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 PRESS RELEASE

Martin Schultz's answer to Dimitrios Papadimoulis: "The internationally recognized name of the country is FYROM - The official body of the European Parliament does not adopt the term of Macedonia".


The President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz rejects the EPP MEP M. Petir's initiative of establishment of an informal friendship group in the Parliament under the name "Friends of Macedonia". More specifically underlines that the European parliament has an official Joint Parliamentary Committee for relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which does not adopt the name that is given by M. Petir.


In reply to the letter, of the Vice President of the European Parliament and SYRIZA MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis, with which reacts strongly to the creation of that MEPs' informal friendship group under the name "Friends of Macedonia", the President of the European Parliament M.Schultz mentions that the European Parliament expressed only through its official body which is the committee responsible, and he continues his letter saying that any other unofficial grouping of Members "should respect this and ensure that no confusion is created" . Mr Schultz underlines that "Parliament pays particular attention to use for all diplomatic, political and administrative purposes the name FYROM, which is the internationally recognized name of this country".


Final, the President Schultz, gives the responsibility to the EPP Group, taking for granted that the creation of such informal groups and for any application for facilities of the European Parliament is required a request made in the name of a political group. He also underlines that, "it falls solely to the respective political groups to decide whether to sponsor the activities of such informal groupings and grant or deny them access to meeting facilities".


The President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz sent this letter to the MEPs Kefalogianni, Kaili and Androulaki that had developed a similar initiative.

 

Below is the Letter of the President M.Schultz:

Thank you for your respective letters of 14 and 15 January 2016 expressing opposition to an initiative by Ms Marijana Petir, Member, to set up an informal friendship group in the Parliament under the name "Friends of Macedonia".
As you know, the European parliament has an official Joint Parliamentary Committee for relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which is one of several countries in the region seeking accession to the European Union. This is our official body for Parliament's relations with this country and any other unofficial grouping of Members should respect this and ensure that no confusion is created.
I am well aware of the sensitivities around the country's name and dispute with Greece over the use of the term "Macedonia", which is the name of a large region in Northern Greece, hence the provisional reference to the country as FYROM until a solution can be found. Parliament pays particular attention to use for all diplomatic, political and administrative purposes the name FYROM, which is the internationally recognized name of this country.
Rule 34 of our internal Rules of procedure provides for the creation of parliamentary intergroups which require the backing of at least three political groups and are approved at the beginning of each legislature by the Conference of Presidents. The Conference of presidents established on 11 December 2014 the 28 intergroups for this legislature, which, whilst not formally constituting an official parliament body or entitled to represent the views of the Parliament are allowed to use the parliament's facilities, subject to certain conditions and requirements.
Rule 34 of the Rules of Procedure also refers to another category of "other unofficial groupings of Members", which have no official status, enjoy no institutional support and are not representative of Parliament's views or positions but are simply an acknowledgment that Members, from time to time, organise ad hoc working groups on specific issues of interest to them. As part of our transparency obligations, such groupings should be declared, in advance and under the participating Members' own responsibility, to the Members Administration Unit, if they are receiving any support, whether in cash or kind (e.g. secretarial assistance), which if offered to Members as individuals would have to be declared under the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest.
Any such unofficial groupings are consequently not granted use of Parliament's facilities (rooms, staff, interests etc.) unless a request is made in the name of a political group. It therefore falls solely to the respective political groups to decide whether to sponsor the activities of such informal groupings and grant or deny them access to meeting facilities.
Yours sincerely

Martin Schulz

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