REPORT SUBMITTED BY THE ASSOCIATION FOR DEMOCRATIC INITIATIVES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN MACEDONIA
Republic of Macedonia is a member of the Council of Europe.
Republic of Macedonia has a total surface of 25,713 km3 and has 1,945,932 inhabitants according to the 1994 census (2.033,964 according to newer information).
Macedonia is located in the central part of Balkans and it borders with FR of Yugoslavia and Kosovo in the North, with Bulgaria in the East, with Albania in the West and with Greece in the South.
Macedonia is substantive, sovereign, independent and democratic country, with a parliamentary system of the governmental constitution.
Administrative structure of the state is divided in 123 Municipalities Local self-governments and the city of Skopje. (As a separate unit consisted of more local self-governments).
Skopje is the capital of Macedonia.
Bigger cities in Macedonia are Skopje, Tetovo, Bitola, Kumanovo, Ohrid, Gostivar and Prilep.
The power in RM is divided on Legislative, Juridical and Executive.
The President of the Republic represents the country, respectively he is in front of the country and he is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
The carrier of the Legislative Power is the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia that is single chambered
The Assembly is consisted of 120 MP-s that are elected by secret voting, the current legislative foresees election of 40 MP-s by the proportional model wherein RM is one election unit and 80 MP-s are elected by the majority model. The mandate of the MP-s is 4 years.
The executive power is officiated by the Government, respectively the Governmental Cabinet (The President of the Government and the Ministers).
RM is a country with a multiethnic and multi-confessional population. According to the official results of the last 1994 Census of the population and the household, the national structure of the population is as follows:
4,6% Serbs, Vlak and others
A large number of the citizens of RM of all nationalities emigrated in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and Italy and in USA.
In Macedonia the major part of the population is Macedonian,
In the western part of Macedonia major population are Albanians, and in some smaller localities Turkish or other nationalities that live in Macedonia.
A brief content of the history of Macedonia in the 1980-2000 period
(For the Macedonians, Albanians, Turkish, Roma)
For a better view of the overall happenings and the direction that new independent Macedonia took in its further development, it is worth mentioning the last years of the previous system. It is important to mention the first years of the Parliamentary Democracy, the period of the independence and some other happenings that took place after the independence of Macedonia.
In 1989 the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. These changes meant qualitatively negative change for the state of the nationalities in Macedonia; respectively they were excluded from constitutionality of the state. So, as collectivities they were no longer representing a constitutive element of the state, but only as individuals, but this was not the case with the ethnic Macedonians.
The changes made to the Constitution meant strengthening of the special criteria that were practiced upon the nationalities, especially towards Albanians, Turkish and Roma. The special criteria were consisted of labeling the capable Albanians, Turkish and Roma. It all began with the massive differentiation and discrediting of the intellectual staff. Arrests were made even for banal reasons as for mentioning Albania or the prominent personalities of Albanian culture or history. As an excuse for the arrestment reasons as illegal arm possession, singing nationalist songs, celebrating significant dates of the Albanian culture, etc were used. In the period of 1981-1989 mass destruction of books published in Tirana took place, regardless were the authors of the books Albanian or foreign, but translated into Albanian and published in Tirana. This went so far that even house libraries were inspected. It was enough for the police to gain information on possession of such books and to use it as an excuse for inquests and searches of houses as well as to begin investigations.
As one of the more primitive forms of pressure towards nationalities was the demolishing of courtyard fences of the Albanian, Turkish and Roma houses, by the excuse that it is done for reputed cultural emancipation of the nationalities and for their more successful integration in the society.
The Organs of Internal Affairs composed a list of forbidden names, and those names couldnít be personally used. The excuse for this repression was that by using these names the irredentism and separatism strengthens and the feeling of mutuality is demolished. The fact that a significant number of the members of the nationalities were already using these names, respectively they were given these names before the list of the forbidden names was composed, was not considered.
The studying opportunities in Macedonia have rapidly reduced (both in Macedonian language and in mother tongue), employment in governmental institutional have become almost impossible, and all this was done using different excuses like supposedly participating in the Kosova Demonstrations in 1981, (in Gostivar in 1985-7 a massive political differentiation was done to the leading political and intellectual staff using the excuse that they attended the funeral of Xhemil Islami killed in a traffic accident, but allegedly with separatist views), but other reasons/excuses were used like inadequacy of the educational programme in the University of Prishtina ( most of the Albanian intellectuals due to the ability to study in their mother tongue had finished their studies in the University of Prishtina) invalidity of their degrees, etc.
At the time the number of jobs in enterprises was additionally reduced, regardless the fact that it was low in relation to the employees who were of Macedonian ethnicity. The consequences of these are felt even today, namely except the effects the nationalities felt in that period such as unemployment, forced to migrate to foreign countries because of the inability to find work, etc., the consequences of this small inclusion of nationalities in enterprises automatically excluded the members of nationalities from distribution (privatisation) of the socially owned mutual property under favourable conditions, for the reason that the chosen privatisation model favoured the employees in enterprises during the process of privatisation ( this was also created as a result of the work from all and by means of self contributions - separate contributions which were paid by the population as taxes). So that the nationalities participated in this process with 2-3 %. (Due to this disproportionality with jobs in enterprises, the Albanian political representatives proposed a privatisation model with vouchers, where all Macedonian citizens would equally take part in the privatisation and to redistribute the socially owned property, but the Macedonian Parliament did not accept this proposal)
There were only a small number of nationalities that were in the Government of Republic of Macedonia in the 80ís, only 2%. The state establishment via special means as well as the stressed Albano-phobia over the last 20 years and especially from 1981-1990 did massive slandering, arrests, murders, driving people out of their homes, labelling using the state propaganda machinery, but also through attempts of discrediting the respected representatives of the nationalities in front of their own people. This was only done to disable them from becoming leaders of their own people.
The establishment introduced the term Honest Albanian, and that was a way to discredit the real leaders while on the other hand the so-called Honest Albanians were given higher positions in the structures of the state security. This was done to obstruct the real organisation of nationalities towards achieving their rights.
The amendments to the constitution of the R of Macedonia, the inability to find work as well as a range of other happenings in the society in Macedonia were reasons of an increased immigration of a great deal from the Turkish population from Macedonia to Turkey. Although this phenomenon was more expressed in the 60s, the same is present till the latest times. Those Albanians, who were not willing to declare themselves as Turks, were forced to find their own way out migrating to The Western European countries and North America. The Roma community in R Macedonia in their historic development was always next in this whole situation. By the end of the 90s, the Roma community almost had no financial resources, nor special programmes delivered to reinforce both their financial and educational status. The number of Roma who had higher education was very small, and Roma people owned no more than 30 craft shops. Because of this job discrimination they were forced to find alternative solutions to generate revenues such as illegal trade, begging, etc. All this caused significantly unfavourable position for the Roma community when redistributing the socially owned assets from the period of 1990-2000. From the aspect of political organisation, with the introduction of the plural system in Macedonia in the year 1900, the first Roma Political Party was established Party of the Full Emancipation of the Roma PER and the first Roma parliament member was elected in the Macedonian Assembly.
The election model (Majority) did not allow proper representation of the Roma in the Macedonian Parliament. In the second parliament make up two Roma representatives were elected, but with the new election decisions and the reshape of the election units, in the third parliament composition only one Roma representative was elected. Following the new territorial division of the municipalities, conditions were created for a Roma representative to be elected for Mayor in the Municipality of Shuto Orizari (One of the new municipalities within Skopje).
The exact data of the number of employed, educated as well as officials of the Roma community are not yet available to the wider public.
Economically and politically, the minorities have been eliminated from their participation in the distribution of labour and the material wealth acquired in the socialism as public capital, working organisations, factories, shops, apartments and land. They have not received almost anything but all the above remained in the hands of the Macedonians.
Important dates about the independence of the R of Macedonia
During the period of collapse of the FRY on 8th September 1991 a referendum was held in Macedonia for sovereign and independent Republic of Macedonia.
Following the referendum, the Macedonian Assembly passed the declaration of independence of the Republic of Macedonia, on 17th September 1991.
The first constitution of the R of Macedonia was passed on 17 November 1991.
The Macedonian Assembly elected Mr. Kiro Gligorov as first president of the Independent Macedonia.
Republic of Macedonia became a member of the UN in 1993.
The act of independence of the R of Macedonia was supported by the nationalities and they saw in it bigger opportunities for achieving their rights and freedom. For achieving this more adequately, the nationalities of R of Macedonia established their own political parties.
At the beginning Albanians established two parties, Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP) and Peopleís Democratic Party (PDP), who at the first free elections appeared jointly. In 1993, due to inter-party discord, as well as for having different views on solving the inter ethnic relations in Macedonia, a group of politicians left the Party for Democratic Prosperity and they established a new political party, The Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDPA). The same party joined Peopleís Democratic Party in 1997 and was establish the existing Albanian Democratic Party.
The enthusiasm of the political representatives as well as the overall Albanian nationality in Macedonia, sprung up when the first constitution of R of Macedonia was passed, which was against the aspirations of the Albanians as well as other nationalities. The decisions of the new Constitutions leaded towards proclaiming R of Macedonia as a National State of the Macedonian people. These constitutional decisions didnít meet the political aspirations of the ethnic representatives and the same people didnít favour the constitution due to the above.
As a response to the disagreement with the adopted model of the Constitution, the representatives of the Albanian political parties organised a Referendum in 1992, for forming a Political - Autonomous Unit named ILIRIDA.
The response of the Albanian population to this Referendum was over 90 % and almost 100% of the voters were for Autonomy.
