The United Macedonian Diaspora strongly denounces Bulgaria for blocking the start of
Macedonia’s EU accession talks.
Bulgaria is flexing its EU veto power to extract concessions from Macedonia on its national identity, history and language. Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Bulgarian Foreign Minister has stated that they will not approve the EU negotiations until their demands are met.
UMD criticises the Bulgarian politicking aimed at erasing the Macedonian identity and absolving Bulgaria of its repression of the Macedonian minority within its borders.
In recent weeks Bulgaria has even resorted to various forms of intimidation towards Macedonia, such as blocking the signing of a border management agreement. Further, their Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov has threatened to enter Macedonia to dismantle World War II monuments commemorating victims of the “Bulgarian fascist occupiers.”
If the EU and its member states support European democratic values and respect for essential rights and hope to foster a positive relationship with Macedonia, they must not permit Bulgaria’s demands to go unchallenged. Otherwise, inaction on the part of the EU dampens confidence in the entire EU accession process.
UMD recommends that the EU would benefit from encouraging respectful and constructive dialogue between states that upholds rights to identity, language, and history. Disrespect for fundamental and sovereign rights should have no lawful place in modern day EU accession negotiations.