The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) sent the following letter to the European Union’s HRVP Federica Mogherini prior to her scheduled visit to Macedonia sometime between March 1-4, 2017.
February 26, 2017
Her Excellency Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy
Vice-President of the European Commission
Dear Madame Mogherini,
Macedonia was the first nation in Southeast Europe to sign on to the Stabilization and Association Agreement, demonstrating its dedication to an enhanced relationship with the European Union. Macedonia has implemented significant and costly reforms associated with the goal of EU membership, and have sought a close economic relationship and peaceful cultural ties with all EU member-states.
In response to these efforts, however, the EU has failed Macedonia at every step.
EU member state Greece has been terrorizing the Macedonian people for well over a century, when it annexed a large portion of historical Macedonian territory (Aegean Macedonia), and immediately began subjugating all of its national minorities. Since then, Macedonians in Greece have been subjected to periods of violent oppression and a consistent program of cultural genocide, which continues to this day. In 1991, when the Republic of Macedonia finally achieved independence, Athens launched a massive international campaign to deny the Macedonian identity, culture, language and history as part of this genocidal policy. It also launched an illegal trade embargo, forcing a 1995 Interim Agreement in which Macedonia needed to disown Macedonian ethnic minorities in neighboring countries, change its national flag and enter the United Nations and other bodies under the reviled “temporary (and highly offensive) reference.”
The EU has acquiesced to all of this, not to mention the unfortunate 1992 Lisbon Agreement.
EU member state Bulgaria has always had a very similar hostile intention toward the Macedonians to that of Greece, considering they too maintain sovereignty over a sizable portion of historical Macedonian territory (Pirin Macedonia). Sofia did not resist recognition of the Republic of Macedonia’s sovereignty, however. Instead, it has maintained a policy of active negation of the Macedonian identity, culture and language, and particularly in Pirin, where ethnic Macedonian EU citizens routinely have their rights denied. More recently, Sofia has cynically taken advantage of the political crisis in the country by exploiting its status as an EU member state, and offering Bulgarian citizenship to Macedonian citizens if they proclaim a Bulgarian ethnic heritage which they do not, in fact, have. As a result, thousands have done exactly that out of economic desperation, fleeing the country to work in the EU, while further destabilizing the region, in close coordination with the diplomatic war from Athens.
The EU has acquiesced to all of this.
In 2001, the Albanian UCK with tacit international support invaded the Republic of Macedonia’s territory, murdering hundreds and committing egregious war crimes, including torture. Their blatant aggression was immediately rewarded, first with the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which in effect has set up a parallel government in the western part of the country, and second, with an Amnesty Law that has allowed the perpetrators of these crimes, such as Ali Ahmeti, to not only escape justice, but also to install themselves as political kingmakers, guaranteeing chronic instability. They have also worked successfully to unconstitutionally cancel Macedonia’s national census, which has not been performed since 2002, as it is suspected that the true number of ethnic Albanian citizens in Macedonia is below 20% in many regions, thus rendering certain key aspects of the OFA obsolete. And in light of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s pernicious meddling in Macedonia’s internal affairs after the recent election, it is beyond clear that any assurances from international mediators that the OFA would protect Macedonia’s unitary sovereignty have been debunked.
The EU has acquiesced to all of this, and more.
Madame Mogherini, rather than be a force of stability and support for Macedonia, the European Union has betrayed Macedonia at every turn, and has acted in bad faith. Macedonians around the world want a better life for the Macedonian people, the Macedonian citizens of all ethnic minorities, and all ethnic Macedonian minorities who inhabit neighboring states.
As a leading Macedonian émigré organization globally, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) implores you to do everything in your power to help chart a new path in EU-Macedonian relations, based on mutual respect and common interests. We call upon you:
- To make every diplomatic and legal effort possible to pressure recalcitrant EU states such as Greece and Bulgaria to stand down from their aggressive positions against the Republic of Macedonia,
- To guarantee the human rights of all EU citizens, including the ethnic Macedonians of the Aegean and Pirin regions of Greece and Bulgaria;
- To call for all cases of war crimes from the 2001 War to be re-opened, and for the perpetrators of these crimes to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of international law;
- To fully recognize the Macedonian identity, culture, and language;
- To recognize the Republic of Macedonia by its one and only constitutional name.
Metodija A. Koloski