Bulgarian member of he European Parliament Andrey Kovatchev, who is the Vice-Chair of the EPP party, told Lider that Bulgaria fully supports Macedonia in opening the EU accession talks. In an editorial for Lider, Kovatchev also explains his position on the historical narrative issues which have affected relations between the two countries. The editorial covers the Framework positions which Bulgaria presented last week to guide its future relations with Macedonia.

The first key element from the Framework positions is that Bulgaria said YES to opening EU accession talks. Bulgaria is not blocking Macedonia to open the accession talks! There are unofficial announcement that the French position will be to delay and I sincerely hope that it won’t happen. Bulgaria will make all efforts, I’m sure of that, to persuade its European partners that this doesn’t happen, Kovatchev says in his editorial.

The second position the MEP covers is the shared history between Macedonia and Bulgaria. In the text he insists that “for hundreds of years, the geographic regions of Moesia, Thrace, Dobrudza and Macedonia were populated with a dominantly Bulgarian population, and have a long joint history – that means they were one in the past”.

The people in these states was basically Bulgarian. The national enlightenment leaders and the VMRO leaders declared themselves as Bulgarians, Kovatchev writes before providing a long list of historic figures.

According to the member of European Parliament, the request that Macedonia acknowledged the Bulgarian character of these heroes does not mean that contemporary Macedonians must also declare themselves as Bulgarian.

The historical narrative in Macedonia that these men were not Bulgarian, and are often represented as fighting against Bulgaria, are lies and they must stop! Bulgaria doesn’t want to take anything away from Macedonian history. On the contrary, we want the young in Macedonia to learn the truth. Your doubtful and suspicious readers should go to the Internet and themselves read what world historians write in English, French, German, Russian and even Serbian about these people. Go to Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Britannica. You will find out that what you are taught in school is simply not true.. My personal position is that the contemporary Macedonian nation begins between the two world wars and is officially founded in 1944, on the territory of the contemporary RNM and nowhere else, Kovatchev says, denying the existence of a Macedonian nation in modern day Bulgarian territory.

Kovatchev blames the “anti-Bulgarian” propaganda in Macedonia for demanding that Bulgaria recognizes the Macedonian language as separate from the Bulgarian and calls on the country to re-examine its approach to the treaty of friendship signed in 2017 – to stop protracting its implementation.