EU Does Not Negate the Macedonian Nation, History and Statehood

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Photo: Alexander Jungmann on Pixabay

The facts show that the EU does not deny the Macedonian language, identity, and statehood in any way whatsoever. The reason why Ukraine and Moldova started EU accession talks before North Macedonia is not related to the EU disputing the Macedonian nation, language, history, or statehood, but to the fact that no one blocked the start of accession talks. On the other hand, the case of North Macedonia is such that the first veto came from Greece and was related to the name dispute, and now Bulgaria is demanding that the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia be introduced into the Constitution


We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) claiming the following:

Can Ukraine and Moldova become EU members?
Only Macedonia with the Macedonian people cannot enter the EU!?

By spreading untrue information, such as that ”the EU is denying the Macedonian people, history and statehood”, the post attempts to promote an anti-EU narrative. Furthermore, Ukraine and Moldova have not become EU member states – the European Council decided to open negotiations for their accession to the EU.

On 5 December, The EU Interpreting Services announced a call for Macedonian language interpreters, the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Bojan Marichikj informed.

The Macedonian language in the EU. The EU Interpreting Services published a call and will organize a test for the accreditation of conference interpreters from the Macedonian language (MK) as an A-language. The deadline for online application is 19.01.2024, wrote Marichikj on Facebook.

Regarding the Macedonian language, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski has stated many times that Macedonian is one of the European languages. On 20 June, he said that the Macedonian language is a scientific, literary, and political reality in Macedonia and the world and that it is one of the European languages inscribed on the translation booths in Brussels. Also, all of the EU Acquis is translated into the Macedonian language and the bilateral screening was performed in Macedonian language.

Hence, there is no greater validation and proof that the Macedonian language is already one of the European languages, i.e., EU languages, thanks to the decisions we made last year, Kovachevski said.

He added that the first agreement with the EU was already signed in the Macedonian language. That happened on 26.10.2022 when the signing of the Agreement with Frontex was announced.

It is important because it is the first agreement between the EU and the Republic of North Macedonia that will be signed in the Macedonian language. Second, in terms of operational activity, it is very important that with it, we secure better border protection and quick deployment of Frontex staff and equipment on critical border points with this Agreement, stated the Minister of Internal Affairs, Oliver Spasovski for Deutsche Welle.

On 7 December, Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani stated that the Macedonian language has become a European language with the Negotiations Framework, without any additions.

We did not work on convincing Bulgaria, we worked on building a wall between Bulgaria and Brussels, so that Bulgaria’s demands would not succeed in Brussels and the Negotiating Framework is now the filter for the Bulgarian requirements. Nothing can pass that is not provided for in the filter called Negotiation Framework. The Protocol is not part of the chapters. The guarantees were received through the Negotiation Framework, where the Macedonian language – for the first time – became a European language, without any additions. The manner in which the chapters are opened is a guarantee – chapters do not contain bilateral issues except for the Action Plan on Minorities, i.e. the human rights and the Constitutional amendments. The Resolution of the German Bundestag, the statement given by the Bulgarian Government that new demands will not be imposed are also guarantees. So, you can invent a million other kinds of guarantees, but this is the way and there is no other, Osmani stressed.

On 15 June, the Bundestag adopted the Resolution in support of the Macedonian identity, language, and culture.

“With this Resolution, we are expressing deep respect for the Macedonian identity, language, culture and history”, noted the State Minister in the German MFA, Anna Lührmann, presenting the proposal to the Members of Parliament.

Lührmann announced that soon – for the fourth time this year – she will visit Skopje again, together with her counterparts from France and Poland in an attempt to encourage the Constitutional amendments.

The citizens are losing confidence in the EU perspective. We must restore the trust in the EU and make use of all the opportunities to encourage our partners in North Macedonia, said Lührmann announcing her visit.

Her message is that the Constitutional amendments do not threaten the Macedonian identity. On the contrary, they strengthen the multi-ethnic feature of the country, Deutsche Welle reported.

Lührman added that it was not true that the identity would be threatened by this, as ”including additional communities in the Constitution will only strengthen the multiethnic character of the country, which is an example in the region”.

The post claims that the EU negates the Macedonian people, which is not true. The Macedonian nation was never subject to negation by the EU. On 6 December, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski stated that the EU membership will play a key role in the consolidation and advancement of the Macedonian identity and will offer new sustainable protection in the European and global frameworks. This was stressed in his address at the European Parliament’s debate on enlargement with Members of Parliament from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. On that same occasion, the Members of the European Parliament emphasized the role of the Macedonian Parliament to accept its responsibility and adopt the Constitutional amendments, thereby allowing the country to go forward in fulfilling its European agenda and become a full member of the EU.

The reason why Ukraine and Moldova got the date for the opening of the EU accession talks before North Macedonia are not at all related to EU’s negation of the Macedonian nation, language, history or statehood – there is not such thing. The accession talks with North Macedonia are in their current status because firstly Greece had objections concerning the name of the country, and vetoed the opening of the accession talks, and then Bulgaria also came up with its own objections and demanded that the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia be introduced into the Constitution of the country. This precondition was accepted by the competent authorities of North Macedonia. On the other hand, no one vetoed the proposal for opening EU accession talks with Ukraine. It is true that Hungary through its Prime Minister Viktor Orban had objections about this, but he decided to not vote against – or not to veto the proposal – and left the room when the voting took place on 14 December 2023, without disrupting the required consensus in the EU for adopting such a decision.

But this does not mean that “Only Macedonia with the Macedonian people cannot enter the EU” This does not block the joining of North Macedonia to the EU, instead the country has to fulfill its agreed obligations towards Bulgaria before starting the EU accession talks.

The fact that the Union voted in favor of opening accession talks with Ukraine does not mean that the country will enter the EU immediately after or even before North Macedonia. Ukraine is behind North Macedonia in terms of aligning its legislation with the Acquis. Our country started this process back in 2005 when we became an EU candidate. Moreover, it not not quite clear how Ukraine will fulfill the membership requirements, for example, the rule of law on the entire territory of the state when approximately 20 percent of its territory is occupied by the Russian Armed Forces and is now already annexed by Russia and part of the Russian territory, according to the Russian Constitution. Not to mention that after the vote, Orban stated that his country and he himself will have additional 75 possibilities to create obstacles to the EU accession talks with Ukraine

This shows that it is not true that North Macedonia cannot become an EU member state, as well as that the road to full-fledged membership of Ukraine is difficult and long and will last many years.

All the above-noted facts speak that the EU is not disputing in any manner the Macedonian language, identity, history or statehood. The country is a democratic and sovereign state, while the EU does not negate the language, identity, and statehood. Hence, the post fact-checked is assessed as untrue.