The emphasised mistrust in the new political government, who promoted the Macedonian ethnic component in every aspect of the social and political life, leaded towards creating mistrust of the nationalities in the institutions of the system, where by the way, the number of ethnic employees was still disproportionately low. Also, this leaded to greater objection of the Albanian representatives to the results of the census of the year 1991, where the number of the Albanian people didnít correspond to the figures the Albanians disposed. Consequently, in 1992 Peopleís Democratic Party and the Party for democratic prosperity conducted a re-census in parts of the country where Albanian population live. The obtained results indicated that there are 30 % ethnic Albanians that live in Macedonia, (itís also worth mentioning that with the newly passed bill on citizenship as well as the way of doing the census in 1991, the total number of the population was reduced to more than 150.000 citizens in relation to the previous census). The Albanian representatives claimed that these people are citizens of R of Macedonia, and that most of them were Albanians whose status wasnít regulated yet.
The new and existing constitutional legal decisions didnít satisfy even the educational requests of the Albanians, so that from the very beginning of the new plural parliament, the representatives of the Albanian parties stressed their needs for education in their mother tongue for High Education. The insufficient response of the Macedonian ethnic representatives to this requests, resulted with an initiative to establish a third University in Macedonia, where the lectures would done in Albanian language and the venue in Tetovo (a city in western Macedonia where Albanians are a majority). This initiative was supported by the representatives of the Albanian political parties and three municipalities in western Macedonia whose Mayors were Albanians (Tetovo, Gostivar and Debar). With the legal regulations for High Education those days, a right for establishing institutions for High Education had as well the social and political communities (municipalities).These municipalities on behalf of the institutions they represented signed the document on establishing a high education institution in Tetovo. Representatives from several NGO-s, mainly made up of Albanians also signed this document. This was due to a educational discontinuation, namely there was a reduction of educational provisions in the level of higher education, since before the independence of Macedonia, most of the Albanians studied in PrishtinŽ University in Albanian Language
Among the constitutional decisions, which the representatives of the Albanian political parties perceived them as discriminating, was also the inability to use national symbols. Concerning this, the decision made by the Mayors of the municipalities who had the majority Albanians to use the Albanian flag in front of buildings of the 23 municipalities resulted with a ban by the Constitutional Court to use these symbols. The refusal of the Mayors and Councils to enforce this decision resulted with a mass police action in Gostivar and with smaller emphasis in Tetovo on 9th July 1997. In this intervention 3000 policemen took part using fire power, in which two young people were killed and the third one died the following day from injuries that he received from the police. Over a 1000 people were harassed, beaten up, arrested and insulted in this police intervention. As a consequence of this intervention was the arrest of the Mayors and Chairmen of Councils in Tetovo and Gostivar. (The first sentence for the Mayor of Gostivar was 13.8 years, but the same sentence was reduced to 7 years under the pressure from the domestic and international community).
Subsequently, there were other trials that were conducted in bad conditions and heavy police presence and during which the investigation process wasnít respected at all. It is worth mentioning that the police intervention followed only a few hours after the bill on using the flags of the nationalities was passed. This bill was passed with an urgent procedure that even legally regulated the use of the flags of the nationalities and was effective immediately. Even though not in the requested capacity by the Albanian political parties).
The population of R of Macedonia is increasingly growing regardless of the bad social and economic situation.
According to the latest registration in 1994, the population of Macedonia is 1.945.932 inhabitants. Since then the number has increased and reached the figure of over 2 million inhabitants.
The next registration of the population and households will be held in 2001.
59.8% of the population live in towns
40.2 % of the population live in villages
The percent of the population according to their gender is 51% males and 49 % females
Less than 14 years old of the population are almost 24.9%
From 15 - 64 years old are 66.5 %
Over 65 years old 8.6%
Principal economic indicators
Following the declaration of Independence, R of Macedonia faced a big number of negative factors: The old system inherited from the FRY, the difficulties of the transition from central plan economy to market economy, the dispute with Greece regarding the name of R of Macedonia and the various blockades both in the northern and southern border, the collapse of the federation and regional conflicts (wars) in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, all of these led to big confusions in the business and economy.
The gross home production in the first years of independence of Macedonia was very small, but after 1995 we have growth in the GHP.
In 1999 the total Gross home production was 183,908 million denars, and the gross domestic product per inhabitant was 1.801 dollars.
The monthly revenue in the year 2000 was increased by 8.6 %
The number of unemployed in 1998 was 258.900 persons, whereas in the year 2000 is 336.000 persons.
Public policy in terms of protecting the national minorities
A legal base on developing a policy for enhancing the status of the nationalities including activities aimed at knowing the needs of the national minorities, are outlined in the Declaration of independence of the R of Macedonia in the Constitution of the RM from the year 1991 and in other legal acts adopted by the Assembly of the RM.
A big number of international documents and protocols from the field of human rights and minorities, RM has signed (most of them) and ratified such as:
Universal declaration on human rights,
International convention for civic and political rights supplemented with a shadow protocol, a declaration at the general assembly of UN on the 47th session for the rights of persons who belong to national, ethnic, religious and language minorities,
The section on human rights from the final act at the OSCE meeting (Helsinki 1 August 1975),
Hague recommendations on the rights of the minorities in the field of education
Oslo recommendations about language rights of minorities and other international documents.
Republic of Macedonia signed the FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES on 25 July 1996. This was also ratified by the Macedonian Assembly on 10 April 1997 and was effective on 1 February 1998. According to article 9 from the Constitution of the RM, the Framework convention became part of our national legislative.
Whilst it is a signatory of these documents, the public policy of RM towards the nationalities is pretty restrictive and the achievement of obligations that come out from the these signed documents will be shown in public adversely, like these are obligations that are required by the International public, not like activities with which the living conditions will be improved to a part of citizens of the country.
The control for respecting the legislative, for securing the human rights and the rights of the national minorities enforces the Constitutional court of RM and Peopleís Attorney.
The Assembly has founded a Council for inter ethnic relations. This Council is consists of the president of the Assembly, two members from each nationality, Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Vlak community and two members from the rest of the nationalities.
These Council reviews issues on inter ethnic relations and gives views and suggestions for their resolution. The Assembly is obliged to review these views and suggestions and to make a decision about them.
Ditto, there is a working body Inter ethnic Relations Committee within the Assembly.
In the year 2000, the Macedonian President met the leaders of every political party of all nationalities for reviewing the situation with the state security of Macedonia and many other issues related to the inter ethnic relations.
Direct activities for implementing the Framework Convention
There are no specific activities undertaken in RM to implement the Framework Convention in the domestic legislative.
Informing the public about the Framework Convention
The citizens of Macedonia are inadequately and untimely informed about international legal documents for human rights and for protection of national minorities. These activities are most frequently promoted by NGO.
The text about the Framework Convention for protection of national minorities was published in the official gazette of RM no. 11/97 on 11 March 1997. But the Macedonian Government didnít hold any promotional activity.
An Albanian MP at the Macedonian Assembly raised the initiative for ratification of the European Convention for Regional and languages of the minorities during 2000, but the Parliamentarian majority and the Government rejected it. The government then announced an initiative for adopting the domestic legislative with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and that the ratification of the convention for regional and languages of the minorities will be next on the agenda. So, this is the first time the government to announce some measures towards adapting the domestic legislative with the obligations that come out from the Overall Convention for protection of national minorities. But, no accurate information on which parts of the legislation and about which parts of the Framework convention were given.
Protection of national minorities and the rights and the freedoms of those minorities are an integral part of the international human rights watch and, as such, represent an area of international co-operation.
In the area of protecting the national minorities and the rights and a freedom of subjects of those minorities, RM co-operates with the following international organisations: UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, UNESCO, etc.
RM is a member of the Council of Europe from 9th of November 1995.
RM has signed and ratified the following international documents, which relate to the protection of the rights of nationalities.
1. The European Convention for Human rights and basic freedoms
Ratified 14 April 1997
As well as protocols 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 11 of this convention
2.The European Convention for Local self-government
Ratified 6 June 1997
3. The European Convention for Torture Prevention and inhuman behaviour or punishment
Ratified 6 June 1997
As well as protocols 1 and 2 of this convention
4. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Ratified 10 April 1997
5. The International Convention for civil and political rights
effective from 18 January 1994
6. The international convention for economic, social, and cultural rights.
effective from 18 January 1994
7. The international convention for eliminating all forms of racial discrimination
effective from 18 January 1994
A declaration for recognising the power of the Committee according to article 14 from the convention
effective from 22 December 1999
8. The international convention on the rights of the child
effective from 2 December 1993
According article 9 of the Macedonian Constitution, all citizens are equal in front of the Constitution and the Law.
Taking account the fact that the rights of the national minorities are an integral part of the human rights and the ability to apply their own entitled rights in the requests for protecting their rights is guaranteed for those persons who are national minorities.
According to article 50 from the Macedonian Constitution every citizen has a right to be defended in front of the courts of law and the Constitutional court of RM.
The right to appeal is guaranteed against individual legal rights passed with the procedure of the court of original jurisdiction, in front of courts, administrative body and other institutions.
Every one has a right to require protection for their rights from the authorised representatives for human rights from the Assembly.
Every one has a right to require protection for their rights and freedoms from the international judicial institutions or from other organisations, which RM is a member of.
The protection issues and the promotion of the rights and freedoms of the national minorities as part of the International human rights watch are mainly treated by the NGO-s as well as by the political parties of the nationalities. Predominantly, the government does not have a positive response to these requirements, so that alternative routes are sought for their promotion such as, co-operation with international human rights organisations and with international intergovernmental institutions that are concerned with their protection. So that mainly, even those improvements made in terms of improving the national minority status are as a result of suggestions and pressure made by the international community.
