The procedure in the Macedonian Parliament over the constitutional amendments to include Bulgarians in the country’s constitution will begin within two weeks, claims Bulgarian Member of European Parliament (MEP) and Macedonia Rapporteur Ilhan Kyuchyuk.

“The Government will submit the proposal of the working group for parliamentary discussion in the course of this or the following week,” MEP Kyuchyuk told BTV.

According to him, the inclusion of Bulgarians, Montenegrins and Croats in the Constitution is a very sensitive process and as with every opening of any constitution, the complex procedure requires a public, political debate.

“Based on the European Parliament’s practice not to release reports ahead of important matters, I proposed that the discussion on the country’s Progress Report is delayed until fall this year,” says Kyuchyuk.

He adds that the report urges the country to take into account “the attacks on persons with Bulgarian self-awareness” and undertake measures in accordance with the law.

“Bilateral issues are separate topics in every report. The issue of rights of Bulgarians and their place in North Macedonia’s public life, as well as hate speech, are an entirely different matter,” says Kyuchyuk.

The MEP says the report cannot solve historical issues and the identity problem, noting that the 2017 Friendship Treaty, the Prespa Agreement and the ‘French Proposal’ are the basis for good neighborly relations.

“The European Parliament promotes good neighborly relations. Everything else is speculation,” adds Kyuchyuk.