Macedonian Minority in Bulgaria Launch EU Campaign

June 30, 2005


Georgios N.Papadakis, Florina/Lerin

OMO Pirin, a political organization of the Macedonians in Bulgaria, is planning to launch an information offensive aimed at European and international institutions in an attempt to achieve recognition for the large Macedonian minority before the countrys entry into the European Union, scheduled for 2007.

The campaign was decided on during a two day meeting between representatives of various minority associations of Macedonians, held in the town of Petrich in the Pirin region of south Bulgaria.

An official letter of protest will be sent to the European Union, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OSCE and the UN. The letter will focus on the fact that although Bulgaria is on the threshold of joining the EU, Bulgaria is still refusing to implement the Copenhagen Criteria regarding national and linguistic minorities.

Last month OMO Pirin also applied for membership of European Free Alliance, a European political party allied with the Greens in Brussels. Addressing the EFA General Assembly in Rennes, OMO Pirin co-chairman Stojan Georgiev painted a dark picture of the way Macedonians in Bulgaria live. Fear, discrimination and lack of basic human rights are all part of everday life for Macedonian speakers, according to Georgiev.

Georgiev, as a minority activist, knows the situation only too well having spent four years in total in prison because he publicly spoke Macedonian and insisted that there is a Macedonian minority living in the country. Courts decided that these acts were anti-Bulgarian and convicted him several times. (Eurolang - 2005)

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