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Eurothink held the final conference “Demystifying (non)neighborly relations on the road to the EU”

Demystifying the (non)neighborly relations on the road to the EU: The case of North Macedonia and Bulgaria Demystifying the (non)neighborly relations on the road to the EU: The case of North Macedonia and Bulgaria EU for citizens, active citizenship and public interest Programs Regional integration

Eurothink held the final conference “Demystifying (non)neighborly relations on the road to the EU”

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In the first panel: “The role of the EU in the relations between North Macedonia and Bulgaria” addressed: H.E. d. Jaroslav Ludva, ambassador of the Czech Republic, who called for dialogue, and that these so-called issues should be discussed. truths, it should be done at the level of experts and some kind of compromise should be found, because nothing is black and white and only one side can be taken.

Counselor of the Embassy of Canada for Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro Mr. David Morgan highlighted the excellent cooperation with Eurotink, and highlighted the support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives. This fund supports local projects that address important topics that Canadians believe are essential to improving our world. This includes finding ways through discussion of bilateral difficulties, such as those currently affecting North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

The Executive director of Eurothink, Mr. Dimitar Nikolovski emphasized that much more work should be done to reduce tensions, especially between the two societies, beyond those relations between government representatives. And to give the conciliatory voices, much more space.

In the second panel entitled: ” Possibilities of future cooperation “, university professors from both countries as well as civic activists, Mrs. Katerina Kolozova from the Institute for Social and Human Sciences in Skopje, and  Mr. Ljupco Petkovski – Political scientist, Eurotink-Center for European Strategies.

According to Dimitar Atanasov from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the inclusion of Bulgarians in the Macedonian constitution is pointless, and with and without, Bulgaria should allow Macedonia to negotiate with the EU. Atanasov pointed out that on both sides of the border there are political entities that are working to worsen the situation.

University professor Stefan Dechev from Southwestern University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad emphasized that there is no history in the Copenhagen criteria. When Bulgaria entered the EU in 2007. , did not revise the Bulgarian history textbooks. But now we can use the opportunity, as one EU member country and one candidate two narratives that can be Europeanized and humanized.

According to the Bulgarian professors, the problem is the disputed names of the Bulgarian clubs in the country. They said that Vancho Mihailov is a historical person who is controversial even in Bulgaria and therefore, instead of inflaming nationalist politics, reconciliation is needed on both sides.

 
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