President of North Macedonia: If Bulgaria insists on disputing our identity, we should stop the EU accession negotiations


After the meeting with the members of the Security Council [of North Macedonia] I said that after the French proposal is submitted to the Government [of North Macedonia], I expect to see in the Government’s conclusions a statement that starting from the day we start and end the EU accession negotiations, if there are additional efforts from the Bulgarian authorities to impose questions about the Macedonian history and identity, we should not wait for someone to block us, but withdraw ourselves from these negotiations, said Stevo Pendarovski, the president of North Macedonia, after yesterday meeting of the Security Council.

“We have big political tensions in the country, but I don’t believe in the perception that is being created among the general public that this is a destiny call – to be or not to be – and that allegedly these days we have to make a decision that will define the future of the future generations. The decision to accept the French proposal will be neither a triumph, nor a debacle. For me, it is acceptable. It is a transitional compromise in one of the country’s EU accession phases. Accepting this proposal will lift the Bulgarian veto and will allow the formal start of the negotiations. The French proposal isn’t undermining any part of the Macedonian national identity, as the proposal contains a clear formulation of the Macedonian language without a footnote,” said the president.

President Pendarovski said that it is a paradoxical that no one in the country has any objection to including the Bulgarians in the Constitution, but the internal polarization is preventing the consensus.

There is a fear among a significant part of the Macedonians, said the president, that we will be able to enter the EU no other way but only as Bulgarians.

“Dear friends, I think we are all aware of ways when one Macedonian can become a Bulgarian. A lot of our fellow countrymen have done that by taking Bulgarian passports”, Pendarovski said.

Prime Minister Kovachevski also commented, as he said, to “refute these lies and speculations regarding the French proposal” and stated that the Macedonian language will be an official language of the European Union without any footnotes and annexes.

“We heard many lies and speculations about the French proposal. I want to be crystal clear: with this proposal, the Macedonian language is absolutely intact and equal to all the other languages in Europe. The Macedonian language will be an official language of the European Union. There are no footnotes and annexes, these are all lies,” Kovachevski wrote on his official Facebook page.

“Our strategy and plan has showresults and we have a new proposal that is protecting our strategic and national interests. We will not allow jeopardizing them with the proposal or during the EU accession negotiations,” said Kovachevski.

The President of the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski rejected the French proposal for the negotiation framework for North Macedonia in its EU bid.

He called the proposal “an ultimatum for our Macedonia’s future” and also said he saw that this proposal contains all of Bulgaria’s demands, regarding the parts that refer to the history, language, and identity.

Mickoski stated that VMRO-DPMNE will not support the start of negotiations based on the French document.

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