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European Free Alliance Declaration: On the Discrimination Against the Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece

April 13, 2018

EFA General Assembly, Landshut, 13/4/2018 on behalf of OMO “Ilinden”- PIRIN and EFA - Rainbow/Vinozhito

Bearing in mind that:

a. The Macedonian minorities living as indigenous populations in Greece and Bulgaria continue to face discrimination and even negation of their existence by the two mentioned countries.

b. 10 years after Bulgaria became EU member the Macedonian minority status has not improved. It is a disgrace that the country acting as President of the EU at present is discriminating against minorities on its territory.

c. ECHR has brought many verdicts against these two countries but to no avail. The judgments are regularly ignored and/or not implemented.

d. The EU inaction encouraged Bulgaria and Greece’s policy of negating the existence of the Macedonian minority to be elevated to international level and misuse their position as EU members to block the progress of a candidate country by asking the Republic of Macedonia to renounce its constitutional protection of the Macedonian minorities and even negate the foundations of Macedonian national identity as the name, history and language.

e. The eventual success of such policies of negating the existence of a Macedonian nation would transform the Macedonians into a new stateless nation in Europe.

f. The protection of the rights of minorities is not and cannot be an internal problem of the EU member countries but it has to be object of protection by the EU.

g. Relations between nations and countries should be built on equality, democratic foundations and mutual respect.

h. The EU has to undertake an active and principled role in the rightful solution of centuries old conflicts as well as to assure the implementation of the rule of law. The European Free Alliance declares that it:

- Condemns the policy of discrimination of the Macedonian minorities and the denial of the Macedonian identity in Bulgaria and Greece, members of the EU.

- Condemns the misuse of the status of a member country by Greece and Bulgaria in the achievement of undemocratic causes against the members of the Macedonian minorities on their soil and the blackmail of a candidate country.

- Condemns the lack of interest by the EU to resolve the above mentioned problems.

- Calls on Greece and Bulgaria to change their policies on these issues in accordance to the high democratic values of the EU, which include:
- End of policy of denying existing of Macedonian and other minorities on their territory, and to give these minorities all the right on Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
- State that Bulgaria and Greece have to sign European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and to implement it for Macedonian and other minorities and support Macedonian language and culture.

- Calls on the EU bodies for more active engagement in the solution of these issues:
- Reopening of minority question in EU Bulgarian post monitoring process, and insist of full implementation of Copenhagen criteria.
- EK to start investigation of situation of Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece.

- Calls for and will support the creation of necessary European legislative, institutions and bodies for the protection of minority rights.

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The European Free Alliance (EFA) is a political party that works to make the idea of a “Europe of the Peoples” a political and cultural reality at the European and international level. It is an umbrella organisation that gathers 40 progressive nationalist, regionalist and autonomist parties throughout the European Union (EU), representing stateless nations, regions and traditional minorities in Europe.
www.e-f-a.org

OMO “Ilinden” PIRIN is a political party supporting the rights of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria. It has been banned since 2000, despite a 2005 European Court of Human Rights Judgement ruling that the decision was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. For more information please visit www.omoilindenpirin.org

The European Free Alliance – Rainbow/Vinozhito is a political party of the Macedonian minority in Greece. For more information please visit www.vinozito.gr, or by email: vinozito@otenet.gr