April 30, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) rejected today statements attributed to Member of the European Parliament, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis of Germany and broadcast in an interview with Deutsche Welle. The interview quotes MEP Chatzimarkakis as saying, “that an expected United Nations proposal on Macedonia’s name will include a new name for the Macedonian identity and language.”
The United Macedonian Diaspora firmly rejects any changes to the name of the Republic of Macedonia, and the Macedonian identity and language. UMD also maintains that this quote manifestly exceeds MEP Chatzimarkakis’ authority by any measure of statecraft or logic, since as a single member of the European Parliament he is hardly in a position to make pronouncements on the sovereign identity of another European state.
UMD is convinced that this statement indicates that MEP Chatzimarkakis is ill suited to serve as the Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee. At best, his statement reveals a lack of diplomatic subtlety and insight. At the very least, it demonstrates a near fatal bias toward his Greek ancestry.
“Mr. Chatzimarkakis’ statements are, by any measure, tendentious, irresponsible and subjective,” stated Chairman of the UMD Board of Directors, Aleksandar Mitreski. “Unaccountably, MEP Chatzimarkakis has taken the liberty to name a nation, their homeland and their country. Identities are not simply negotiated terms, but actual heritage that in this case has transcended over millennia for the Macedonian nation. The UMD calls on the European Parliament to recognize the grave damage that MEP Chatzimarkakis has done to his position as Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee and to remove him forthwith.”
UMD supports Macedonia’s efforts to join the European Union, however believes that members of the European Parliament from Greece or of Greek heritage are not suitable to chair or serve as members in any European Parliamentary committees responsible for deciding Macedonia’s future relations with the European Union.
UMD believes that any efforts by persons or entities to rename the Republic of Macedonia are unprecedented in diplomatic history and must be firmly rejected. This view rests on the universal conviction that the name of a nation state is inextricably linked to its sovereignty and the right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations charter.