There is awareness on the relevance to the protection of the rights and freedoms of national minorities and achieving the general determination for protecting human rights. But, the protection of national minority rights does not represent an important component of the International co-operation of Macedonia. However, the Macedonian diplomacy is much more interested in achieving international co-operation for protecting the rights of the Macedonian minorities in other countries rather the nationalities that live in Macedonia or are Macedonian citizens with a temporary residence abroad. As a result, the minorities in Macedonia are trying themselves and through NGO-s to co-operate with international organisations in the area of protection and promotion of their rights and freedoms.
The provisions of this Framework Convention will consciously be enforced, in the spirit of understanding and tolerance, as well as respecting the principles of a good neighbourhood, friendly relations and co-operation between countries.
The Macedonian Constitution in article 118 says: International agreements that are ratified in accordance with the Constitution are part of the internal legal order and cannot be amended by a bill.
In accordance with the above, the obligation of the majority (the country) emerges, in relation to guarantee their social, political, cultural and language rights to the national minorities, but also how to adapt its own Constitution and domestic legislative for the obligation that arise from the signed Framework convention as well as other international agreement in terms of protection and promotion of the rights of national minorities.
Within the Macedonian Assembly, an international relations committee is established which reviews issues from the area of international relations in the country and gives opinions and suggestions on their resolution.
We can also say that the Macedonian Constitution in terms of the national minoritiesí rights relatively corresponds with the provisions of the Framework convention, but this does not apply to the actual bills that regulate this topic.
The Macedonian Government is showing a little willingness to review and tackle the problems and requirements of the national minorities.
The Macedonian Constitution and laws are rarely enforced till the end by state institutions as an executive power. The implementation of the Constitution, the law and the international obligations is avoided or delayed.
1. Every subject of a national minority has a right to freely choose or to be treated as such and no damage should come out from that choice or from carrying out the rights related to that choice.
2. National minorities can individually or together with others to carry out their rights and freedoms that are as a result from the principles of this Framework Convention.
One of the fundamental values of the Macedonian Constitution also is free expression of the national minorities (a right to choose) art. 8 from the constitution. Which means that the expressiveness of the national minorities is a right guaranteed by the Macedonian constitution from 1991.
As far as the question is concerned, whether national minorities can freely utter their national background without being discriminated or treated with certain prejudices from other ethnic groups, there are various views and circumstances for every nationality in RM:
Albanians in RM can freely express themselves as Albanians without being discriminated or treated with certain prejudices from other ethnic groups.
When one asks Turks this question the situation is the other way around. Namely, their expressiveness as Turks is often not accepted from other ethnic groups, with excuses that there are no Turks here, how come we have Turks here? There are Turks in Turkey, etc.
These denying of Turks and their ethnic background is also done by other nationalities that live in Macedonia e.g. that those they say are Turks, actually are not Turks, but assimilated Albanians who at the time of the Turkish rule were Albanians then they became Turks... These statements are frequently present at the Albanian nationality, even at respected Albanian persons.
As far as the Roma are concerned- firstly, what needs to be said is that they live in urban places in RM with mixed ethnic population. Every one from the Roma Community has a right to express themselves as Roma, but in practice often happens that they declare themselves to belong to another ethnic group so that they could be accepted from other ethnic groups. This would allow them to obtain benefits that are as a result of that declaration and to meet their social and economic need easily. Examples like this one can find in places where Roma people are a minority and the neighbourhood is majority and vice versa in places with majority of Roma they declare themselves as if they belong to the Roma community.
With the guaranteed constitutional right to express in their national background, every one can express themselves as they please, but this does not apply in practice. If Albanians or Turks declare that they belong to another group, they get rejected from their own ethnic group (because there could be consequences within their own group).
In cases when Roma declare that they belong to another ethnic group there are no complications from their ethnic group, but when they declare that they belong to another religion, they encounter problems and get rejected from their Roma community.
If we answer the question whether national minorities can change their religion with no implications from the subjects of their own ethnic group, the answer is negative for all minorities, because the change of religion is not accepted just like that. There could be serious consequences for those who want to change their religion. They could be rejected from everyone (the examples on changing religion are very rare in Macedonia).
According to the Constitution, every person has a right to freedom in terms of his or her religion thatís the determination of the person.
Paragraph 2 outlines the rights and freedoms that arise from the principles stated in this Convention. These can be achieved individually and in group together with the other ethnic nationalities.
The constitution and the Law guarantee the rights to all nationalities as well as the majority. As far as the right is concerned that all rights are the same to everyone, then the situation is different here.
The right to unite in political parties and participation in political life is allowed. The right to form different associations of citizens and foundations is allowed. The right to express religion is allowed. The right to use the language and culture in groups with others is allowed, but it should be stated that there are also restrictions both in the individuality and in group with others, i.e. The right to use the language and national symbols is limited in most areas of social life. In the very preamble of the Macedonian Constitution the individual right of equality for all citizens of Macedonia is broken in relation to the collective ones. Namely, although the nationalities are equal according to the constitution and the laws like the majority of people, as collectives they are not equal. The preamble promotes Macedonia as a national state of the Macedonian people, hereby puts other collectives in a subordinate situation.
1. The parties are obliged to guarantee each subject of the national minority the right of equality in front of the law and equal law protection. Concerning this, every kind of discrimination is banned based on the background of the nationalities.
2. The parties are obliged, if necessary, to take appropriate measures for promotion in all areas, economic, social, political and cultural life, to a full equality between the majority. In this view, they will take care of specific conditions of the national minorities.
3. The measures accepted that according to paragraph 2 are not regarded as act of discrimination.
The right of equality in front of the law for all citizens is set in article 9, paragraph 2 in the Macedonian Constitution, which says Citizens are equal in front of the law. There will not be privileges based on gender, race, colour of the skin, national and social background, political and religious belief, the property or status in the society, etc.
There are no legal provisions in Macedonia to ensure that Albanians, Turks, and Roma are treated equally in front of the law with other nationalities or the Majority.
It should be underlined that there is hidden discrimination to Roma, where the ignorance of Roma is abused and their rights that they enjoy according to the Constitution and Laws of RM are not shown to them.
Macedonian laws are equal for all citizens and national minorities in the country and there are no legal requirements that outlines other conditions for Albanians, Turks, Roma for gaining some rights, special sanctions for conducting certain activities or undertaking certain activities.
Theoretically, the nationalities are equal with the majority (Macedonians) according to the law, but when one sees the reality i.e. the practice is completely different, because everyone (Albanians, Turks, Roma) are not treated equally by the government officials (this does not apply to all institutions). Most of the national minorities have always been harassed and signpost to wrong places or teased because of their ignorance of Macedonian language or their illiteracy.
Examples: Issue of personal documents, certificate of citizenship, the regional ministry of internal affairs (the police) in Gostivar, does it with only 3-4 owns employees (these employees in the police serve more than 120.000 inhabitants). And when you consider the fact that most of these documents are also necessary to achieve their rights and obligations in front of other bodies and institutions in the country. Then, one can conclude that with the small number of employees in the police, long queues are created and itís very hard to obtain those documents. This happens only in those towns where the majority of people are the nationalities or in a considerable number.
Ditto, there is correct treatment for Albanians, Turks and Roma by a small number of policemen. The relationship of the police with the national minorities is notably different from the relationship to Macedonians. Often, these policemen do not fully comply with the rules of their service when it comes to nationalities.
There is often the open opinion that the police is the one that should protect the country (i.e. the majority) from the nationalities.
There are many examples on this. The police behaviour in the Gostivar intervention on 9th of July 1997 was very bad. During this intervention the police harassed only the nationalities, and when they would bump into Macedonians, they would not be detained, interrogated or harassed, but having found out their national background they were immediately released. During this intervention the police also raided the Turkish residencies that were harassed and apprehended, even though the Turks and the Turkish political representatives were not involved in this. Also, a few Roma were physically harassed who accidentally found themselves in the place of the fight and chase. These statements were not heard out both by the police and the court, but they were far from accepting them as such and true although there were witnesses to verify that.
Another example of this type of police intervention is in Aracinovo, in which only Albanian houses were broken in and only they were harassed, even though Macedonians inhabited the village, too. They were not subject to the police intervention. These types of interventions called as special treatment happened also in Radolishte, Bit Pazar, etc.
It should be stated that during these interventions, the police used force in entering Albanian, Turkish and Roma houses, without having valid court orders. They got often harassed even in front of their family members.
As for Roma, most people believe as well as the police that they steal, lye, are unclean, etc. They are treated badly too, but mostly their illiteracy is abused by the police or again by the Administration.
There is no special treatment from judges towards national minorities, but in practice they face different problems. Court procedures for nationalities take too long and there are examples of breaking the law when conducting court proceedings. In certain cases Albanians, Turkish and Roma face enormous problems in achieving their rights of court protection. In every democratic country, if the citizen has no financial ability to pay a lawyer, the state provides him one. The situation is different in Macedonia. In criminal procedures the state provides a lawyer, but in civil offence procedures (which by the way are most frequent) does not provide citizens with a lawyer.
The attitude of the Macedonian judges to national minorities is mainly pursuant to the Constitution. But, in certain occasions where political cases are involved and the Macedonian authorities concerned we have indications and examples that they are inclined to the authorities and follow certain instructions from their superiors.
Criminal defendants are enabled to an appropriate defence, the court hears them out, they show patience, and they are not hostile.
There are no substantial differences in bringing verdicts, but yet there are differences in the amount of the verdicts.
