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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

German idea for Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia

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German-born representatives have suggested that the EU redefine its enlargement policy, RTL reported end of last year.

The issue with Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia is also considered. The idea is of Josip Yuratovich.

He published it on the website of the International Institute for Balkan Studies. They propose three main changes.

Cooperation with parliaments and countries in the region, not with leaders of governing groups, strengthening of judicial systems and oppression of nationalists. It is important to formulate a single textbook that presents the facts objectively.

It calls for a solution to Bulgaria’s position, which is halting European talks with northern Macedonia. This can happen with the formation of an arbitration group.

A similar solution may preserve the credibility of the EU. It is important to find the right cooperation with the US administration for common action.

In recent weeks, Northern Macedonia has stepped up its attempts to exert international pressure on Bulgaria in a bid to break the veto that Sofia is currently imposing on Skopje to adopt a framework for EU (EU) membership talks.

The dreams of the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev for his country to become part of the United Europe are completely understandable, and as a statesman his job is really to make Northern Macedonia achieve this European ambition.

That is why he takes shuttles to Brussels, Berlin and Athens, complains to his American partners and gives long-suffering interviews to show the world how much his people are harmed by what Northern Macedonia presents as almost childish and completely illogical pressure from country of Bulgaria.

In other words, Zaev is ready for anything, if only to make Bulgaria lift this veto, without affecting the national pride of his country. Or at least anything that doesn’t involve real work.

October 11th is one of the great national holidays of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. In fact, it is her national holiday during the time of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, which was part of Yugoslavia.

What do the neighbors celebrate on this date? On this day in 1941, the “guerrilla resistance” of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia began in the Vardar Macedonia region administered by Bulgaria. In other words, our neighbors are celebrating how some communists started a fight against the “bad Bulgarians”.

The idea of ​​the evil Bulgarian occupier has a very central place in the Macedonian national identity.

Of course, every story, when it goes beyond its scientific framework, needs a good villain. For decades, Bulgaria and the Bulgarians have been systematically introduced into this image, while the people with Bulgarian self-consciousness within Northern Macedonia have been forced to give it up by force.

Even today, the country is reluctant to acknowledge the existence of a Bulgarian minority, citing its previous census, according to which, you see, there were more Egyptians than Bulgarians in the PCM.

Zaev himself hinted that the census now there would show the truth of how many people with Bulgarian self-consciousness there are in the country, and then eventually a Bulgarian minority would be recognized. This attempt to put a lever in the negotiations with Sofia is the most accurate sign of how much Skopje is actually doing to solve its problems with Bulgaria.

It is clear that the negotiations are currently at a completely different level than 2 years ago.

Although somehow Boyko Borissov and Zaev had established some personal relations between them, as seen from the last visit of the Macedonian Prime Minister to Bulgaria, it was the government of GERB and the Patriots that gave the green light to IMRO to practice their rhetoric on the topic.

If Skopje wants to see how the EU is from the inside, it must also comply with Bulgaria’s demands for history …

Now neither Borissov nor IMRO are a leading factor in determining Bulgaria’s relations with Northern Macedonia. In the current situation, however, there is no going back – just too much has been said on the subject to be simply swallowed and forgotten.

And the simple truth is that Sofia can make completely logical demands on Skopje. And this is happening – with the demands to remove the anti-Bulgarian rhetoric from history textbooks, with the recognition of a minority of people with Bulgarian identity in Northern Macedonia and the cessation of the harassment to which they were subjected.

Northern Macedonia must give clear and unequivocal guarantees that there are no territorial claims to Bulgaria and, above all, that Macedonian historians return to the negotiating table in that ill-fated commission, and not just howl to the skies.

Yes, this commission may not solve the problematic issues in how the historical facts are read, and for Skopje Gotse Delchev may remain a Macedonian. However, the nonsense will be limited and the systematic speech against Bulgaria will be stopped.

Our neighbor’s place is really in the United Europe. This is an important civilizational choice that will have a positive impact on the entire region. But this must happen with the clear guarantee that we are not bringing into our backyard a state that preaches against our own interests.

And this is not what we have seen in the last year, on the contrary.

And while the RNM celebrates its struggle against the Bulgarian occupier, there will be a problem to solve.

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