If there is political will and leadership on the side of Bulgaria, I think we can find a European solution that would be good for Macedonian-Bulgarian friendship, for the European promise to the region, and for North Macedonia, Deputy PM for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov tells Euronews in an article titled ‘Could North Macedonia be the graveyard of the EU’s ideals?’
“But there is an ‘if’, because we already did our best. And frankly, if my mother tongue, the Macedonian language, is the reason we can’t move closer to the EU, so be it. Then the EU is not really what we thought it was – a community of values,” says Dimitrov.
According to him, Bulgaria questioning the country’s right to shape its own identity and history has only created bitterness in one of the most pro-European countries on the continent.
“Is questioning the Macedonian language in line with what Europe stands for? Isn’t Europe supposed to be a continent where linguistic and cultural diversity is cherished and where all nations are treated with dignity and respect? Isn’t the question of who you are and what language you speak a question for the people concerned and only for the people concerned?” notesDimitrov.
He says the Bulgaria veto to the start of North Macedonia’s EU accession negotiations is damaging to goodneighborly relations and the Union’s credibility.
“We lost generations in the waiting room of the EU. We started our European journey after Slovenia and before Croatia. Both have become member states years ago, and we still struggle to open the accession talks. And just when we finally resolve the issue with the Prespa Agreement, embraced with major international praise and promises of EU accession talks, another mountain appears,” says Dimitrov.