With the decision of the Constitutional court on 21 June 1999, the articles on criminal and civic laws were abolished, which regulated the ability to communicate in the court by the party in his/her own language (language of the nationalities).
The social status of national minorities in RM is bad. The country has not taken the necessary measures to improve their economic status.
In parts of Macedonia where majority is Albanians, Turkish, Roma (Western Macedonia) the bigger part of the local infrastructure is built with co-funding or very often self-funding. Very small portions from the funds awarded to RM in forms of various credit lines or donations and assistance from governments of more developed countries and humanitarian organisations have been used for improving the living standard of the national minorities. It should be stressed that the country provides social assistance to all people who need it regardless of their national background.
For raising the social status of Albanians, Turkish and Roma in relation to the majority, the country has not taken any measures or activities.
Most frequently Albanians continue their studies on their own initiative. Every year the number of young Albanians who continue their studies is increasing both in the country and abroad.
The percent of educated Turks with high school or college is very small. Following the elementary education most Turks look forward to continuing their studies in high schools, but the limited classes in high schools in Turkish language reduces the number of students. In higher education in the Country the percent of quota for Turks is 4 %. This is a reason that many Turks student leave the country and study abroad (most in Turkey).
The percent of educated Roma is also small. After finishing their elementary school, the number of Roma students that enrol in high schools is as well very small. And the number of Roma who continues their Higher education is exceptionally small.
The country has tried to find possibility for positive measures, to offer some benefits to national minorities for enrolling at faculties and that with a bill on enrolling in high schools and universities where a quota is foreseen for nationalities to enrol. This bill did not improve anything regarding the number of Roma that should enrol in faculties. This possibility was used by other nationalities, non-Roma, on their behalf, which on enrolment declared them as Roma in order to achieve their interests. This also happens because the country has not worked out a method, which would prove that the candidate who enrols in the faculty is a Roma.
The Roma in relation to other nationalities in RM are stagnating in achieving and developing their educational and cultural rights. On the other hand, if they did not do that would be in the same start position with other ethnic groups.
The country has not taken measures for bigger involvement of nationalities in the political life and political action, but the law allows them to set up their own political parties and take part in the political life through them. Albanian political life and action is more active, unlike Turks and Roma where the political life is very poor.
In terms of culture, the country has done very little or nothing to improve the cultural life of national minorities. There are no educational institutions. A five-year national plan on cultural activities has been designed, but the nationalities are mentioned very little there, no theatre shows organised for most nationalities, etc.
Cultural artistic groups of national minorities have been funded from their own budget. The Ministry of culture does not set aside anything from their budget for these activities. The only thing the Albanians, Turkish and Roma get from the country in terms of culture is The Theatre of Nationalities. It should be stated that performances in this theatre are very limited.
The country has not taken specific measures for creating equal opportunities for educational, vocational and cultural development of the national minorities except for the majority.
1. The parties are obliged to promote their conditions in order to allow the national minorities to preserve and develop their culture, as well as to preserve substantial elements of their identity, religion, language, traditions and their cultural heritage.
2. Not involving in the measures that are undertaken for conducting their general integration policy, the Parties refrain from any policy whose purpose is assimilation of the national minorities against their will and will protect those nationalities from any action whose purpose is such assimilation.
The Macedonian Constitution guarantees all citizens of Macedonia freedom of expression of nationalities, freedom to use their national culture and freedom to use their own language and to alphabet article 8 from the Macedonian constitution.
The determination of the person in respect to their religion according to their own conscience and free will, freedom of their creed, article 19 from the Macedonian constitution.
According to the above, the national minorities are guaranteed the right of expressing their culture, religion, language and traditions, but this is not fully so in practice. The government does not ban the Albanians the expression of culture, religion, language and tradition, but limits it. Only in One out of 33 high education institutions in Macedonia the Albanian language is used that is the Faculty of pedagogy since January 1997. Partially, the Albanian language is used in the Faculty of artistic plays as well as the chair of Albanian language at the University of Cyril and Methods in Skopje. ( It should be stressed that with the law on the Faculty of Pedagogy many reactions were caused by the Macedonians. 300 University professors signed a petition against teaching in languages of the national minorities in this faculty, whereas students and high school students started a hunger strike in front of the Macedonian Assembly).
The Turkish nationality has a right to attend the classes in Turkish language only in one High education institution that is in the Turkish language chair, Faculty of philology at the university St. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje.
The state administration so far has not shown willingness for supporting the development of cultural values and the tradition of national minorities. Also, has been reluctant to take any measures or activities towards assuaging the great difference that exists in creating cultural and artistic values.
The state does not fund construction of cultural or religious facilities, not even the traditional presentations organised by Albanians, Turks and Roma.
With one word, we can say that these legal acts does not prevent the expression of national minorities, but in practice does not support them at all and does not show interest on their development and preservation.
From the time period of 1945-1990, the country has taken measures towards assimilating the Albanians into Macedonians e.g. Upper Gostivar Reka (a village) Albanians orthodox have almost been assimilated. These examples were more notably in Bitola, Krushevo, Skopje valley, etc. Whilst the older Albanian generations in these towns have used and are using the Albanian language in their every day life, the younger generations introduce themselves and feel like Macedonians and use the Macedonian language and handwriting. The Turks face the same threat, but the country does this assimilation gradually, especially in the regions where Turks live and speak Macedonian language. The Country does their assimilation by defining them as Macedonian Muslims, even though they declare themselves and feel as Turks (like; Rostushe, Debreshte, Plasnica, etc.)
As far as the Roma are concerned, the country has not taken any activity towards assimilating them with force into the majority ethnic group, but has not even taken any activity, which would prevent their assimilation into Albanians or Turks as bigger ethnic groups. The country also has not taken measures to explain or clarify the difference between ethnic and religious background. The Roma share the view that they are Turks because of the Muslim religion; this view is more present in the eastern part of Macedonia. This way of thinking is due to not understanding the difference between their national background and their religion.
1. The parties will encourage the spirit of tolerance and the intercultural dialogue, and will also take efficient measures to promote mutual respect and understanding and co-operation between all persons that live in their territory, irrespective of their ethnic, cultural, language, and religious identity, especially in the field of education, culture and media.
2. The parties are obliged to take appropriate measures to protect persons who could be victims of threat or act of discrimination, hostility or violence because of their ethnic, cultural, language and religious identity.
In every democratic state where national minorities are present, one of the state priorities is the development of the spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue. In this context RM makes efforts to make this relationship to be tolerant theoretically, but in reality i.e. the practice is far away from expectations and real needs.
In terms of education in practice, no step has been taken to promote them regarding the spirit of tolerance and the intercultural dialogue. For example, the enrolment policy for Albanian students who graduate from their elementary education is that for one empty place in high school apply five students, which is not the case with students from Macedonian nationality, in which for three empty places applies only one student. This means that 57% Albanians who have finished their elementary school proceed their education in high schools whether Albanian language or Macedonian, compared to Macedonians 95% of which proceed their education in high schools (these information are valid for the study year 1999-2000).
In terms of education, the spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue towards the Turks is not completely enforced.
There are still problems with publications in RM about school books for elementary and secondary schools both in Albanian and Turkish language (at the end of 2000 and beginning of 2001 the Albanian Association of Publishers protested against the monopoly of the publishing house Prosvetno Delo as well as for the small span of the Albanian culture and art in Albanian school books and required from the state to assign them Albanian publishing houses in Macedonia). The publication of books in Turkish language for basic high school literature is also limited. So that, high school Turkish teachers, due to the lack of Turkish language literature, try to use Macedonian language books or to translate the book in Turkish and to dictate the books to students.
The Roma, in terms of education the spirit of tolerance is small. As far as the intercultural dialogue is concerned, there is almost no contribution towards its development or encouragement.
It should also be stated that even though national minorities significantly learn the history, language and the culture of the majority of people in RM, in Macedonian language books the history, literature and culture of the national minorities has not been mentioned at all. Even when it is mentioned, it is represented as foreign, not as culture, literature and history of there own fellow countrymen.
The role of the media in the intercultural dialogue and tolerance is very important. But, there have been no necessary measures taken by the country to regulate this and the presentation of nationalities both in the press and media to be in correlation with the needs for achieving this dialogue.
The presentation of Albanians, Turkish, and Roma in the state radio and TV is very small. Macedonian TV (MTV) shortens the expression of nationalities in the media, e.g. The Albanian language programme is broadcast three hours every day from 16:30- 19:30 and 10 minutes news coverage at the evening hours in second channel of MTV. In Turkish language, one and a half-hour every day, from 15:00-16:30 and that on the second MTV channel, but we should also look at the fact that the rating of TV viewers at this hour is very poor.
The Roma have the least presentation on TV, only two times a week they broadcast news in Roma language lasting 15 minutes each, which means that 30 minutes a week is not enough to broadcast programmes in Roma language and there is none.
Albanians have present themselves in the press with only one state newspaper FLAKA that used to print only three days a week, whereas now it is printed daily. Also there is a private newspaper FAKTI that is also a daily newspaper.
The Turks have the State newspaper BIRLIK that is printed out three times per week in Turkish language. This shortens the rights of Turkish journalists from free expression and at the same time cannot provide objective information to the Turkish population because the newspaper is being checked by the state. It should also be said that despite the constant request from the Turks that there is a need for this newspaper to be published on a daily basis, the state remains passive on this request. Turks also have their own private newspaper VARDAR.
The Roma have no daily or weekly newspaper in RM and the state does not take care of that at all to inform the Roma population in any way. and the language to be understandable and in their own language. In respect to this the state remains deaf and blind and does not do anything to bring the Roma in the same level as the other nationalities.
The spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue in the political structures is pretty much variable. As far as the Albanians are concerned, they participate with a certain number in the State political structures both in the executive and legislative power. The number of Turk participants in this is very small. Currently, the Turks have no MPs in the Macedonian Assembly and are represented very little in the executive and legislative power.
There has been no training delivered to the educational staff, nor journalists on respecting national minorities. This leads to supporting the prejudices and stereotypes that are present in most people.
There are relatively sufficient works for expressing or getting familiar with the Albanian and Turkish culture both from to domestic and foreign authors (from Albania, Turkey). The content of the Turkish literature from the field of Turkish culture written In RM do not describe the Turkish culture in their real light but they are being written or have been written according to the daily political needs of the authorities.
There are no many political campaigns for reducing or overcoming the negative stereotypes and prejudices in relation to the Roma, and if there are such campaigns, they have most frequently organised by NGO-s in Macedonia.
For the expression of the Roma community there are no education contents in books, which would introduce them to children and adults their own culture or again others to get familiar with the Roma culture.
In accordance with the Constitution and positive legal acts in Macedonia any type of discrimination and violence is banned.
There are no special measures for protection of nationalities, which would regulate the issue of possible violence or hostility and discrimination towards Albanians, Turks and Roma that would emerge due to their ethnic, cultural, language or religious identity.
The situation is different in the every day life. In environments where nationalities are a majority or in a considerable number, acts of violence are very rare, but in environments where nationalities are a minority, these acts of violence are not rare.
Albanians and Turks in RM in their every day life, in environments where they are a majority or in a considerable number, at their work places, schools, etc., can freely express their identity without being exposed to open acts of violence and hostility.
There is a sufficient number of open violence or hostility at the Roma community that emerge from their identity expressiveness, and part of these acts end up in courts whereas one part is not resolved yet, and there are court proceeding undergoing. Itís worth mentioning that a considerable number of open acts of violence and hostility are not reported nor a criminal procedure is undertaken for them because of the fear, distrust, and the lack of education that the Roma have.
It should also be mentioned that administration and judicial bodies as well as the media do not pay a special attention to these acts.
The parties will provide every member of a national minority the right to gather, freedom of associating, freedom of expression and opinion, conscience and religion.
The Macedonian constitution guaranties the freedom of belief, conscience, opinion and public expression of the opinion (article 1, paragraph 1).
The freedom of expressing the religion is guaranteed publicly, individually or in association with others (article 19, paragraph 2) from the constitution.
The citizens are guaranteed the freedom of associating in order to achieve and protect their political, economic, social, cultural and other rights and beliefs.
Albanians and Turks can peacefully gather and associate. The country has not in any form restricted the right of Albanians, Turks and Roma to gather and associate.
The Roma have no bigger problems regarding the right to gather and associate in the country, except for some minor problems that happened when the Roma people in the fall of 2000 peacefully gathered in front of the UNHCR building in Skopje. The gathering was about the Kosova refugees, but that peaceful gathering and the discontent demonstrated openly towards the country and UNHCR had an adverse impact on the people and supported the negative stereotypes and prejudices towards the Roma community in RM
The way of associating has no problems, and is regulated by the Law on citizensí Associations and Foundations.
By introducing the parliamentary democracy, the country does not take part directly in any kind of prevention from free expression, stating their opinion and the religious beliefs of Albanians, Turks and Roma.
The parties are obliged to recognise each member of a national minority the right of their religious expression, as well as the right of establishing religious institutions, organisations and associations.
The right of each member of a nationality to express their religion or beliefs, as well as the right to establish religious institutions, organizations, and associations is guaranteed by the Constitution of RM in (article 19) citation: the freedom of religion is guaranteed. (Article 19, paragraph 1).
Free and public religion expression, personally or in groups, is guaranteed (article 19, paragraph 2).
The Macedonian Orthodox Church, other religious communities and religious groups are separated from the state and are equal before the Law (Article 19, paragraph 3).
The Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), other religious communities and religious groups are free to establish religious schools and social and charity institutions with a procedure provided by the law (Article 19, paragraph 4).
The law on religion and religious groups is passed in 1997. With this law the rights and obligations of the MOC, Islamic religious community, Roman-Catholic Church and other religious communities and groups are regulated.
Of the Islamic confession in Macedonia in a bigger number are Albanians, Turks and Roma and Macedonians with Islamic confession.
Of the Roman-Catholic confession in Macedonia are Albanians, Croats, and other national groups.
As it concerns the religious organizing in RM it is treated more respectively than any other form of civic organizing. Specific conditions on forming and realizations of the religious groups are foreseen, but the same doesnít enjoy special releases from taxation as the other civic organizations. Joining the work of a foreign religious group is complicated.
It is to be mentioned that in 1999 MOC was made official, so that the representatives of the MOC are present in all the major manifestations of the country. The media covers events related to MOC, MOC doesnít have major obstacles in realisation of property (assets) rights and in realisation of the rights on denationalisation.
For the Islamic Religious Community (IRC) the situation is reversed. The IRC during its overall work comes across obstacles and limitations by the Commission for Religious Issues of the Government of RM. It canít realise its property (assets) rights and hardly acquires permissions to invite people outside the country related to its activity
As it concerns Albanians, the state hasnít undertaken activities that limit the right of organising religious institutions and to practice their religion. No one prohibits him neither to go to the mosque nor to read religious literature, the same goes for the Albanians of the Roman-Catholic confession.
Turks are also not facing difficulties with the state related to expression and practising their religion. The state hasnít undertaken activities that could limit the rights on organising the religious institutions and practising the religion.
It is to be mentioned that the leading structures of the religious communities (as IRC) are sometimes politically oriented towards the participants of the majority groups, and which orientation arises problems to the Turkish and Roma Muslims.
The problem of Turkish is within the Islamic religious community. In practice the discriminatory behaviour of the IRC officials that are mostly of Albanian nationality, is evident. During the religious ceremonies the usage of the Turkish and Macedonian languages are limited and not enough represented. At the IRC, this issue should be monitored by the state, respectively the commissions and the Ministries responsible for relations with the religious communities do not completely fulfil their tasks and duties. On the other hand the IRC doesnít completely implement the statutory articles, especially in Western Macedonia; Gostivar, Tetovo, Debar where a larger number of Roma Macedonian speaking Muslims live, The same are obligated to attend preaching in other language that they understand very little or they donít understand at all. ďSuto OrizariĒ in Skopje is inhabited by approximately 20-30 thousand Roma, most of which are of the Islamic confession. In many cases they have requested approval to build religious objects (premises), and they have proposed several spots where the same could be located, but the state hasnít positively replied these requests.
The above mentioned is substantiated with the behaviour of the IRC that is consisted of religious patriarchs (principals), among whom Albanian nationality is mostly represented.
The religious chieftain of the Islamic confession is afforded the right to attend almost every meeting or protest of the Albanians on the behalf of the IRC and to use the flag that marks the Islam. This behaviour substantiates even more the prejudices and the negative stereotypes of the non-Muslims, and creates revolt at the other non-Albanian Muslims.
Yet, the state as a proper factor hasnít undertaken any step nor measures to avoid this kind of behaviour.
The Albanians, Turkish and Roma face no difficulty in their work, in education and in their daily living caused by their religious activities but it is also to be mentioned that there are no special measures in their workplaces that would facilitate practising their religion.
1. The parties are obliged to admit that the right on freedom of expression of every member of the national minorities includes the freedom of thinking and accepting or giving information or ideas in the minority language, without the interference of the public authorities, regardless the borders. In media access, the parties, in the frame of their juridical system, will assure non-discrimination of the minority members.
2. The first paragraph doesnít detain the Parties to start them under the regime of concessions (permissions), which isnít discriminatory and which is based upon objective criteria, enterprises for radio, television and film.
3. The Parties will interfere not the establishing and usage of the written media by the members of the national minorities. In the frame of the Law on radio and television, they will enable the members of the national minorities to establish and use their own media, in the frames of probability and considering the articles of the 1st paragraph.
4. In the frames of their legal system, Parties will pass appropriate measures to facilitate the access of the members of the national minorities towards media, to advance the tolerance and to enable the cultural pluralism.
The Constitution of RM of 1991 guarantees the freedom of expression; also it is foreseen and guarantied with the laws for public information, for broadcasting and in the penal code. With these laws the freedom of thinking and accepting or giving information or ideas in the minority language is included. As it concerns the right to access the media or information is also guarantied by the Constitution of RM in the article 16 paragraphs 2, 3, 7 and by the laws.
Practically it is complicated, to access some information permission by the superiors is needed and this permission is often used as an excuse to avoid giving access to information. It is to be mentioned that the government of RM has its own spokesman that represents a new informational institution to us.
The national minorities have the right to establish their own media centres and to gain permission to work (concession). There are lots of private Radio and TV stations that broadcast programs in the minority languages. There are also state/governmental and private newspapers in Albanian and Turkish languages, as are FLAKA, FAKTI (private), BIRLIK (governmental), VARDAR (private). Flaka and Fakti are daily newspapers; Birlik is published 3 times a week. The problem with FLAKA and BIRLIK is that these newspapers are governmental and are under the direct control of the state. These newspapers are censured, the freedom of the journalists in their story writing is limited, and the journalists are not allowed to publish materials by their choice and wish.
The governmental Radio-Television has national minoritiesí section wherein it emits programs in Albanian, Turkish, and Roma languages on TV. As it concerns the radio it has several hours daily emitting in the languages of national minorities.
