Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). In February,
the EU issued an unusually sharply worded warning to
Macedonia, which was then a candidate country for just over
a year. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn called the
development in the country "alarming" and aimed, among other
things, on the tensions between the dominant Conservative
government party VMRO-DPMNE and the largest ethnic Albanian
party BDI/DUI. Demands were set for continued
democratization, anti-corruption and reform of the
CountryAAH, some Albanian members, mainly from BDI/DUI, boycotted
Parliament during part of the year. Another Albanian party,
PDP, first took part in the boycott but joined in May
instead of the government coalition.
In connection with a debate on changes to the electoral
law in September, a fight broke out inside the parliament
building between representatives of two Albanian parties.
Outside, activists blocked off roads, and several people
were eventually arrested by police.
In its autumn report, the European Commission felt that
Macedonia was not ready to start membership negotiations.
The government was criticized for a large number of
officials being fired after the change of government last
year and for lack of dialogue with the Albanian minority.
The trial of former Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski
began in April at the UN Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia. Boskovski and a high ranking former police
officer were charged with the murder of ten Albanians in
connection with the unrest in Macedonia in 2001. They were
the only Macedonians charged with war crimes by the court in
A national day of mourning was announced when the Toše
Proeski star died in a car accident in October. Proeski, who
turned 26, was a UNICEF ambassador and very popular
throughout former Yugoslavia. Thousands of people attended
the state funeral held in honor of the star of his hometown