Original title: Zaev awarded himself in Berlin: His advisor is the director of the same organization
The fact that an advisor to the Prime Minister was formerly engaged in the Friedrich Ebert Foundation is abused to manipulate the public and belittle the human rights award that this foundation awarded to Prime Minister Zaev.
On November 17th 2020, the Republika portal published an article titled: Zaev awarded the prize to himself in Berlin: His advisor is the director of the same organization. The content of the text states that the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev received the award from the Human Rights Foundation Friedrich Ebert in Berlin yesterday, but, according to the author of the text, Zaev allegedly awarded the award to himself, because Milan Zhivkovic, one of his labor and social policy advisers was allegedly the director of the Skopje office of this German organization.
The portal uses the Prime Minister’s award to manipulate the public, in order to belittle the success and achievements for which it was obtained. The public should know that this award was not given by the local office of the foundation in Skopje, and even bigger manipulation is the “information” that Milan Zhivkovic, an advisor to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, was the Director of the office in Skopje, as it can be seen on their website.
In order to check the accuracy of the information, F2N2 contacted Milan Zhivkovic, who pointed out: “The only truth from the announcement on the ‘Republika’ portal is that I am an advisor to the Prime Minister on Labor and Social Policy. I have not been engaged with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Skopje office since April 12th this year. I had been employed since 2012, on the positions of Labor and Social Policy Coordinator and local head of the office, while the foundation has offices in over 100 countries and is nobody’s ‘property’, as someone wants to present it (… ‘if a little search is conducted on who stands behind this organization …’). The values of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation are based on the foundations of social democracy, above all the protection and promotion of human rights – and that is exactly why Prime Minister Zoran Zaev received this award. The local FES office certainly supported the proposal for the award and it is a confirmation of the efforts of both the President of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and the party itself that stood behind the concept of “One Society for All”. “The awarding of the Friedrich Ebert Prize has put us on a pedestal as a country, and at a time when we should all be proud of that fact, someone is creating artificial ‘constructs’ in order to devalue the success of our country.”
On November 16th , 2020, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, received the 2020 Human Rights Award from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The announcement on the website on the occasion of the award states the following: “Zaev’s achievements lie not only in the conclusion of the Friendship Treaty with Bulgaria in 2017 and the Prespa Agreement with Greece, which ended a 27-year-long name dispute, but above all in North Macedonia itself. […] After many disappointments, Zaev’s determined reform agenda led to the EU member states’ decision to open accession negotiations between the EU and North Macedonia in March and paved the way for North Macedonia to join NATO as its 30th member.“
Addressing the ceremony, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Zoran Zaev gave hope to an entire generation that was tired of constantly dealing with nationalism and a policy more focused on the past than on the future.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) is a foundation for social democracy, the oldest political foundation in Germany, founded in 1925. The foundation, based in Bonn and Berlin, has six adult education centers, 13 regional offices throughout Germany, local offices in over 90 countries and operations in more than 100 countries, including the United States and Canada.
Through its network of offices, it supports policies for peaceful cooperation and human rights, promotes the establishment and consolidation of democratic, social, and constitutional structures, and is pioneer for free trade unions and a strong civil society. It is actively involved in promoting a social, democratic, and competitive Europe in the European integration process.
The foundation owes its formation and mission to the political legacy of Friedrich Ebert, Germany’s first democratically elected president. The work of the foundation focuses on the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice, and solidarity.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation Human Rights Prize was first awarded in 1994 and was established by Carl and Ida Feist. In their will, the founders provided for the foundation to administer their legacy and award a Human Rights award annually. This prize is to be awarded to individuals or organizations who have rendered outstanding services to human rights in various parts of the world.
The 2020 Friedrich Ebert Foundation Human Rights Award is an award for our country, for its progress and achievements in democracy. The Prime Minister Zoran Zaev receives the award as one of the most vocal promoters of fundamental values – freedom, justice, solidarity, and international dialogue.
With this disinformation text, the portal manipulates the public in order to overshadow and belittle this success and the achievements of the Prime Minister and the institutions of the state in the process of democratization of the country and Euro-Atlantic integration.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.