Initiative to Start Urgent Ratification Procedure in Spain Reportedly Accepted

The Foreign Affairs Committee, upon a proposal of the Bureau (presidency) of Spain’s Congress, has accepted the initiative to start an urgent procedure for ratification of Macedonia’s NATO protocol, 360 Stepeni reported on Tuesday. According to the acts published on the official website of the Spanish Congress, the Bureau made the decision on Monday, with a request to the Committee to urgently authorise that international deal. In a document signed by the Congress Sec Gen, it is marked that the procedure should be urgent, while the act, after the obtained positive opinion, should be published in the Congress Official Gazette. The deadline for submitting proposals or amendments to the text expires on Thursday. Immediately after that act, the Protocol should go to a Congress plenary session for approval. If it gets the necessary majority, it will be forwarded to the Senate. The next stage is confirmation of its before the Senate’s Foreign policy Committee, The final decision will be made by the Senate at a plenary session. Only then will Spain be able to send the ratification instrument to the US State Department and thus complete the process. Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska expects Spain to ratify the Protocol by mid-March. Regarding the changes to the Defence laws, she said on Wednesday that she expected Parliament in Skopje not to complete its task of adoption. The same day, In the presence of Faculty of Law students, President Stevo Pendarovski signed the decree for promulgation of the Law on Ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty. “We waited almost 30 years for this, but it was worth it,” he said, wishing for Macedonia to sign in the future such documents for EU membership, too. Symbolically, the pen he used to sign the decree was given to a student that attended the signing. Also on Wednesday, SDSM MP Hari Lokvenec held a press-conference at which he talked about the benefits of NATO membership and Macedonia’s road to becoming a full-fledged member. The ratification of the Protocol in Skopje was among the topics also at the meeting between caretaker PM Oliver Spasovski and Attila Mesterhazy, acting President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.