UMD Urges Rejecting French Proposal – a Trojan Horse for Bulgarian Nationalistic Demands

UMD Urges Rejecting French Proposal – a Trojan Horse for Bulgarian Nationalistic Demands

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the leading voice of Macedonians outside of Macedonia, strongly urges the Kovacevski government immediately reject the French proposal which is a Trojan horse for the Bulgarian nationalistic appetites.

The French proposal inserts a bilateral dispute in the negotiations for EU accession. Macedonia cannot allow Bulgaria to succeed in its perverse interpretations of history and attempts at historical revisionism.

UMD uses this opportunity to strongly condemn the statement made by Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani that rejection of the French proposal will lead to interethnic tensions in Macedonia – such scare tactics will not work anymore. UMD reminds Osmani that Macedonia is a member of NATO, and her territorial integrity is further ensured by the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States signed in 2008.

The French proposal gives no guarantees that the Macedonian language will become an official language of the European Union when Macedonia becomes a full-fledged member state. The proposal says that the EU has noted the unilateral declarations of Bulgaria and Macedonia about the Macedonian language, which has nothing to do with recognition.

The mentioning of Article 12 of the 2017 Agreement for Good Neighborly Relations with Bulgaria, the French proposal inserts the Bulgarian conditions regarding the Macedonian identity, language, and history voted in by a resolution supported by the majority in the Bulgarian Parliament. In the same parliament of this EU member, on June 24, 2022, thirty-odd Bulgarian MPs proudly displayed signs reading: “Macedonia is Bulgaria.”

The French proposal changes the negotiation framework and adds extra conditions, not applied to any other candidate state. For Macedonia to begin the negotiations for EU membership, it must add Bulgarians to its constitution. As a reminder, Bulgarians amount to 3,504 citizens according to the latest census, which is equal to a statistical error. Conversely, Bulgaria does not even recognize that a Macedonian minority exists on its territory. Macedonians in Bulgaria do not enjoy any rights, let alone rights that one would expect from an EU state.

The stakes are clear. One does not have to be an EU expert to understand that Macedonia must pay a heavy price to just begin the accession talks without any guarantees for future EU membership. By accepting the French proposal, Macedonia will only create additional problems. The issue is that Bulgaria, just like Greece with the unconstitutional Prespa Agreement, will dictate the conditions, identity, language, and history of the Macedonian people and nation.

UMD sends a clear message to the opposition parties: do not allow for a replay of 2018 when 8 MPs defected from your ranks to vote for changing the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia. If the government is considering the adoption of the French proposal, resign from Parliament immediately. This will make any constitutional changes impossible due to the 2/3 requirement (support from 80 MPs).

The people have spoken during these massive demonstrations. Respect the will of the people, respect the memories of the Ilinden freedom fighters, the partisans, and all those who have sacrificed their lives for our Macedonia. Stop the senseless compromises, submissiveness, and lack of self-respect. It is time for Macedonia to strengthen its national identity, not cower to extortion.