Conference "Regional Security Dynamics in the Western Balkans"
20. November 2011. | 07:03
The general security situation in the region is stable with certain worrying elements and tendencies that have no influence on security in Macedonia.
The general security situation in the region is stable with certain worrying elements and tendencies that have no influence on security in Macedonia. However, it is significant to undertake measures in the international field, agreed participants at regional conference "Regional Security Dynamics in the Western Balkans", organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Skopje and Analytica Think Tank.
Deputy-Defense Minister Emil Dimitriev said in the conference address that all regional countries have the same goal - EU and NATO integration.
"The Western Balkans is still not fully integrated in the collective systems of EU and NATO. We need to work on this field, which would contribute to enhancement of security", said Dimitriev.
According to him, such conferences help Macedonia in voicing its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, reaffirming that the country has met all membership standards.
"Republic of Macedonia actively contributes in all regional and multilateral initiatives, and I believe that through diplomatic activities, the country will soon acquire its deserved spot in international structures", stressed Dimitriev.
Dennis Blease from the UK Defense Academy and former commander of the NATO Headquarters in Skopje said Macedonia is ready to join NATO, investing many efforts and meeting highest standards.
"However, there is no chance to change the concept of consensual decision-making up to the NATO Summit in Chicago, since this has functioned for more than 60 years. Macedonia should and must be a NATO member, but it needs to solve the bilateral name issue with Greece", added Blease.
Lazar Elenovski, president of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, said the Western Balkans is a success story, whereas certain bilateral and regional issues need to be addressed. He expressed belief that organized crime and corruption represent the main security problem in the region.
"There will probably be no enlargement at the Chicago summit, unless something happens at the last minute. Macedonia does not need a summit to become a member. The country has met all criteria, the name issue remains and Macedonia should be the one pushing towards its settlement, because it needs to join the Alliance", emphasized Elenovski.
Chairman of the Parliament's Defense and Security Committee Vladimir Gjorcev assessed peace in Western Balkans is not under great threat, but there is economic-social unrest.
"Macedonia closely follows developments in neighboring countries, and in this regard the country has demonstrated that it possesses the capacity to preserve its security even in times of war in the region", added Gjorcev.
Pertaining to the coming NATO Summit in Chicago, MP Gjorcev said Macedonia would use all options at disposal, although "we are blocked by Greece, which uses the right of veto in an unprincipled way".
Conference participants also analyzed security trends and defense policies of EU and NATO, as well as the possible implications. Moreover, they assessed Macedonia's participation in peacekeeping missions and challenges ahead.