Eurostat condemned Macedonia for postponing its census for five years. According to the European statistics organization, the census should not be a political operation and needs to be performed, registering only the people who currently reside in Macedonia, or have been absent for less than one year, MIA correspondent reports.
Pieter Everaers, head of international cooperation with Eurostat, told MIA that the methodology for conducting a census is determined by the United Nations and mustn’t be subject to political haggling. The 2011 attempt to conduct a census was cut short after disputes between the political parties and attempts to register people who permanently live abroad. The procedure is important because, under the Macedonian constitution, a community with more than 20 percent of the population receives additional minority rights. Because of this, Macedonia is in its 16th year without a census. The last census was in 2002, following the armed conflict, and it was the first under the new rules that provided greater minority rights for communities making up more than 20 percent. The census was widely to be fabricated, even the opposition admitted.
“Normally, a census is conducted each 10 years. AS a rule, politics should be separate from statistics and we need to respect the principle of professional independence. The State Statistics Bureau needs to be independent and to work according to international recommendations”, said Everaers.