site.btaForeign Minister Milkov: Out of Over 17,000 Non-governmental Organizations in North Macedonia, the First Two Tackled Were the Bulgarian Ones
Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov said in a BulgariaOnAir interview that out of over 17,000 non-governmental organizations registered in the Republic of North Macedonia, the first two that the established commission on the use of names of historical figures in North Macedonia tackled were the two Bulgarian organizations.
On March 17, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry released a statement that according to publicly available information, the Central Registry of the Republic of North Macedonia has submitted approximately 17,000 non-governmental organizations for review by the Ministry of Justice. Within the statutory period, only the Ivan Mihailov-Bitolya Cultural Club and the Tsar Boris III Cultural Club associations received negative decisions regarding the use of the names chosen by their founders.
This fact shows that the hastily adopted changes to the Associations and Foundations Act were made with a single purpose, namely the deletion of two organizations of Bulgarians in the Republic of North Macedonia, the statement said.
On March 16, the commission on the use of names of historical figures in North Macedonia issued a negative opinion on the use of the name of Ivan Mihailov by the Ivan Mihailov Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bitola. Meanwhile, the Central Registry of the Republic of North Macedonia announced it was rejecting an application for agreement on the name from the King Boris III Civil Society Association in Ohrid.
Minister Milkov argued that this was exactly what was intended to happen, and noted how fast the legislation was adopted with an amazing consensus, despite the sharp contradictions between the ruling party and the opposition.
"Despite all the assurances we had received, this law was not agreed upon with the Venice Commission," he added.
The function of the Foreign Ministry is to inform Bulgaria's partners from the European Union in the form of various bodies, structures and institutions, and it is doing so, Milkov said, noting that as a member state Bulgaria has the right to judgment regarding the democratic process in the Republic of North Macedonia in the context of its future European integration.
"I have personally informed the EU Council on Foreign Relations," Milkov said and added that the Bulgarian embassy in Skopje is in constant contact with the EU delegation.