The state hasnít in any way limited the rights of the Albanians, Turkish and Roma to freely express, and to establish their own media. On the contrary the minorities enjoy the freedom to establish private Radio and TV stations, to publish newspapers and to access the governmental media.
During the 24 hour broadcast in the Macedonian channels, the Albanians broadcast only 3 hours per day, Turkish broadcast 1.5 hours per day, and Roma broadcast only 30 minutes a week.
Republic of Macedonia has no particular discriminatory articles preventing Albanians and Turkish to establish private Radio, TV and filming enterprises.
The Roma are not satisfied with the law for local media-which regulate the standards for registration of the private Radio and TV stations. There are no advantages for Roma that would privilege them on establishing the media, knowing that Roma in Macedonia are in a very unfavourable economical position.
The government hasnít reinstated mechanisms of financial support of the private media of the national minorities although they are fully aware that in the market economy, the national minoritiesí media canít sustain a qualitative program production, because of the size of the market they serve.
The state hasnít undertaken some activities that would complicate the establishment of written media in Albanian or Turkish language, and so far hasnít ceased any Albanian or Turkish printed media.
The state hasnít undertaken neither negative nor positive activities with which it would complicate or assist the launch of even one Roma printed media. So far there isnít a cease for any printed media in Roma language.
The state has undertaken certain activities that ensure the access to Albanians and Turkish to governmental media. MTV (Macedonian Television) has planed the third channel to become the governmental channel of the national minorities, respectively to broadcast programs in Albanian, Turkish and Roma languages. But there is a high censorship in MTV, the publisherís independence of the national minorities journalists is not respected.
The Turkish and the Albanian nationalities have access in the private Radio-Television Houses only at the local level.
Publishing activities of the Turkish is very weak because the government doesnít detach the necessary material resources.
The state hasnít undertaken any activity to facilitate the access of Roma towards media but on the contrary, by different political or national belief the Assembly Broadcasting Commission makes it harder for the Roma to establish Radio and TV stations. The government stimulates the presence of Roma in various media but doesnít attempt to overpass these stereotypes and prejudices that exist in RM.
Example: when bagging, alcoholism, absence from school, theft is represented at the media Roma are taken as example. Positive examples are rarely or never presented for Roma.
1. The parties are obliged to recognize every member of national minorities the right of free and unhindered use of his minority language at home and in public places, in spoken or written form.
2. In areas inhabited by members of the national minorities traditionally or in a considerable number, the Parties put efforts if possible to provide conditions for usage of the minorities language in relations with the administrative authorities, inasmuch the members of the minorities request this.
3. The parties are obliged to guarantee every member of the national minorities the right to be informed, in the shortest possible term and in the language that he or she understands, for the reasons of his arrest, the kind and the reason of the accusation, as well as the right to defence in his language, if necessary with free of charge assistance of the interpreter.
The Constitution of RM in public places, spoken and in written form guarantees the right of free and unhindered usage of the language of minorities at home.
In article 7 paragraphs 2 and 3 of the RM Constitution is foreseen that in the Units of the Local Self-government, wherein the members of nationalities live as majority or as a considerable number, in official use except the Macedonian language and the Cyrillic
Alphabet, the alphabet and the language of the nationalities to be used in the manner ratified with law, which means applying bilingual or multilingual manner in the units of the local self-government based on the majority and considerable number criteria.
Practically the above mentioned is not applied, bilinguality is not allowed in the units of the local self-government wherein the national minorities are majority or in considerable number, respectively their alphabet and language is not used in the administration.
Albanians and Turks use their language and alphabet only in elementary and secondary schools. The government organises the usage of the Albanian and Turkish language in the Higher Education, in the administration, in the courts, but the usage of them is allowed in the frame of popular communication, at home, etc.
The government doesnít limit the usage of the Roma language in the frame of popular communication, whence by the passed regulation, in schools the same is being taught as a facultative subject A boycott is held by the teachers and the managers of the schools wherein there are Roma, to apply the Roma language as teaching language. Exemptions of the previous conclusion are two Elementary Schools from Suto Orizari in Skopje and partly in Tetovo.
By the Albanian and Turkish nationalities there are request for realisation of the right to use the Albanian and Turkish languages in contacts with the administrative authorities, in courts, (basic, appellation, marshal/sovereign) because some of the Albanian and Turkish do not know the official language of the country. In the courts there arenít, or there is a small number of interpreters in Albanian and Turkish languages.
There is no understanding from the government for these request submitted by the Albanian and Turks.
In contacts with the administrative authorities the requests for usage of the Roma language are not often, but it is good to mention that Roma easily accept any other foreign language to communicate because of the feeling of being subordinate that comes as a result of their current existential situation.
Because of not knowing the Macedonian language, Albanians and Turkish had and still have problems, especially during the explanation of reasons of arrest, during the court and administrative procedures just because the ignorance of Macedonian language because the procedures are held in this language. The government hasnít undertaken anything about this issue. Albanians and Turkish in courts or in police stations do not have the right to speak in their languages. They donít have even interpreters, or there are incompetent people who interpret as the certain organ asks them to. So, it happens very often that the declarations are misinterpreted that cans essentially impact the verdict. Simply, the interpreters in these institutions are only formal. It can be specified as an example that there are no linguist, respectively professional interpreters in none of the courts or other institutions.
So far Roma didnít have problems to understand the reasons for arrest and the court procedures because of the language ignorance because they have enough knowledge of the Macedonian language. In these situations they have the right to request interpretation in their mother tongue, but it is almost not necessary because it rarely happens that any Roma doesnít understand the Macedonian language. In those cases they have additional explanation by a lawyer.
1.The parties are obliged to recognise any member of the national minorities the right on usage of his/her own surname (Family name) and their own names in minority language, as well as the right of their official recognition, according to the modalities foreseen in their juridical system.
2. The parties are obliged to recognise every national minority member the right to present inscriptions, signposts and other information of a public character in his/her mother tongue.
3. In the areas traditionally inhabited in a significant number of national minority members, the Parties will put efforts considering the specific conditions in the frames of their juridical system, including if responsive the agreements with other countries, to present the local traditional denominations, names of streets and other topographic signposts meant for the public, in the minority language, if there are enough request for signpost of that kind.
The right to use personal names and surnames (family names) in their national languages is permitted for Albanians, Turks and Roma in RM. This is foreseen in the Law on Names; the limitations and problems appear because of the stoppage of writing the names and surnames of nationalities in their letter and language. The problem is that by writing the names and the surnames in Macedonian language and Cyrillic letter the names and surnames loose their original phonetic meaning. It is so because the Macedonian language doesnít have some of the letters that are present in the alphabets of the nationalities.
The law on Personal Identification Documents (Article 5) says that besides the Macedonian language and the Cyrillic letter, it is written and in the language and the letter of the national minorities. But so far this article is not in practical appliance by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).
Albanians and Turkish are facing problems with their surnames, because they were changed forcefully in the past by the previous regimes, so that it was an often practice of adding the suffix ski and viÁ to the surnames of the nationalities. These suffixes are characteristic for Slav surnames. This was all with purpose of showing this population as Slav population. If the difficult and long procedure of changing the surname is considered, than we have characteristic examples in some areas of Macedonia wherein Albanians are in a significant number. Their surnames do not end with the traditional prefixes i, u, a ex: Asani, Aliu, Hoxha, a large number of Albaniansí surnames have been changed with Slav suffixes as are ski and viÁ. This is an often case in the municipalities of KiÁevo, Skopje, Veles, Prilep, Krusevo, Bitola, Radovis, and Struga (in the cities and villages). For example: Asanovski, Hoxoski, Alioski and others.
In Macedonia Turkish use 4 different surnames, that were forcefully altered so that most of the Turkish surnames end with the suffixes as are ski, ov, and i (Selimovski, Ahmedov, and Memeti).
So far in any case Roma have never been referred the right of bilinguality, respectively the bilingual usage of their names and surnames in the Personal Identification Documents, a right this guaranteed by the law on the Personal Identification Documents.
The government doesnít recognise the right of the national minorities to change back their primal surnames as a result of the administrative changes, but on the contrary MIA complicates the process of surname alteration.
Albanians, Turkish and Roma are not publicly prevented by the state to propound signposts and information of private character. This practice is mostly applied by Albanians and Turkish, and rarely by Roma. During the holidays-national or religious the compliments (congratulations) are propounded in the language and the letter of the national minorities.
In some areas traditionally inhabited by Albanians and Turkish there are local and traditional terms and names for places and streets, and in some others there arenít, ex: in Gostivar, Tetovo and others. Even the right on naming streets and other objects is not completely in the competence of the local self-governments. So there are yet names of streets and objects that irritate the members of some national minorities because of the events in the last 10 years in former Yugoslavia. Yet they are not renamed ex: JPA (Yugoslav Peoples Army).
In areas where Roma are mostly settled, there are no streets named by Roma traditions. In RM there is only one Elementary School that bears the name of two Roma brothers Ramiz and Hamid, who participated in NLW (National Liberation War) during the Second World War. That school is situated in Suto Orizari-Skopje.
1. Parties if necessary, will take measures in education and researches, to advance the cognition of culture, history, language and the religion of their national minorities, as they will for the majority.
2. In this context, parties amongst others will offer proper chances for education of teachers and access to books/literature, and will facilitate the contacts between the students and teachers of different communities.
3. The parties bond to advance the equality of chances for the national minorities in accessing education in all levels.
The rights of the national minorities on advancing of cognition of culture, history, language and religion is foreseen in the Constitution of RM in article 48 paragraph 2 and article 56 paragraph 2. These articles say: ĒThe Republic guaranties the protection of the ethnic, lingual and religious identity of the nationalitiesĒ and the Republic guaranties protection, advancement of the historical and cultural wealth of the Macedonian nation and the nationalities, as well as the goods that constitute it regardless on their juridical regime.
