European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI's Call to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
January 13, 2018
MHRMI is pleased to announce that the European Free Alliance has joined our call to end the anti-Macedonian name negotiations and has called on support for Macedonia's basic right to self-determination.
"EFA is the only European political party defending the right to self-determination, a right enshrined in international law. Having the right to decide upon your own future includes as well the right to define and name your own nation. EFA supports the democratic aspirations of Macedonia as a nation and as a state to choose its own name."
Gunther Dauwen, Director of EFA.
MHRMI sincerely thanks EFA for its tremendous support and calls on other political parties, human rights organizations, institutions such as the United Nations, European Union, and NATO, and individual countries to live up to their obligations under international human rights conventions and support Macedonia's basic human right of self-determination. These institutions cannot claim to be a moral authority when they can't abide by their own self-proclaimed principles of human rights.
The European Free Alliance, with members in European Parliament, continues to be a strong advocate for the Macedonian minority in Greece and Bulgaria and their quest to achieve human rights. EFA explains:
"Since 1913, ethnic Macedonians have been subject to ethnic cleansing by the Greek State, the stripping of their land and citizenship, and the prohibition of their language in the public and private sphere. Despite recommendations from various human rights bodies, the Greek government still refuses to recognize the Macedonian language and identity."
It is precisely this point, admitted by former Greek PM Mitsotakis in 1995, that Greece initiated the nonsensical name dispute, to avoid recognition of its large Macedonian minority and also to deny the vast human rights abuses against it.
The United Nations, European Court of Human Rights, US State Department, European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance, among others, have concluded that Greece and Bulgaria have repeatedly violated the rights of Macedonians in their respective countries and have called for Greece and Bulgaria to immediately recognize their Macedonian minorities. This includes multiple European Court judgements against them. The next, and only, logical step is for these same international bodies to recognize the Republic of Macedonia and end the anti-Macedonian name negotiations. The UN, EU and USA's current position in aiding Greece to change the Republic of Macedonia's name flies in the face of their judgments above. EFA adds:
"EFA would like to remind the Greek State and negotiation mediators that self-determination is an international right and that it also implies the right to choose the name of one's country. The situation in general for Macedonians in Greece is unacceptable and in breach of international law!"
It is not only the name of Macedonia that is inexplicably being negotiated, but it is publicly discussed by all relevant players that negotiations also include the name of the Macedonian people, language and history. This sets human rights back decades, if not centuries, for Macedonia and Macedonians.
Greece's recent tactic of claiming the name Macedonia as their own does not give them the right to discriminate against the ethnic group that they're trying to eradicate. Cultural misappropriation cannot be rewarded. We expect and demand that the international community, as they have done in the past, come to Macedonia and Macedonians' defence. Macedonia is, and always has been, our name. Macedonian is, and always has been, our ethnic origin and identity. Our Name Is Macedonia. Support it by ending the name negotiations now.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, email@example.com, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia.