by | 27 January, 2023

Even if we change our Constitution ten times and list every single Bulgarian by name and surname in the Preamble, Bulgaria won’t stop hindering our progress towards the EU.

1 Macedonia has successfully established good interethnic relations, and in principle there shouldn’t be a problem to include Bulgarians in the Constitutions, as will be the case with Croats and Montenegrins. However, the problems that Bulgaria is causing us won’t stop with the change of the Preamble. All because Bulgaria simply doesn’t want to even see Macedonia, let alone see it as an equal in the EU.

The EU and the USA probably still don’t get that. However, with the drama Sofia made out of the incident when the secretary of the Bulgarian club was beaten up in a pub in Ohrid, the same club named after the tsar who was a fascist occupier in World War II, I hope the authorities see how things stand a little better now. Even if we change our Constitution ten times and list every single Bulgarian by name and surname in the Preamble, Bulgaria won’t stop hindering our progress towards the EU. We have to live with that realization and to try to find a solution. We have to change our strategy for joining the EU. Since, the humiliation we will suffer from Bulgaria will have no end.

2 It seems we’re very gullible. There’s a French proposal, it’s not very good, but it’s good enough, let’s hurry because the EU is in a hurry, let’s do it because it’s the best proposal we can get, the next proposal might be even worse, let’s do it now in case they separate Albania, then a war in Ukraine, fast, no time to waste, accept whatever they offer, even if it leads to internal destabilization. And now – it is what it is.

I’m tired of debating the question: Do we have an alternative? No. We don’t. Our goal is the EU. And the real question isn’t whether we have an alternative. It’s how to reach our goal. Since, it’s obvious that the path our government has chosen is not yielding results.  We need to change our approach. We should be persistent in seeking help from our true friends. And we should use the entire domestic brainpower, and not to accuse people criticizing this subservient approach of being anti-European. In any case, the alternative mustn’t mean self-humiliation.

Even now we can see that after changing the Constitution there’ll be a new Bulgarian veto. That will remove SDSM from power, VMRO-DPMNE and Levica will compete with each other with populism and with hardcore nationalism, whereas DUI and the other Albanian parties will go back to their warlike rhetoric of 2001.

The EU will get an unstable Macedonia advancing a pro-Russian influence. Is that what the EU needs?

3 I can’t take EU Ambassador David Geer seriously, or any of the other ambassadors of EU member states in our country for that matter, when they say to us “It’s up to you whether you become a member of the EU”. That’s not true. You said it was up to us when we changed our name, and it turned out it wasn’t really up to us.

Don’t bother. It’s obvious it’s not up to us. It’s up to you. It’s obvious because when you wanted to get things done you were able to bypass Rumen Radev to secretly send Bulgarian military aid to Ukraine.

Not only are we the victim of a powerful hostile neighbour who doesn’t recognize the Macedonian people or the Macedonian language, but they’ll also blame it on us. The same way Putin speaks of Ukraine as a brotherly country, but doesn’t recognize the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian language.

Is anything up to us, considering the EU accepted the official policy of a member state which says that the Macedonian people doesn’t exist, that the Macedonian language doesn’t exist?

4 Even the US Embassy, in a statement for 360 Degrees, condemning the statement of the Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki, called for a “de-escalation of any aggressive language on both sides of the border”.

Where did Americans see ”aggressive language” on this side of the border? All of our state institutions and officials condemned the attack, the victim was admitted to a hospital, the police caught the attacker, the prosecutor’s office requested detention, and the state let the suspect of cocaine possession be treated abroad… Was Bujar Osmani aggressive when he went to Sofia to visit the beaten man from Ohrid? Was President Pendarovski aggressive when he didn’t even mention the name of the MEP for whom he proposed to be declared persona non grata? Was Prime Minister Kovachevski aggressive with any of his statements, which are so attractive that we can’t take a quote for a headline? Was Deputy Prime Minister Marichic aggressive when he called from the screening process in Brussels with phrases about European values?

While this side of the border responded to Bulgaria’s aggressiveness in the kindest way possible, they summoned our ambassador for consultations as if we’d crossed the border with tanks, and their state leadership threatened with a new veto. If Angel Dzhambazki, who threatened with an assassination of President Stevo Pendarovski, is considered a fool in Bulgaria too, how did they elect him as a member of the European Parliament? Can we say Kostadin Kostadinov is a random person, considering he is the leader of Revival with 27 MPs, who carried banners saying “Macedonia is Bulgaria” when the French proposal was voted in the Parliament? When it comes to Slavi Trifonov, the leader of the party which toppled Kiril Petkov’s government, proudly declaring they’re toppling it “because of Macedonia”; should we not take him seriously when he says: “The only way to make Macedonians listen to us is to bring back the veto on the EU”?

Hello, Sofia! Who are you that we should listen to you? Does membership in the European Union give you the right to make statements like that as if it’s 1941 and Hitler has allowed the fascist boot of Tsar Boris III’s army to trample Macedonia?

This is not a case of “aggressive statements from both sides of the border”. It’s a case of an EU member state denying the existence of Macedonians and the Macedonian language, a case of Bulgaria’s brutal aggression against Macedonia, which wants to become a member of the EU and is so bad at defending against that aggression that it’s doing it to its own detriment. They can’t expect to torment this nation forever – change your flag, change your name, now change your ethnic composition.

Let’s make Macedonians listen to us!?


Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski