Germany | Calls on Skopje to amend its Constitution
Defence Redefined
Published on 24/03/2023 at 16:20

The German Foreign Minister, Analena Berbock, called on Skopje to amend its constitution in order to continue accession negotiations with the EU.

Skopje is being asked to amend its Constitution to include the Bulgarian minority living in the country, as a condition for Bulgaria to lift its veto on the opening of Skopje’s negotiating chapters with the EU.

Analena Burbok, after the meeting she had in Skopje with her counterpart Bujar Osmani, noted that the constitutional amendments must come as soon as possible to the Parliament of Skopje, in order to open the negotiating chapters in December and when the process is completed, the country can finally become a member of the EU.

The European Union promised and will keep its word, but the step that needs to be taken now is the adoption of the constitutional amendments, noted Analena Burbok, offering German support, but also EU support for the country’s fastest possible progress towards European integration.

For almost two years Bulgaria has been setting back the start of Skopje’s accession negotiations with the EU, due to ethnic, linguistic, and historical differences between the two countries, which has provoked strong reactions from Skopje and led to their strained relations.

However, last summer, the two countries reached an agreement, based on a proposal from the European Union, under which Sofia would lift its veto on Skopje’s opening of accession negotiations with the EU on the condition that Skopje will proceed to amend its Constitution, so as to include the Bulgarian minority living in the country.

This agreement provokes strong reactions from the largest opposition party in Skopje, the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE, which has openly declared that it will not consent to such an amendment to the country’s Constitution.

The amendment of the Skopje Constitution requires a 2/3 majority in the Parliament, which the government in Skopje and the parties supporting the agreement with Bulgaria do not currently have.

According to the latest population census carried out in 2021 in Skopje, Bulgarians make up only 0.19% of the country’s population, a fact which official Sofia disputes considering that the percentage of Bulgarians in Skopje is much larger.

Source: APA MPA 

Also read: Bulgaria | Veto lifting in EU-Skopje accession negotiations




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