The European Commission (EC) finds the issuance of Bulgarian passports to Macedonians a domestic matter in which it does not interfere, MIA reports from Brussels.

MIA asked for an answer from the European Commission after Bulgarian President Rumen Radev called on Macedonian citizens with Bulgarian passports and spoke about his expectations for the outcome of the census in Macedonia.

The European Commission says that it has no position on the mechanism of issuing Bulgarian passports to Macedonians.

The naturalization you are asking about is not related to the granting of citizenship through investment schemes, so as we said before, this is a bilateral issue, the spokesperson of the European Commission told MIA.

The European Commission has regulations only related to the issuance of citizenship to investors who do not have a real connection with the country from which they receive a passport. This applies to cases such as Cyprus where many Russian businessmen obtain Cypriot citizenship and thus become EU citizens with the right to free movement, simply because they have expensive investments in the country.

EU law requires, for example, that citizenship not be “sold”, which means that it should not be granted through the establishment and management of investment citizenship schemes that systematically lead to naturalization in exchange for predetermined payments and investments – with no real connection to the country, said the spokesperson of the European Commission.

EU member states, says the European Commission, have their own internal rules for granting citizenship to third-country nationals if they meet certain integration requirements and can prove an authentic relationship with the country in which they obtained citizenship.