There are fourteen judgments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Macedonians in Bulgaria and so far none of them has been implemented by Bulgaria. This is a strong undermining of the court’s credibility and that is why the Council of Europe must act. In times of war in Ukraine, when human rights are not respected, bad examples are not needed in Europe, said VMRO-DPMNE MP Aleksandar Nikoloski, who is participating in the regular session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

In the European Court of Justice, tens of thousands of citizens across Europe are seeking justice that they cannot find in domestic courts when their basic human rights, the right to freedom of speech, the right of association, the right to national self-identification and the right to use their mother tongue is violated. Macedonians from Bulgaria have been fighting for these rights for decades. They have always lived there and want to exercise their national, linguistic and cultural rights, but unfortunately Bulgaria refuses to do so. Refuses to register its associations through which they want to exercise their rights. You will agree that this is an undemocratic act of a member state of the European Union, said Nikoloski.

He reminded that the analysis of the Secretariat for Execution of Judgments expresses deep concern that in the recent registration procedures initiated by the associations of Macedonian applicants in Bulgaria, the courts again ignored the principles set out in the Court’s judgments and the Interim Resolution of the Committee of Ministers.

Bulgaria constantly blocks Macedonia on the European path, Macedonia cannot start accession negotiations for EU membership because Bulgaria constantly vetoes, and at the same time Bulgaria does not respect the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. This is a hypocritical policy that I demand to end, said Nikoloski.

He called on the country to start membership talks with the EU, and Bulgaria to provide basic human and linguistic rights to Macedonians in Bulgaria, pointing out that only such an approach can lead to good neighborly and friendly relations between the Macedonian and Bulgarian people.