Tuesday, May 28, 2024

EUROPEAN WAR FOR SELF-DETERMINATION?!

One of the basic principles of European democracy is the protection and advancement of minority rights. Something that remains only one word for Bulgaria! And Jotova’s mission seems to completely ignore this principle. European democracies are expected to support the rights of minority groups, allowing them to express their cultural identity and make their own choices regarding self-determination. Attempts to force or manipulate minority groups to accept a different identity stand in stark contrast to these democratic ideals and send a worrying message about the commitment of some European states to the principles of cooperation and integration.

Author: Katerina Topallova

The last visit of the Bulgarian vice-president Ilijana Jotova to Albania opened a wide discussion, but also an even wider front, for principles and values ​​based on democratic principles. In the framework of this visit, Jotova launched an active campaign to influence the Macedonian minority population, in those parts of Albania where Macedonians live, to identify themselves as Bulgarians. And all this, right before the beginning of the population census in Albania. Connoisseurs of Macedonian-Bulgarian relations will murmur: Nothing new from Sofia! While those newcomers to our political scene will be left with their mouths open, stunned by such sudden moves by Sofia, who, I don’t know how many times, violate their favorite Good Neighbor Agreement between Macedonia and Bulgaria?!

How can we interpret this step of the Bulgarian foreign policy, on the eve of the beginning of the negotiations between Albania and possibly Macedonia with the European Union? The answer is simple… A clearly un-European, retrograde and national-chauvinist movement, which clearly destroys the basic principles of inclusiveness, cooperation and respect for the rights of minorities, which are the basic values ​​of the European democracy we strive for… And I don’t know how many times I wonder how Bulgaria was allowed to enter the EU club with such a Zhivkovist political matrix! So, let’s not lie… Long live Russia and the Black Sea border! As much as possible… Okay, the next time we decide to round off a territory and expand, we must be careful that dashes and curves do not spoil our elegance, grace and silhouette. Therefore, what Jotova is doing on behalf of Sofia, currently among people in Albania, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Athens and the rest of the EU, they are undoubtedly doing on her behalf. We can’t choose our neighbors, but our friends, yes! And who you hang out with, that’s who you are!

For many years, the Balkans has been marked as an unstable region, full of historical conflicts and rather complex ethnic relations. Jotova’s initiative to change the ethnic identity of Albanian citizens of Macedonian origin can only be perceived as a dangerous step in the already complex political landscape in the region, which only serves as a provocation or ignition of passions in a completely primitive, vulgar and barbaric way of conducting diplomacy by a member state of the Union. And it’s not just Jotova in this story… Many Jotova in the past period surpassed not only the Macedonians in Albania, but also the Macedonians – the Gorans in Kosovo, who opened schools in the Bulgarian language, promoted books. in favor of some kind of historical truth, they opened centers in Bulgaria, at least they will stay less than the Greeks in the Hunza valley in Pakistan. And those who basically have to take care of the needs of the Macedonians in the neighboring countries, including Albania, with a clear conscience signed the “farmans” renouncing them, knowingly wishing for less care for the neck… But let’s not forget, the stone comes from nearby!

The alarm is on, but there is no need to panic! – will say the guardians of souls in our country. “We have a plus argument to include them in the Constitution!”, a bit of irony. “Macedonians in Albania are part of the Albanian state and we have nothing to worry about them! Let Albania take care of itself”, will say the conscientious voices of the government. How would Albania take care of the Macedonians in Prespa, Golobërde, etc. when their immunity also gives way to Sofia’s “business-passport disease”, for the Bulgarianization of the planet?!

I understand that the similarity between Bulgarian and Macedonian is more than real, but it doesn’t occur to me that an Albanian would sign that Sami Frashëri is Bulgarian? Of course there won’t be, because other declaration rules apply to them – of a financial nature! But the poor Macedonian in Albania, who is eagerly waiting to leave the idyllic countryside in the Albanian provinces, will sign with both hands that not only Sami Frashëri, but also Alexander the Great and Enver Hoxha, are Bulgarians, with the sole purpose of escaping so far from Balkan primitivism, because apparently they were born in the wrong place and at the wrong time! Just like the urban ones in Macedonia!

Thus, the re-emergence of ethnic passions and tensions, which would gladly disrupt regional peace and stability and hinder progress and cooperation between the peoples of the Balkans, seem like a spark from a lighter. No wonder we live in the Balkans! Well, in all this political folklore, the aspirant countries seem more mature and ready than many already member countries of the Union! Isn’t it ironic…

At the core of this issue lies the manipulation of identity for political gain. Jotova’s campaign essentially seeks to impose a Bulgarian identity on a group that identifies as non-Bulgarian, a move that goes against the principles of self-determination and cultural autonomy. Such attempts to spontaneously change the ethnic identity of a minority group recall some dark chapters of European history and raise serious questions about the compatibility of such actions with modern democratic values.

One of the basic principles of European democracy is the protection and promotion of minority rights. Something that is just a word for Bulgaria! And Jotova’s mission seems to completely ignore this principle.. European democracies are expected to support the rights of minority groups, allowing them to express their cultural identity and make their own choices regarding self-determination. Attempts to force or manipulate minority groups to adopt a different identity stand in stark contrast to these democratic ideals and send a worrying message about the commitment of some European states to the principles of cooperation and integration.

Such gestures are a stark reminder of the challenges Europe faces in maintaining unity and preserving democratic values ​​in a region as diverse and historically complex as the Balkans. And this is precisely the reason why the European Union and its member states must be actively involved in solving such issues to protect the integrity of European democracy.

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