MACEDONIA2025 CALLS FOR UNITY, TRANSPARENCY, AND PROTECTION OF MACEDONIAN NATIONAL INTERESTS IN THE PROCESS OF EU ACCESSION
Macedonia is part of Europe, shares its civic values, and contributes to its prosperity. Macedonia2025 strongly supports Macedonia’s goal to join the EU. Yet, our country is once again being asked to make unprecedented concessions to satisfy the unilateral demands of a bordering EU member state that uses the EU principal of consensus to disregard the desire of all other members, as well as the European Commission, for Macedonia to begin accession negotiations. Macedonia2025 firmly believes that the Government and Parliament should reject the French Proposal for the following reasons:
- The people of the Republic of Macedonia, including some Members of Parliament, have not seen the full content of the proposal. The lack of transparency, inability for proper and prudent deliberation, obvious absence of evaluation and due consideration are highly problematic. Perhaps most significantly, the alleged inclusions of concessions which result in a degradation of the most basic of human rights, including the right to language, history and identity all point toward the fact that a vote for the French proposal would be unconscionable.
- The proposal, as we understand it, does not bring any tangible benefit to the country; Bulgaria’s acceptance of the proposal does not prevent it from blocking the start of negotiations or impeding Macedonia’s accession.
- By agreeing to the concessions in the French Proposal, Macedonia would send a strong signal to the European Union, and to the world, that we are amicable to continued infringements on our right of self-determination.
- It is inappropriate to conflate a bilateral dispute over language and identity into considerations related to negotiations for EU accession, especially when these issues had never formally been raised by the Commission as a main priority to be addressed prior to the start of negotiations.
Identity issues must not be a precondition to negotiations. We call on the international community to respect our right to exist as Macedonians, to respect our right to nurture our language and celebrate our nation’s history.
Culture has never been an issue for other nations when seeking to join the EU. We call for unity among all major political actors on this issue, including unity within Macedonian society: academia, civil society, business and citizens. We must preserve our dignity and respect for our people and country. We should not abandon our core principles under the strong pressure of Bulgaria, France or the European Commission. The country has consistently demonstrated its desire and commitment to join the EU. However, acceptance of the French Proposal without the disclosure of its contents is simply not an acceptable choice. In proclaiming this view, we at Macedonia2025 have given all consideration that the circumstances demand and allow, and have weighed the significant negative long-term implications for the country, our people and most importantly the youth against the promised benefits of assent to the French Proposal.