In a letter to the European leaders and institutions, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev appeals the acceptation of Republic of Macedonia to be based on the membership criteria, not lobbyist politics.

Emphasizing that he has always expressed and defended Bulgaria’s principled position for a consistent support of Macedonia’s EU integration, a country close to Bulgaria and with shared history, traditions and cultural heritage, Radev referred to the merits of each country and fulfilment of criteria necessary for the EU membership.

“Therefrom, regarding our region’s complex historical burden, in the accession process special focus should be put on the issue of respecting the principles of good neighborly relations and  human rights,” the President’s cabinet informs.

According to Radev, the events witnessed recently reveal a tangible diverting from the established path. The compromise acceptable for both countries, achieved in July last year by the EU, has not yet yielded any resolution of the problems – Radev wrote.

Radev pointed out the German Bundestag as an example of imposing Macedonia’s political circles and media’s main narrative on its relations with Bulgaria, dominated by the thesis that Bulgaria doesn’t acknowledge the Macedonian identity.

“It is a fact that Bulgaria never contested the right of the Macedonian people to define their modern identity as they wish. Bulgaria only reacts to the attempts to build the country’s identity on anti-Bulgarian grounds and by assimilating the Bulgarian history, similar  to their obsession with the ancient period until they signed the agreement with Greece in 2018”, Radev continues.

Referring to the part of the Bundestag resolution calling Bulgaria to cease delivering new conditions for Macedonia’s accession, the Bulgarian President said that the constitution amendments are just a preliminary condition for the country to start the membership negotiations. The process does not, however, exhaust all the conditions Macedonia has to meet to become a full member country.