The General Assembly of the European Free Alliance adopted a declaration concerning the oppressed Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece, calling on the EU to encourage both countries to promote the cultural identity and self-determination of its Macedonian minorities.
We present the declaration in full:
Declaration adopted by the European Free Alliance General Assembly held from 14 to 16 October 2021 in Brussels:
a) The European Union must encourage Bulgaria and Greece to promote the self-determination and cultural identity of their citizens with local Macedonian origin
and considering the report on ′′ Minimum standards for EU minorities ′′ (2018/2036 (INI))
b) Considering the fact that Macedonians are indigenous to the territory of Bulgaria and Greece and show characteristic cultural traits, maintain long-term and loyal relationships with the state and are sufficiently representative, although less than the remaining population of this country.
c) Since, above all, Macedonians are highly motivated to preserve what their common identity is, including their culture, their traditions and their Macedonian language;
d) Since Macedonians meet the minority criteria according to the above EU report on minimum standards for EU minorities;
e) Since Macedonians are subject to system policy organized by the state to assimilate, discrimination and deny their human and minority rights;
f) Considering the long-term anti-Macedonian policy of Bulgaria and Greece from the 19th century;
The European Free Alliance insists:
1. Bulgaria and Greece should find a national consensus on the Macedonian issue and recognize their responsibility to the Macedonian minority on their territory, which they will begin to make European policy for minorities and give Macedonians all rights in accordance with the Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities and other important standard documents for minorities.
2. Bulgaria and Greece, which the EU believes are countries of rule of law, to act as such and to apply a fair and non-discriminatory procedural approach to issues related to the indigenous Macedonian population in their territory.
3. Bulgaria and Greece are encouraged to form a committee for permanent dialogue with representatives of the indigenous Macedonian population in order to start the process of granting international guaranteed rights and freedoms.
4. Bulgaria and Greece should change their policy towards the Macedonian nation in the spirit of European standards.
The reasons for this statement are largely based on the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Interior (2018/2036 (INI)) on minority standards for EU minorities, which clearly shows that the European Union is responsible for minorities and minority politics in the European Union countries. Another motive is the recent developments in Bulgaria and the steps taken against members of Macedonian minority NGOs and escalation of nationalist politics and rhetoric in Bulgaria against the Macedonian nation, state, language and culture.