“Political Leadership Education – a Guarantee for Sustainable Statehood” – the discussion of the Institute of Politics and the Ohrid Institute for Economic Strategies and International Affairs has become the scene of an extensive debate on the role of culture and knowledge in politics.”

Establishment and promotion of the of political culture value are processes that need time for development as well as awareness. This was the beginning of the joint discussion of the Institute of Politics and the Ohrid Institute for Economic Strategies and International Affairs in Strumica, Macedonia. And it has been extended by the participants in many aspects of their practice in both countries at the moment.

Symbolic guests on behalf of the Ohrid Institute were Mrs. Biliana Yaneva (Executive Director of the Ohrid Institute), Mrs. Maria Andreeva (Project Coordinator at Ohrid Institute), as well as a number of young students, representatives and active politicians in the main parties in Macedonia – Mr. Dimche Arsovski (VMRO-DPMNE Official Speaker), Mr. Stefan Andonovski (Secretary of VMRO-DPMNE), Mr. Vladimir Ristov (Member of the Executive Board of VMRO-DPMNE), Mr Dino Blazheski (Chairman of the Youth Organization of VMRO-People’s Party), Mr. Victor Velevski (Secretary of the youth organisation of The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDUM).

Bilyana Yaneva explained to the Bulgarian delegation what a crucial moment for Macedonia this important debate on the significance of the education of politicians is.

“We operate with approximately 24 political forces: Large, small, ethnic, all kinds of parties. Achieving this balance and a dialogue is an extremely difficult task and we are really happy that in the face of the Institute of Politics we have found a partner to accomplish our ideas in a wider geographical aspect as well. Similar kind of inter-neighbourly cooperation gives us all not only different perspectives and opportunities for exchange of experience, but also a horizon for new, common prospects for development and improvement, “she said. Maria Andreeva added the statement that in her opinion the young politicians today bear a great political responsibility that needs to be built and developed even from their first steps in party and public participation.

Representatives of VMRO-DPMNE have expressed the view that it is wrong to identify education only by finishing a university. “Politics is a living and organized matter and it is very important for the practitioners to have knowledge in each of its constituent areas. The Political activity requires a constant upgrade of knowledge and skills and the search for new opportunities and formats for that, “said Dimche Arsovski. He added that not everything happens in front of the cameras and that every single step of the political career is important – you start with sticking posters to occupying a senior leadership position. In this regard, the biggest asset of each party are the youth organizations, he continued. Changes in society are made namely by the young people and they generate ideas, have the energy and they have the opportunity for development. “Besides youth, of course, it is obligatory for the young people to understand people’s needs and they must be the agenda of the politicians. Society is not a disposable electorate. On the contrary. It is the best adviser and corrective”, added the spokesman of the largest political party in Macedonia.

Victor Velevski highlighted the significance of the international exchange of knowledge and skills among politicians. “Such debates are necessary and useful”, he emphasized the importance of the discussion, adding that the focus should not be on the climate within the organizations. “It’s a success to know both the strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the structure and place the members in the right position. Thus every one makes progress according to his own potentials and interests and maximum results for the community are achieved. After all, we all want one and the same thing and it is a better place to live in ” said Velevski.

Dino Blazheski said that it is namely the field of exchange of views and experience provided by the Ohrid Institute for more than 10 years now that has been felt like a new breath among the young, politically engaged people in Macedonia. “The ignorance of what exactly political parties serve for is one of the main issues. Unfortunately, they are very often confused with labour offices and this is a global problem”, he said. In response to what is needed to change this vision, he said, that the solution to the problem was to raise awareness and sensitivity in politics. “You must enter politics with determination and good memory, with good mind and patience, but also go with your heart.”

“To be a good politician, you must be human first “, the participants united at the end of the discussion.