The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the leading global voice for Macedonians, has condemned comments from United States Senator Chris Murphy about Macedonia’s accession to the European Union.
UMD reminds the public that Senator Murphy is one of a hundred senators in the U.S. Congress. Senator Murphy’s comments will only further anti-American sentiments in Macedonia.
On Friday, Senator Murphy completed a tour of the Balkans, including Macedonia, as part of his brief as a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On social media, the Senator tweeted three times on the same subject, including a video message that he came to Macedonia for just four hours to deliver one simple message:
“North Macedonia needs to pass a constitutional amendment that will allow them to stay on the path to join the European Union.
Following his meeting with Dimitar Kovačevski, Prime Minister of Macedonia, Senator Murphy tweeted:
“We both agree that North Macedonia should pass the technical change to its Constitution necessary to settle issues with Bulgaria. Let’s get North Macedonia into the EU!”
UMD has formally requested a meeting between the Senator’s office and UMD Board Members to express its concern about such comments. To UMD’s knowledge, no Constitutional change is required to meet formal accession criteria to join the EU beyond satisfying excessive demands from other governments to remove their objections, notably Bulgaria and Greece.
UMD is dismayed that complex policy realities are distilled into a social media tweet, ignoring the lived experiences of Macedonians who are repeatedly assured if they change ‘one more thing,’ they will have unfettered access to the European Union.
Argie N. Bellio, Chairman of the United Macedonian Diaspora, said:
“The good people of Connecticut might scratch their heads if I was to start tweeting that their state should change its name or make a break for independence. The same is true of Senator Murphy’s coming to Macedonia and distilling complex decision about Macedonia’s future into a Tweet.
“Macedonians have to beat the habit of indulging any politician who comes to Macedonia believing they can solve every issue with a 280-character tweet. It is profoundly insensitive to Macedonia already changing its name with the absurd prefix-North to assuage the governments of Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania all to access the EU.
“There is a difference between discussing the principle of joining the EU and the accession process and conflating that with absurd demands of foreign governments who object to Macedonia’s existence. Bulgaria has a troubled history denying Macedonia’s ethnic and linguistic identity both on the world stage and in its day-to-day politics.
“No other country in the world has had the goalposts moved so often as Macedonia. UMD remains committed to seeing Macedonia take its place in the EU, as it has with NATO, but not at the expense of selling its soul to the irredentist demands of Bulgaria.
“UMD is actively seeking a meeting with the Senator to express these concerns to him directly, in the hope of ongoing dialogue to understand the facts, not the headlines, of a painful policy reality for Macedonians everywhere.”
Since 2004, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) has served as the lead international organization for the needs and interests of Macedonians. UMD has been a staunch advocate for Macedonian causes on a global scale.