Dimitrov: There is an obligation also for Bulgaria not to interfere in the internal Macedonian issues

In the Agreement, the provision for non-interference in internal affairs is reciprocal. And in that sense, our obligation not to interfere in Bulgarian internal affairs exists, but there is also an obligation for Bulgaria not to interfere in the internal Macedonian issues. Perhaps here the first issue is the right to self-determination and self-expression, and here is that conflict of positions with the agreement and the legal framework that in some way the agreement makes, says in an interview for RSE Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Nikola Dimitrov.


In regards to the work of the Commission on historical and educational issues, Dimitrov says that what the government can do is to create a positive climate, for unhindered work of the historians, but politicians cannot order the historians what to do and what not to do.

– Hence, our task is a positive climate. The problem in the work of this Commission is primarily the idea that their work should be a condition for our progress towards the EU. When that pressure and that blackmail is made, not only is a positive climate not created, but rather a negative climate is created and that is why I think that regardless of the wishes, the big problem in the current constellation of relations, positions and policy regarding this issue is precisely in that. Results are wanted from that Commission on historical and educational issues, but a climate of blackmail has been created, stresses Dimitrov.

Asked about the 5+1 plan discussed at the Summit Brdo kaj Kranj, in Slovenia, Dimitrov says that it is key whether the technical government in Bulgaria can deliver, if a solution is found.

– "It is very important to know, if we find understanding, having in consideration the date of the elections, both presidential and parliamentary in neighbouring Bulgaria, whether the technical government can deliver a green light, adoption of the negotiating framework and holding of the first intergovernmental conference, that is key. Secondly, for us, the Macedonian language in the negotiation framework is extremely important, the formulation for the Macedonian language in terms of the fact that the country should translate all, the whole corpus of European legislation into Macedonian and have a sufficient number of translators before it becomes a member, to be written as for all other European languages," stated Dimitrov.

Those points, pointed out Dimitrov, are the context of implementing the Friendship Agreement with Bulgaria, however, the total package must include the start of negotiations, meaning the adoption of the negotiating framework, the holding of the first intergovernmental conference.

– What I mentioned is extremely important for us, the Macedonian language, the Macedonian identity, which is absolutely our isse, a question for the Macedonian people. For us it is also very important for the accession process to bring Europeanization – whether we are moving forward towards the EU, opening clusters, meeting benchmarks and so on, to depend on the reforms at home. No, that process cannot depend on matters that in some way are not in our competence, for example, the work of the Commission on historical and educational issues. If our progress in the EU depends on historians, then it is very difficult for us to call that process Europeanization, says Dimitrov.

Extremely important, stresses Dimtrov, is one provision of the Friendship Treaty, Article 14, which states that the Treaty cannot affect the rights and obligations that the states, contracting parties, both have assumed under other international conventions, agreements, etc.

– “Article 14 is in some way related or is the other side of the commitment for non-interference in internal affairs, because both we and Bulgaria have certain rights and obligations that we have undertaken under other international conventions, and that does not mean interference in internal affairs. For example, the European Convention on Human Rights and our role as a member state of the Council of Europe”, outlines Dimitrov.


Translation: N. Cvetkovska

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