Ethnic Inclusion Debate: Macedonian Court Supports Rights for Bulgarian Minority

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | November 27, 2023, Monday // 09:45
Bulgaria: Ethnic Inclusion Debate: Macedonian Court Supports Rights for Bulgarian Minority

North Macedonia's Constitutional Court President, Dobrila Katsarska, affirmed in an interview with Sofia's Nova TV that there's no legal obstacle to including the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia's Constitution. Katsarska emphasized the nation's multi-ethnic fabric, highlighting equal rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity. Notably, North Macedonia is a signatory to the Framework Convention on National Minorities, underscoring its commitment to minority rights.

Katsarska pointed to the precedent of the association "Radko," which supports the Bulgarian identity in North Macedonia. Despite initial negative rulings, the association successfully registered after appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Katsarska emphasized the importance of adhering to ECHR judgments and highlighted the opportunity for inclusion if legal criteria are met.

The Constitutional Court President's remarks challenge the stance of Skopje's populists, particularly VMRO-DPMNE, the largest opposition party, which opposes the inclusion of Bulgarians in the constitution. Their reluctance poses a hurdle to parliamentary approval for constitutional changes, crucial for North Macedonia's EU negotiations, heightening political tensions within the country.

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Tags: north macedonia, Bulgarian, Katsarska

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