Jovan Nechovski from North Macedonia

Text: Jannes Herman Mostert (EFF trainer)

“Greetings, I am Jovan Nechovski, I am a 26 years old Macedonian trying to get my masters degree in International Law. I work at my own company that hosts two websites, for daily news and for sports. We also do social media marketing for companies and political parties. When I was 18 years old I joined VMRO-DPMNE, a Macedonian political party. Currently I am president of the YFU committee for social media and my goal is to become a political campaign manager. I attended „Young Leaders XXVI“ organised  by Robert Schuman Institute, Eduardo Frei Foundation and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in 2019/2020 and also „Toolbox for local young leaders“ by Robert Schuman Institute and MK91 in which we had a trainer from the Eduardo Frei Foundation.”

What does democracy mean to you?

“Democracy for me means that all the power for making decision should be in the hands of the people.
Also I think that it shouldn't be misused, all sides must have rights, but also obligations. A democratic society is where the rights and the obligations are balanced without exceptions.”

What developments do you see that are shaping democracy, in a positive or negative way, in your country?

“Macedonia (North Macedonia, red) for the last three years forgot what the word “democracy“ means. For the past 3 years our constitution was disobeyed. The people's choice was not taken into consideration, for example, during the referendum in 2018 for the name change*. The issue that is shaping our democracy in a negative way is that the government (ruling parties) have an influence on the courts. Judicial, executive and legislative Powers are all connected and not independent. This development is spreading very fast in every societal branch. Corruption, no rule of Law, high rates of crime etc. In 2019, My country was declared a Hybrid Regime by The Economist Democracy Index.”

* On 30 september 2018 the Macedonians held a referendum in which they could vote for the name change of the country. Despite 94% of voters voting in favour, voter turnout was around 37 percent, less than the 50 percent threshold required to validate the results. As the referendum was non-binding and included constitutional changes, it also had to be ratified by two-thirds of the Assembly of the Republic. Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev vowed to push forward with the changes in the Assembly, which was achieved on 19 October 2018, when 80 of the 120 MPs voted in favour of the renaming proposal, just reaching the two-thirds majority required.

What do you like about politics, what motivates you to be politically active?

“Politics is the only thing you can do to make drastic changes in your country. I personally love the campaigning. As a young politician, I work hard to make a plan, a change in every branch for the better of others. My motivation to enter politics was the ideology of the party I am a member of. That ideology keeps me going, to keep fighting to make my country a better place for living and once and for all, to change the political campaigning. Political parties should compete with each other with ideas, plans and deeds. Elections should be won by the one with the greatest ideas, not the one who has the least „dirty laundry“.”

Of which political achievement are you most proud?

“My biggest achievement and the achievement that I am most proud of is becoming the president of the committee for Social Media in YFU. I am campaigning for my party on social media. I am reaching out to the most important audience, the young people.”

What kind of support would you, or other young people active in your country, need more?

“The young people in my country are very active in politics. But it is difficult to get political knowledge, they need education based seminars, training sessions. The youth in my country need more places to exchange experiences.”

What is the added value of trainings (from organisations like the EFF) to your (political) development?

“I had the privilege to attend „Young Leaders XXVI“ organised  by Robert Schuman Institute, the Eduardo Frei Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Best experience of my political life. I learned a LOT. This training made me a better young politician with a lots of ideas. I exchanged experiences with people from all around Europe. The training teaches you how to make decisions, how to never give up on your goal and always look for the best solution. I think that these trainings are important for young politicians because they can get a very good and useful political education.”

What was for you the most memorable moment during the trainings?

“We had a training where we were given roles of MEP in the European Parliament. We were divided by political parties and every party had to make a resolution that would be voted for by the majority of the MEP’s. I was selected as a member of EPP. In a heated debate with the Social Democrats, I started to imitate Matteo Salvini and his way of speaking. After 20 seconds of speaking English with Italian accent everybody started to laugh and applauded. That was one of the many memories I won’t forget from these trainings.”

Click here for more stories of political active youth


De twaalf provinciale afdelingen vormen de schakel tussen de gemeentelijke afdelingen en het landelijke bestuur.