Desktop version

Home arrow Political science arrow After Ethnic Conflict : Policy-making in Post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia

Macedonia's Track Record after 2001

The Ohrid Framework Agreement is generally seen as a success by international and domestic politicians and analysts.34 One of the most telling factors of its success is the absence of large-scale ethnic violence since 2001 and the

31 'Special Parliamentary Procedures', in Framework Agreement, 13 August 2001. 32 See Nadege Ragaru's discussion in 'Macedonia: Between Ohrid and Brussels', in

'Is There an Albanian Question?', Chaillot Paper No.107 (Brussels: Institute for Security Studies, 2008).

33 'Education and Use of Languages', in Framework Agreement, 13 August 2001. 34 Evaluations of OFA track record on its 10th anniversary by one of its authors,

Ljubomir Frčkovski, and the Vice PM responsible for implementing OFA, Abdulaqim
containment of political conflict within institutions. The open-ended nature of the Framework Agreement has also been said to allow greater space for elites to arrive to compromise and consensus.35 Some local analysts even consider the very reliance on institutional over territorial mechanisms of power-sharing as a success in itself.36 Policy-making has not been blocked or stalled due to double majority requirements, and governments have been able to pursue their legislative agenda without major obstacles: reforms in the areas of agriculture, environment, energy and defence, business regulations have all been successfully implemented since 2001, as part of Macedonia's efforts to join the EU and NATO.

Critics claim that the agreement has made the legislative process more complicated and therefore accommodation and compromise less likely. Referring to double majority requirements, Chivvis claimed that the complex policymaking mechanisms would further stall reforms as agreement would be more difficult to reach.37 Ragaru warned that the Framework Agreement embodies two opposite principles: one to bring the two communities closer (through equitable representation and proportionality) and one to enclose and separate them (through decentralisation and separate education).38 This paradox inherent to the Framework Agreement could create tensions as society and politicians respond to contradictory incentives. Indeed, in many areas problems remain and the debate is charged with ethnic tones, especially concerning the use of Albanian as an official language, the status of former NLA fighters, as well as the resolution of four cases of alleged war crimes committed by the NLA during the war, which the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has returned to Macedonian courts for consideration.

The track record of post-2001 Macedonia has been mixed, as in some instances elites found a mutually acceptable policy solution much easier than with other more controversial policies. By tracing the policyand decision-making process in these fields, the following chapters point out the factors, institutional and other, that at different points in the process impacted on the political elites and produced a positive, accommodating, outcome or a deadlock.

In conclusion, Macedonia's journey from state communism in Yugoslavia to power-sharing democracy after 2001, has seen several major changes and as many institutional continuities. Although after independence Macedonia

Ademi, were positive, 24.06.2011. Audiologs available at: policy.mk/ofa11/audio- logs/ (accessed 6 November 2013).

35 See Florian Bieber's comparison of power-sharing in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia in 'Power Sharing after Yugoslavia: Functionality and Dysfunctionality of Power-Sharing Institutions in Post-War Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo', in From Power Sharing to Democracy, ed. Syd Noel (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005). 36 Sašo Ordanovski and Aleksandar Matevski, 'Between Ohrid and Dayton: The Future of Macedonia's Framework Agreement', Sudosteuropa Mitteilungen, 4 (2007): 46–59.

37 Chivvis, 'Making of Macedonia'.

38 Ragaru, 'Macedonia: Between Ohrid and Brussels'. did not embark upon a major overhaul of political institutions and kept many of the republican institutional structures, gradual changes in the composition of government coalitions, the electoral system, and public administration indicated potential changes towards a more ethnically sensitive political process. These changes accelerated with the ethnic conflict in 2001, when the Ohrid Framework Agreement introduced constitutional reforms aimed at increasing the representation and participation of ethnic Albanians. With the post-2001 changes in the political system, Macedonia moved much closer to the Yugoslav powersharing institutional structure. The double majority in parliament, equitable representation in government and the public sector, and decentralisation, all made post-conflict politics increasingly consociational: they altered the policy process to increase the power of the numerically inferior ethnic Albanian community.


 
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics