The European Union is insisting on an independent investigation after Macedonia's opposition leader was accused of plotting a coup and prevented from leaving the country.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said Monday that the 28-nation bloc demands "an independent and transparent investigation in case of any wrongdoing."

Macedonia, once part of Yugoslavia, is not in the EU but has been a candidate for EU membership since 2005.

Zoran Zaev of Macedonia's opposition Social Democratic Union party was charged Saturday with "violence against representatives of the highest state authorities." Local media reported he was not arrested but ordered to surrender his passport.

Kocijancic said the EU is concerned about "the way in which events over the weekend were handled and the lack of balanced media coverage" of those events.