The same is foreseen in the law on education, culture and others.
The state creates only a little, respectively almost no conditions for presentation of the wider public opinion with the culture, history and traditions of the Albanians, Turkish and Roma.
There arenít any scientific and cultural institutions wherein the culture, history of the national minoritiesí id studied or nourished. Albanians, Turkish and Roma try to create minimum conditions by their own initiatives.
The fact that the Ministry of Culture has tendencies for adoption and degradation of particular cultural and historical monuments of the Turkish-Ottoman period and to present the same as religious objects of the majority group worsens the state of Turkish, Albanians and Roma. Examples for the above-mentioned are placement of crosses in the Clock Towers in Bitola and Prilep, as well as the usage of a mosque in the centre of Bitola as a storehouse.
The fact that the Macedonian Academy of the Sciences and Arts - MASA had never had members of the national minorities, although there are such profiles of scientists who are members of various institutes outside the country is also to be mentioned. It is also important to be mentioned that in MASA there are no separate sections for research of Turkish, Albanian and Roma language.
The state hasnít undertaken enough activities for creation of teaching (educational) staff of Albanian, Turkish and Roma nationalities.
As an example: in 1997 The Pedagogy Faculty in Albanian language was launched (earlier Academy wherein two-year studies were organised, where the most of the study subjects were in Macedonian language. Now the studies are for 4 years). There were lots of reactions from the government and the students and high school pupils of the Macedonian nationality, which stroke with hunger and blocked the streets. In these strikes many offending words for the nationalities were used by demonstrates.
The Legislation of this law was presented as a threat for the state, etc, however the Albanians began to learn in their mother tongue. It is worth mentioning that the study of subjects in the Pedagogy Faculty in the languages of nationalities (regularly organised with the pass of the Law for Lecturing in the Languages of Nationalities in the Pedagogy Academy) began even two years after the foundation of the University of Tetovo.
There is a Cathedra for Turkish language at the Philology Faculty in Skopje that isnít equipped with the necessary level of staff and technique. In the Pedagogy Faculty there were special groups (5) for profiling of the particular staff for the needs of Turkish in the elementary education. Now there are only two groups left (kindergarten and class teaching groups).
Roma donít posses their own teaching staff because they learn in Macedonian language or in the languages of other major ethnic groups, and not in the Roma language.
The government hasnít undertaken activities on nurturing enough staff to teach the subjects in Roma language, although it can be realised by importing staff from other countries until it produces own staff.
The government makes discrimination even as it concerns granting different stipends and doesnít create conditions for educational forming and professional qualifying of staff from the Albanian, Turkish and Roma nationalities.
In mixed communities, contacts between the students and the teachers of the nationalities with Macedonians are encouraged. This encouragement is mostly arisen by the NGO-s than the governmental institutions, for ex. In Tetovo, Gostivar.
So far the government hasnít undertaken appropriate activities on encouraging the proper representation of Albanians, Turkish and Roma in education, ex: propaganda activities among the parents of the Albanian children aiming to achieve their regular education. In the Secondary School ďJOSIP BROZ TITO ď - Bitola, Albanian parents requested launching of a class in Albanian language. None of the Macedonian intellectuals criticised this initiative nor condemned the demonstrations raised by the parents of the Macedonian students. The electronic and printed media narrowly informed the public opinion about this event, but even they didnít condemn the euphoric behaviour of the Macedonian parents and students.
Other example related to Albanians is that there are not enough classes in the secondary education in Struga. There are Albanian classes in Gymnasium, while in Ohrid there is no class in Albanian language in the secondary education. Therefore a large number of Albanian students continue their secondary education in Gostivar and Tetovo. This case doesnít apply to Macedonian students, because there are enough classes in Ohrid and Struga.
The percentage of presentation of Turkish in the elementary education of Eastern Macedonia is being cut There is only one elementary school in Radovis with one class from 5-8 grade in Turkish language. There are no classes form 5-8 grade in Turkish language in no other city of Eastern Macedonia. So the children of Turkish nationality in Eastern Macedonia are enabled to learn in their mother tongue only from 1-4 grade, and they are forced to learn the higher classes/grades of the elementary education in Macedonian language. This is the reason the total number of Turkish pupils in the elementary education in Macedonia is from 5.200 up to 5.550. When this number is compared with the overall Turkish population in Macedonia, itís easy to conclude that a large number of Turkish children are forced to learn in Macedonian language.
The parents of the Turkish children, aiming education in Turkish language made a lot of requests. But almost always the government replied negatively to these requests, the most characteristic example is the case of Centar Zupa wherein the Constitutional Court revoked the decision of the Ministry of Education that permitted Turkish children to attend school in Turkish language. The Constitutional Court didnít consider the fact that approximately 200 children werenít allowed to attend school (by their parents) because of this revocation.
Roma have so far given efforts on attending the elementary and secondary education in Roma language but the government doesnít enable them. So, Roma attend the elementary and secondary education in Macedonian language. There is a quote for registration of nationalities in the higher education, but this quote mostly helps others that apply as Roma just to register in Faculties, than Roma themselves. There is no more precise regulation given by the government that can prove that some of the applicants are Roma or not.
In this part it is to be mentioned that during the investments in the infrastructure objects of the educational branch, the government has a discriminating behaviour whenever objects of this kind should be built in areas inhabited by national minorities.
In the frame of their educational system, parties recognise the right of the national minorities on forming and directing their own private training and educational institutions
Administering of this right doesnít elude financial commitment of parties.
Paragraph 1 and 2
Article 45 of the Constitution of RM says: ďcitizens of RM have the right to establish private educational institutions in all the levels of education except the elementary schools.
Practically there are no problems in establishing of private secondary educational institutions of Albanians, Turkish and Roma.
In 1996 the first Turkish College was founded in Skopje and later on in Gostivar. This school is private and financed by the Turkish.
Roma in RM havenít yet shown interest on launching private educational institutions but if there would be such an interest, the Roma would be prepared to respect the law that regulates this field.
So far Albanians in RM had only one initiative for founding a secondary school in Albanian language in Radolishta village-Struga region (a municipality in the southern part of Western Macedonia). This came out as a reaction of the negative reply of the Government on the requests of the population for launching Albanian language classes in the secondary education in the Municipality of Struga. Although this institution wasnít officially recognised by the Government, when the first classes in Albanian language were launched in Struga Gymnasium the students of these institution were allowed to continue their education in the newly launched Albanian language classes. Also the graduated students diplomas were recognised (this was implemented by the decision of the Parliament of RM).
Regarding founding high educational institution in Albanian language, the Albanian intellectuals and the political parties submitted a request for foundation of a University in Albanian language during the 1990-1994. The Government refused the request so that the initiators with the support of three Municipalities with Albanian majority founded the University in Tetovo. At the present day this university has 8.000 students in 13 Faculties.
From the first day of its foundation, the University of Tetovo was and yet is under permanent pressure of Macedonian Government. Since the formal opening (inauguration) the Government of Macedonia intervened with large police forces. As a result of this intervention one Albanian was murdered, many others were physically maltreated and arrested. After this intervention UT wasnít object of police intervention, but it became a target of permanent assaults and attacks by the media and the Government who tried to present this institution as in a dark way as possible. They also tried to present the educational staff and the authorities as incompetent, but in no moment they didnít show readiness to help this institution eliminate these deficiencies that were permanently span to this high educational institution. The Albanian population in Macedonia finances the University of Tetovo since it was founded, and the same population though were paying the necessary tributes, they were obligated to detach additional finances for the University of Tetovo, that isnít recognised by the Government yet.
With the new law on the high education, conditions for founding private high educational institutions are given in the article 34. This possibility is yet to be analysed if it is practically operational, and will it fulfil the needs of the nationalities for High Education in their mother tongue. Example: 8 members that are regular professors of inter-university Conference, declared negatively on this law, 5 members of that commission that are members of the Government and 2 of them are members of MASA, declared negatively on this existing law.
1. The parties are obliged to recognise the right to learn their minority language to every member of the national minorities.
2. In the areas inhabited by members of national minorities traditionally or in considerable number, if there is big enough request, Parties bond to put efforts on providing the possibility to the members of those minorities to learn their minority language and to attend school in that language in the frame of their possibilities and their educational system.
3. The Paragraph 2 of this article will be implement regardless on learning the official language or attending education in that language.
The state doesnít limit the Albanians, Turkish and Roma learning their mother tongue.
Beginning from the kindergartens up to the secondary centres wherein the lessons are held in Albanian language in compare with the above-mentioned institutions in Macedonian language, the Albanian educational institutions are the most left behind. Example: provision of educational staff, there are Albanian institutions wherein in certain areas improper, inadequate and nonqualified staff holds the lessons. In this area the educational process is mostly verbal.
All over Macedonia where Turkish population lives, the government doesnít launch the necessary number of classes. It is to be mentioned that there are lots of requests for launching these classes.
The teachers and managers boycott the education demanding implementation of Roma language as teaching language. The two schools in Suto Orizari and partially in Tetovo are excluded from the last comment. It is a fact that in certain parts of Macedonia there is no interest on learning the Roma language by Roma themselves as a result of many reasons (small number, lack of Roma staff). Another fact is that there is no standard Roma language for the Roma population in Macedonia; the government has no interest to face the standardisation of the Roma language.
Paragraph 2 and 3
In areas inhabited with a significant number of Albanians, Turkish and Roma the governmental administration hasnít so far given efforts on learning the Albanian, Turkish or Roma language.
Although there are lots of requests by Albanians, Turkish and Roma, the government hasnít undertaken adequate measures on solving the problem. The fact that the government doesnít employ or employs deficient number of staff-teachers of Turkish and Roma minorities worsens the situation even more.
There are requests for launching new classes in the secondary schools in Gostivar and Tetovo. In Eastern Macedonia there are request for launching classes from 5-8 grade in Turkish teaching language.
In Centar Zupa there are requests for teaching in Turkish language. This case raised lots of surge in the public because the Government didnít allow teaching in Turkish language, contradicting the requests of the parents. Because of this decision the parents donít allow their children to attend classes.
Albanian parents from Bitola submitted a request for launching an Albanian language class in the secondary school in Bitola. The decision of the Government to launch this class caused a big reaction of the Bitola public opinion accompanied with demonstrations of Macedonian students and parents, which forced the Government to repulse this decision.
The parties are obliged to create conditions necessary for efficient participation of the national minoritiesí members in the cultural, social and economic life, as well as the public affairs, especially those that regard them.
The government has undertaken very few activities for active involvement of Albanians in all spheres of cultural and social life, so in this regard the Albanian population in RM is represented with only 0,3% in the cultural, social and economic life. Example: Albanians are presented more only in the educational process, whilst in other institutions of cultural, social and economical life, as well as in public affairs especially those affairs regarding them are very little represented.
The Albanians have the opportunity to express their opinion and their attitude for issues that are of their own interest.
As it concerns the Turkish population, the government hasnít undertaken any concrete activity for their active involvement in the cultural, social and economic life.
The government doesnít consult the Turkish in a proper way at all, even with their representing institutions (political parties, associations, etc). Baring in mind the fact that they arenít given the opportunity of electing their MP-s (according to the current election law), Turkish do not have the possibility to express their opinion and attitude. The government doesnít include the Turkish in preparation, application and evaluation of the plans and programs for national and regional planning although direct Turkish interests are touched. Example: The Ministry of Culture prepared the national plan for the cultural activities of R.M. There are no members of Turkish minority in the Commission for evaluation of the quality of some cultural pieces or activities, who would judge the quality of cultural pieces or activities related to the Turkish culture and literature. Turkish do not efficiently participate the decision bringing processes in the local or national level because the government hasnít elected Turkish representatives in these organs.
The government doesnít consult the Turkish when preparing studies or other development activities relating Turkish population. In the governmental institutions with more importance there are a small number of Turkish officials (managers, directors) who could take part in the preparation of studies and activities.
During the 1994-1998 parliamentarian elections, the Roma participated with two members, whereas in the 1998-2002 parliamentarian elections have only one MP who is not representative at all and is unacceptable from other MPs, and they donít participate in the executive power at all.
Roma problems are the following: Approximately 15 years ago the Roma had a Cultural Artistic Association in the larger urban centers. This Association was partly supported by the government, but there only a small number of these Cultural Artistic Associations, somewhere even none, and the existing ones manage for the financial and material resources by themselves, that is the reason of their quick fail.
Roma werenít offered any discrete chance to express their opinion and attitude for the issues of their behalf, except the ones organised by the NGO-s.
Finally it is to be said that the Constitution of R.M. guaranties all citizensí equality in front of the Law.
Parties abstain of measures that alter the representation of the population in areas where members of the national minorities live, and their purpose is to limit the rights and freedoms that come as a result of the principles specified in this Framework Convention.
In the previous system the government has undertaken activities aiming to alter the concentration of the Albanians in some particular areas. (Forceful displacement).
After the creation of the state of Macedonia there arenít evident examples of forceful alteration of the structure of population, but there are other evident activities that prevent the nationalities to realise their rights that come as a result of articles of this convention.
The newly formed Local Self-governments Aracinovo, Saraj, Kondovo, etc are excluded by the constitution of the City of Skopje, although they were a part of this constitution by the previous division. Also the territorial division of the Local Self-governments that left in the constitution of the City of Skopje are arranged in that way so that Albanians canít elect their representatives in the Local Self-governments of the City of Skopje. They canít as well elect representatives in the Parliament of RM pursuant to their number, and in fact they canít realise some of the benefits that come as a result of the articles of this convention. (Linguistic, cultural, etc). Also with the permanent underdevelopment and week investments, especially in some hinterland areas with R. Albania, indirectly the migration of the local Albanian population is caused.
As it concerns Turkish the government hasnít undertaken steps that would alter the proportions regarding the population in the geographical areas where members of the Turkish national minority live. There are no cases of expropriation or banishing of Turkish from Macedonia. But there are alterations of the administrative borders aiming to limit the rights of the Turkish (the right on election of their representatives).
There are no cases of forced displacement of Roma. There are some forms of division, for example division of local population for elections. There was injustice towards Roma almost in every town, they are divided and they are not concentrated enough to have the necessary majority during proposing and election of their MP-s or representatives.
Only in Suto Orizari Roma can realize this right because only in this Local self-government Roma are majority.
1.The parties are obliged to not obstruct the right of the national minoritiesí members to maintain contacts with people of the other side of the borders who are legally staying in other countries. Especially with those countries that they have mutual ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, or mutual cultural heritage, freely and peacefully.
2. Parts are obliged to not obstruct the right of the national minority members to participate in activities of the NGO-s, as in national and in international plan.
RM hasnít passed legal acts on obstructing or disabling inter-border communication of the nationalities with people on the other side of the border that are legally staying in other countries, especially with those who have mutual ethnic, cultural, lingual or religious identity, or mutual cultural heritage.
The national minorities are free and enjoy the right to establish, maintain contacts outside Macedonia freely and peacefully.
But it is to be specified that:
- RM hasnít undertaken particular steps to ease these contacts (with R. Albania the visa regime is yet in use)
- In the period of mid 50-ies up to year 1992 travelling to Albania was forbidden although a relatively large number of Albanians in Macedonia were disabled to visit their family members living in Albania. Even if R. Albania permitted visits (that were rare) a special permission by the Ministry of Internal Affairs was necessary to travel to R. Albania.
On the other hand the government hasnít undertaken any particular steps to forbid or to complicate the non-governmental activity of the national minorities. The same is eased by the legislation of the Law on Civic Associations and Foundations (1998) that foresees court registrations. The previous law provided registration of NGO-s in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where it was an often practice to reject the registrations of the Associations founded by the representatives of the national minorities with giving banal reasons and excuses or sometimes even without giving excuses. This resulted with a relatively small number of NGO-s founded by the nationalities aiming realization of some of their specific needs or problems. It is also to be mentioned that the government didnít financially support the NGO-s founded by the nationalities, or the given support was inconsiderably small.
1. Parties will put efforts to enclose bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries, especially with bordering countries aiming providing protection of the members of certain national minorities.
2. If necessary parties will undertake steps to encourage the inter-border co-operation.
Paragraph 1 and 2
RM doesnít show any significant interest for reaching special bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries (Turkey, Albania) aiming to amplify the frames of protection provision for the nationalities: Albanians, Turkish and Roma in RM. It is worth mentioning that during the year 2000 there was an initiative of an opposition MP (at that time), for reaching bilateral agreement with Albania in the sphere of the national minority protection. But this proposition was emphasising the component related to protection of the Macedonian national minority in Albania, more than amplifying the spectre of the rights of Albanian national minority in Macedonia.
So far RM hasnít reached agreements on protection of national minorities.
Inter-border co-operation, information and experience exchange between countries is a significant instrument for the improvement of the mutual understanding and confidence.
But RM hasnít undertaken concrete steps to encourage these activities (at the time being of preparation of this report, an initiative for a more liberal inter-border traffic of RM with its neighbours-an initiative in the mount of the initiatives deriving from The Stability Pact).
Parties are obliged to respect and to implement the principles included in this Framework Convention, inputting if necessary only the limitations, restrictions or revocations foreseen in the international juridical instruments. Especially in the Convention on protection of the human rights and elementary freedoms and its Protocols, if they regard the rights and freedoms that derive from the mentioned principles.
RM ratified the Framework Convention, but has inputted a declaration regarding the term national minorities. Because even in the internal juridical system the term nationalities is used.
In this case the domestic legislation of RM doesnít review the issue of limitations, restrictions or revocations of the obligations related to this international agreement. Macedonia doesnít even entirely implement them, and in the spirit of the principles deriving by this Convention.
In practising the rights and freedoms that derive by the principles specified in this Framework Convention, the members of the national minorities respect the national legislature and other peoples rights, especially the rights of members of the majority or other national minorities.
Article 51 of the Constitution of RM says:Ē in RM the laws must be in compliance with the Constitution, and all the other regulations with the Constitution and the Law. Everyone is due to respect the Constitution and the lawsĒ.
There isnít any distinct tendency of the nationalitiesí representatives in Macedonia on practising the rights and freedoms that derive by the principles specified in this Framework Convention, to call upon them at eventual disrespect of national legislature and rights of other people, especially the rights of the majority members or other national minorities.
Nothing in this Framework Convention shall not be interpreted to give the right to undertake activities or to proceed contrary on the elementary principles of the international law and especially on the sovereign equality, territorial integrity and political independence of the countries.
Article 1 of the Constitution of RM says: ďRM is sovereign, independent, democratic and social country.
The sovereignty of RM is indispensable, indefeasible and nontransferable.
It is to be mentioned that there is no significant readiness or determination of some of the nationalities in Macedonia for disintegration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. Neither reference by their side on certain rights that derive by this Convention is used as an excuse for eventual activities in that direction.