The judgement made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague Monday morning in the case of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia versus Greece must spark renewed efforts to find a solution, Richard Howitt MEP, the Member of the European Parliament who leads for the country in its progress towards EU accession said.
In this morning’s judgment, ICJ President Hisashi Owada said in relation to the decision on NATO membership made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, “The Court has found a violation by the respondent of its obligations under Article 11.1 of the Interim Accord.”
Richard Howitt MEP, the European Parliament Rapporteur, said, “In the wake of this judgment there is an obligation for both parties to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution,” adding, “This ruling does not in itself provide the solution but perhaps may bring a solution nearer.”
Howitt continued: “I call on both parties now to move this issue beyond the adversarial setting of the courtroom.”
In Howitt’s opinion, “The problem is in the court of public opinion in both countries. A restrained and responsible response to this verdict is needed on both sides to lead respective public opinion to a solution fair to all.”
The European Parliament Report authored by Howitt on the country’s progress towards EU accession will be first discussed in the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the 20 December, 2011.