas whether this act has been consistent with the basic principles and the spirit of the Framework Agreement.
We also consider that the government has to provide a completely open explanation if, by applying the ethnic criteria during the territorial organization, it provides mechanisms of sufficient quality to exclude the risks of starting the processes of canonization and federalization upon ethnic basis, and endorsing ethnic cleansing in any form.
Decentralization of the Framework Agreement
In order to build trust in the future local self-governments, and in order to nurture the climate of trust, we demand appliance of the principles of the Framework Agreement, both on national, but also total implementation on local level, and in cases where the members of the majority Macedonian people represent a minority community on local level.
This should include nondiscrimination and fair representation and special voting procedures in municipal counsels, according to Badinter's rule.
Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC)
First Children's Embassy in the World "Megjashi"
Foundation Open Society Institute - Macedonia (FOSIM)
Post Polio Support Association "Polio Plus"
Union of Women Organizations of Macedonia (UWOM)
Center for Strategic Research and Documentation "Forum"
Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI)
Center for Institutional Development (CIRA)