- Mar 18, 2017
Reason for Macedonian protests
Macedonians are taking to the streets, angry at the terms of a proposal for accession talks with the EU that they consider a danger to their identity. Support for the EU has fallen to surprising lows.
What is the basis of the proposal?
Bulgaria, which as an EU member retains veto powers over new members, wants North Macedonia to formally recognize that its Macedonian language has Bulgarian roots, to recognize a Bulgarian minority in the country and to quash "hate speech" against Bulgaria.
Both countries have been locked in a bitter dispute about history and identity for decades, and Bulgaria has been blocking North Macedonia's EU accession since 2020, demanding concessions from Skopje.
The French proposal places these Bulgarian demands into the negotiating framework between North Macedonia and the EU.
The parliament in Sofia accepted the French proposal on June 24 after Bulgarian President Rumen Radev concluded that it includes most Bulgarian demands toward Skopje."