The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) strongly condemns the sixty-nine members of Macedonia’s parliament for today’s passage of a language law, which will codify Albanian as an official language throughout the Republic of Macedonia. UMD, and the global Macedonian community outside of Macedonia, will not tolerate redefining of Macedonia’s national identity. History will judge those who voted this law into place.
This fundamental law, adopted without democratic due process or real public discourse, will cost Macedonian taxpayers millions, and violates the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia. The law has not been cleared with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, and moves the country steps further to becoming a bi-federal state, jeopardizing the unitary territorial integrity of Macedonia. There is no historical basis or demographic reasons for Macedonia to have a bi-ethnic identity like Belgium. Two ethnicities solely do not make up Macedonia’s society.
UMD calls on:
1. President Gjorge Ivanov to act immediately by not signing this law, preventing it from materializing into practice.
2. U.S. and the EU to immediately condemn this Act of Parliament. If they fail, they should then insist that Lerin be written next to Florina in Greece, البرلينية next to Berlin in Germany, and Nueva York next to New York, in the U.S.
3. Macedonia to conduct a census of population, which it has not done since 2002.
4. Macedonia’s opposition to stop boycotting Parliament, like their predecessors, and get back to represent the best interest of their constituency.
The proposed law is both unconstitutional and divisive and goes far beyond the already deeply flawed 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement, brokered by the U.S. and EU. Rather than uniting the people of Macedonia, this law serves solely to further divide Macedonia along two ethnic and religious lines, which is completely antithetical to Macedonia and its government’s goals of peace with its neighbors and stability throughout the region. Rather than partitioning ourselves into ethnic and religious enclaves, Macedonians of all backgrounds ought to remain united under a singular official language – the Macedonian language.
UMD believes no minority in Macedonia should have preferential treatment over others, and Macedonia must stop creating parallel societies, but instead focus on building a proud homeland for Macedonians and all Macedonian citizens who respect the rule of law and Macedonia’s democratic institutions.