site.btaDescendants of Migrants from North Macedonia Urge Brussels to Pressure Skopje

Descendants of Migrants from North Macedonia Urge Brussels to Pressure Skopje
Descendants of Migrants from North Macedonia Urge Brussels to Pressure Skopje
Government building in Skopje (BTA Photo)

In an appeal to Bulgarian, Macedonian, and European institutions, 75 intellectuals, public figures, and Macedonian migrants' descendants insist that "the pressure exerted by [Brussels] should be redirected to the Republic of North Macedonia, so that the accession negotiations can start and be concluded successfully." The Association of the Descendants of Migrants and Settlers from the Territory of the Republic of North Macedonia and Friends is not against the citizens of North Macedonia who identify as Macedonians but insists on the preservation of the rights of those who consider themselves Bulgarians.

The appeal was addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, the chairs of the Bulgarian and Macedonian parliaments, Presidents Rumen Radev of Bulgaria and Stevo Pendarovski of Macedonia, the two countries' prime ministers, and the ambassadors of the EU Member States and the US in Sofia and Skopje.

The Association supports North Macedonia's EU accession, describing as "encouraging" the Bulgarian and Macedonian authorities' plans to boost bilateral cooperation in economy, culture, transport, and other areas.

On the other hand, the document voices concern over the "exclusive breaches" by the Republic of North Macedonia of the 2017 Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighbourliness and Cooperation with Bulgaria. Another cause for worry, according to the appeal, is the failure of the Bulgaria - North Macedonia Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission on Historical and Educational Issues to produce results over the last three years.

The appeal points out that the 2021 Macedonian census counted some 120,000 people "by default", without any enumerators having visited them. Only 3,504 persons were registered as Bulgarians, although more than 120,000 Macedonian citizens successfully applied for Bulgarian citizenship after having proven their Bulgarian origins.

The Migrants Descendants Association warns that the sole purpose of an official Macedonian American Heritage Month, which has been proposed to the US Congress, is to obviate the need to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization. "Founded in 1922, [MPO] symbolizes our common Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage," the document reads.

"We are certain that North Macedonia must and can turn into a normal European state, a worthy member of a civilized and democratic community such as the EU. The condition, however, is to genuinely decommunize the regime in Skopje," the appeal concludes.




By 05:26 on 03.10.2022 Today`s news

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