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Northern Macedonia: EU annual progress report to be published Thursday with or without change to Bulgaria

Tomorrow, the European Parliament (EC) will discuss and vote on the annual report on the Republic of Northern Macedonia, to which the Greens and Socialists have proposed changes, which refer to the inappropriate and provocative behavior of the Bulgarian authorities.

The amendment accuses Bulgarian government officials of making provocative statements on historical issues affecting northern Macedonia, and urges Bulgarian authorities not to make such statements despite the ongoing election campaign in Bulgaria.

The proposal was made by four MEPs Tonino Picula (Croatia), Tanja Fajon (Slovenia), Andreas Schieder (Austria) and Marek Belka (Poland) belonging to the Socialist and Greens Eurogroup. The amendment states that he “condemns the recent provocative statements by representatives of the Bulgarian Government on historical issues affecting Northern Macedonia, which is contrary to the spirit of the Good Neighbor Agreement with Bulgaria, and calls on the Bulgarian authorities to refrain from despite the current election campaign in Bulgaria. ”At the same time, a second change welcomes the mature and balanced response of the representatives of the Government of Northern Macedonia to these challenges.

The Bulgarian MEPs have announced that they will vote against the changes proposed by the Socialists and the Greens in the Progress Report for Northern Macedonia, which, in their opinion, contain unacceptable objections to Bulgaria.

MEP Adrey Kovachev said the EPP in solidarity with Bulgaria supported Bulgaria and introduced two amendments on the lack of progress in implementing the European Parliament’s previous recommendations on discrimination against citizens who openly express Bulgarian and / or their identity, strongly encouraging the authorities and civil society to take appropriate measures for historical reconciliation in order to overcome differences between and within different national and ethnic groups, including citizens of Bulgarian origin.

Conservative and Reformist MEP Angel Dzambaski says that “the scandalous corrections made by the Greens and the Socialists were made at the last minute and what is even more scandalous that the chairman of the Party of European Socialists is Sergey Stanic is the Bulgarian representative in the EP”.

This party proposes a scandalous change where “the EP must oppose some leaders and government officials in Sofia”. This refers to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov, who is a historian and president of VMRO. “It is waging a completely irreconcilable battle against the historical forgeries spread by Skopje forgers,” Dzambaski said, among other things.

The Bulgarian Socialist delegation to the European Parliament reacted harshly to what was said about their interference in the next Report on the Republic of Northern Macedonia, after Krasimir Karakachanov’s VMRO accused the Socialists of “making a treacherous national change” for voting, in the midst of their country’s election campaign, declaring that a particular political force is once again using an arsenal of lies and speculation and slander and undermining Bulgaria’s power in the EU for its own benefit, its political survival. .

“Exceeding the parliamentary threshold may be a political goal, but it cannot serve as an excuse for abusing the Bulgarian national interest.” Publishing inappropriate maps and statements may raise rates, but it makes Bulgaria’s overall position in Europe unacceptable. Due to such events, our European partners do not understand the behavior of our country. Therefore, we do not receive support, but new resolutions, “said a statement from the Bulgarian Socialist Delegation to the EP, adding that he would not support the change because it did not fully reflect the historical and political context of the Balkans.

Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Iotova said yesterday that MEPs were preparing an unacceptable amendment to the resolution on the Republic of Northern Macedonia. “The change is directed against Bulgaria. “It is unprecedented that such a document contains a reprimand in a current Member State,” Iotova wrote on her Facebook profile.

She called on her former colleagues in the Socialist Group and Democrats in the EP to back the change.

“The language of hatred and provocative statements, as well as the suppression of the rights of people who identify as Bulgarians is a trademark of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. “The prepared change once again confirms the failure of the Bulgarian state to explain to its European partners its position on the Republic of Northern Macedonia,” Iotova said.

Although of an advisory nature only, the EP progress reports on candidate countries reflect the tendencies of various political forces in the European Parliament.

Earlier yesterday, on the occasion of the frequent language of hatred and discrimination in Northern Macedonia, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said that Sofia expects Skopje to protect the right of every citizen to free self-determination.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva summoned Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of Northern Macedonia in Sofia Vladimir Krastevski for talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended by Deputy Foreign Minister and Director General of Southeast Europe Iva Krule He expressed his disappointment with the big negative campaign in the Republic of Northern Macedonia against Skopje’s representative in Eurovision 2021, Vasil Garvanliev “.

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