3. März 2004
Das politische Vermächtnis Boris Trajkovskis
Rede am 12. Dezember 2003 in Tetovo
Im Rahmen der Konferenz "Minorities in Democracy", die das Büro der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Mazedonien in Zusammenarbeit mit dem European Centre for Minority Issues und der SEE University vom 12. und 13. Dezember 2003 in Tetovo durchgeführt hat, hat Präsident Boris Trajkovski in einer seiner letzten öffentlichen Reden vor rund 400 Studenten, Professoren und ausländischen Gästen seine Vision von einem multi-ethnischen Mazedonien dargelegt. Heute wenige Tage nach seinem Tod kann diese Rede durchaus als sein politisches Vermächtnis gelten und unterstreicht einmal mehr seinen Stellenwert als integrierender Faktor in der Republik Mazedonien. ... Ladies and Gentlemen, dear students,
I am really honored to address the audience of mostly young people in this city, which has a symbolic meaning for the past, but even more for the future of our country.
In the past decade, Tetovo was a stage where many events happened, most of them with an undesirable outcome. Today, I am really proud to witness that this city is producing good news instead of bad ones. The very fact that this town of long history and rich cultural legacy is slowly, but steadily emerging as a university center with a profound relevance not only within the Republic of Macedonia is the best award for those of us who preach continuously about universal values of humanity, dignity and multiculturalism.
Unfortunately, the mistakes of communism have had a negative impact upon many generations and the burden of its bad legacy should be beared by all of us. It is notorious that the most negative consequences happened in the educational field where the poisonous seeds of intolerance once implanted should be dealt with by the present generations of politicians, students and all people of good will.
In March 2001, at the very eve of the conflict in the Republic of Macedonia, the basic foundations of this temple of wisdom were laid down by the courageous politicians of that time. In my opinion what is crucial is that the winds of war didn’t shattered the pillars of the University, which is a clear sign of its durability and importance.
In the early nineties started a decade long debate about the need to have a higher education in minority languages and eventual consequences for the future of the state of that kind of endeavor. Although both sides proponents were quite vocal in explaining and supporting their sets of reasons, in the heated ambient, the visibility and strength of the arguments were clearly on the side of those who wanted to see prosperous and stable state of Macedonia, unified in diversity. To the side of those who know more about values of promoting ethnicity, culture and linguistic features of the people defined in a broad international perspective without inclination to suppress or discriminate any individual. I am a firm supporter of the vision that the principle consisted of more educational rights than less is the right road towards Europe and global integration processes. Only educated people are capable of taking the leadership of the country and be a part of a national treasury of values.
While setting the basic framework of your activities, at the very beginning the international community and the state leadership came up together unified in their believes that there is no alternative to the common future which has to lay upon common efforts. What is valuable for all the citizens is the awareness that the University in Tetovo has no potential neither intention to undermine the state. Your short history of existence is a clear proof of my words.
Twenty-eight months ago the Framework Agreement was signed by the elected and legitimate political leaders. What, in essence, did we sign in August 2001?
I cannot speak on behalf of the others, but my personal feeling then and today is the same: we actually defined the substance of a strategic project of 21st century’s Macedonia. This project has a name: integration, not separation and mutual responsibility instead of domination. To put it in a simpler way: nobody in the Republic of Macedonia should be excluded from the mainstream of the society on the grounds of ethnic or socioeconomic origins, religious beliefs or political persuasion, simply because all of the previously mentioned is absolutely irrelevant in regard to the universal ideas of humanity and tolerance all of us is trying to keep alive.
Two basic pillars of the Ohrid document, beyond doubt, are decentralization and equitable representation of ethnic communities in all levels of the state structures. The first one should bring democracy closer to the ordinary people who have to be primarily in charge for the quality of their own lives and their local needs. The second one, should put the burden of responsibility for building our common state in the hands of all members of all ethnic communities simple because no person can avoid the judgment of history and of the generations to come.
The destiny of the Republic of Macedonia is to be a democratic country, but that never is a gift granted by God. Very difficult task is ahead of all of us and hard work and mutual tolerance should be the components of the unique formula for viable state and sustainable social development.
Books, not interethnic violence will integrate us in Europe. You are at the forefront in that battle without bullets which has to be win by all for the sake of all. Despite the propaganda of traditional skeptics and professional pessimists, the Republic of Macedonia is not only possible, but inevitable for all of the people who live in it for centuries. Every citizen of this country feel the essential truth- that the fatherland cannot be replaced and irrespective of the life and carrier opportunities emerging abroad, only one place in the world can be called home.
A vast majority of the population demands a stable and prosperous country – a land of opportunity and not a state of fears. Be aware that nobody is in charge to complete the work instead of us because at stake is our destiny not somebody’s lives. Nevertheless, what precisely should we do to achieve the goal?
The older generations and responsible politicians, have an obligation to find a way out, create a positive environment and offer an equal and fair opportunities to the people with ideas to transform our country into a better one. Reduction of poverty and creation of job opportunities is of utmost relevance for the future of all.
On the other side - you have only one task: not to allow the politics to penetrate the University and your curriculum, because you have only to learn and to educate yourself in a proper way in order to enrich our country and enable it as soon as possible to become a part of a prosperous world. Our future is dependant upon your knowledge and your understanding of modern tendencies and technologies. In the third millennium we can offer to the world only new ideas and answers for the questions of today. Nobody in Europe would like to buy our stories of Balkan history full of blood and ethnic hatred upon which is not possible to build European future.
This institution is based upon equal opportunities act and that policy should be followed by everybody. By your excellent example of leaving and teaching together your are giving the courage to the rest of the country to endure on the path of building tolerance and multhy-ethnicity in the best tradition of our predecessors. Witnessing your commitment and dedication I am sure that our common cause have a merit and deeply rooted rational behind it which is a guarantor of our country’s brighter future.
So, it is my belief that we are not going to wait for so long in the transitional room between communism and democracy. My sincere hope is that next time on your forums the President of the Republic of Macedonia will be invited to participate in one of the sessions, I saw, the organizers named - European success stories. I do believe that the Republic of Macedonia and it’s two million citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, more then deserves it.
Thank you for your attention.