1 So what now? Should we be happy that the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen uttered the words Macedonians and Macedonian language several times in her speech to MPs, encouraging them to accept the French proposal for the start of the EU accession talks? Is there really anything to be happy about? She even got applause. Are you honoured that a European bureaucrat is assuring you that there is a Macedonian people and Macedonian language right there in the Macedonian Assembly?
When duty called, von der Leyen came to Skopje to justify the new European values coming from Bulgaria, the values of denying the right to self-determination in the 21st century, which the European Union accepted.
That distant December 2005 when we were granted EU candidate status it was snowing, and there was a big party in Macedonia Square in Skopje. After 17 years of being mistreated, “not this June, how about next December”, “not during this presidency, how about next one”, “not in this report, how about the next one”, the start of the EU accession talks was supposed to be a nationwide celebration. Instead of that, we welcome this historic date, one of the many we witness in our lifetime, with blocked streets, with the sound of vuvuzelaz in the Assembly and police helicopters and armoured vehicles at the ready in front of the protesters.
It’s one thing that our politicians are incompetent, corrupt, illiterate, evil, naïve, disliked because of this or that reason…we know them well, we have ourselves to blame for voting for people like that. But, why the hell did you people in the EU even accept starting a discussion about our existence and the existence of our Macedonian language?
What did you achieve by helping Bulgaria change your EU accession rules? You’ve left the door wide open to Russia by making Levica strong. You’ve made the nationalist wing of VMRO-DPMNE even stronger. You’ve destabilised the already fragile government coalition between SDSM and DUI. You’ve revived the forces that want interethnic conflict. And you’ve deeply disappointed the civic-liberal circles that trusted unreservedly that everything the EU said was ok.
2 And Ursula von der Leyen herself, when she was the Minister of Defence of Germany, in September 2018, about ten days after her then boss Angela Merkel had encouraged us to vote in the referendum on changing the name that would bring Macedonia into the EU and NATO, said: “Everything will be just fine”. It turns out that the thing Macedonia was supposed to do is to accept the Bulgarian nationalist demands just to start the EU accession talks.
If you put something on paper, it will remain forever. On that sheet of paper, that European document, there is a statement made by Bulgaria that “nothing in the accession process must be interpreted as recognition of the Macedonian language”. The other 26 member states accepted that as “Bulgaria’s concerns”. And there’s a European stamp on it.
How can one not get mad? How can one not be furious, when the EU itself managed not only to strengthen the arguments made by Eurosceptics, but also brought about an anti-western mood among the Macedonians who were the most western-oriented? All because it lowered its standards of respect for basic civilisational values on the level of the most problematic member state, a corrupt Bulgaria, which can’t deal with its own dark history from the time of fascism so it’s using the power of the other 26 EU member states in the 21 century to fulfil its imperialist dreams of the 19 and 20 century. A Bulgaria which imposed primitive values on them and puzzled them so much that for three days they’ve been explaining themselves, we meant this, we meant that, they’ve been apologizing, saying something and taking it back.
3 Our disappointment with the EU is great, but the disappointment is even greater when it comes to the behaviour of our political elites, starting from the Declaration of Independence until now. They’re so incompetent that the money from the European funds as part of the potential start of the accession talks won’t be used for the common good, as was the case until now.
Wearing “I’m a Macedonian” t-shirts in the Macedonian Parliament, the pathetic tearing of paper and holding lighters on the parliamentary rostrum, blowing vuvuzelas while Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski is speaking and the submissive silence in front of Ursula von der Leyen, showing the middle finger in the Parliament as the pinnacle of the heroic struggle against “Bulgarisation” – all of that is in essence a fight between the companies owned by the parties to get their hands on the European funds.
So much for the EU topic, Bulgaria and the French proposal. Since we can’t discuss about the rule of law, the judicial reforms, the fight against corruption because the EU is not interested in that.
And I don’t really feel like being pathetic and proving whether I’m Macedonian and since when.
Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski