FM Osmani Reveals Details of Protocol Between Skopje and Sofia

Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani held a briefing for the media in the country after he returned from Sofia, where he and his Bulgarian counterpart Teodora Genchovska signed the protocol from the Macedonian-Bulgarian intergovernmental commission which will become part of the EU negotiation framework for accession of North Macedonia. “The protocol is in fact a form of registry from the meetings of the Macedonian-Bulgarian intergovernmental commission for the period 2019-2022, and is based on the principle of reciprocity. According to the protocol, North Macedonia will start the EU accession process in two phases, the first one being the first intergovernmental conference with Brussels and start of the screening process, and the second one is the next conference and opening of the chapters, but the second phase is conditioned with Constitutional changes on behalf of official Skopje for registration of the Bulgarian minority. To clarify this part, the government cannot conduct something which is within the authority of the Parliament, but instead the second phase of the start of the EU accession talks will take place once the Parliament approves the Constitutional changes,” Osmani said. On Sunday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published in full the protocol that Osmani and Genchoska signed in Sofia. According to the protocol, North Macedonia and Bulgaria are to exchange copies of the educational programmes, school books and other relevant educational materials and organisation of more often meetings of the Macedonian-Bulgarian Commission on Historical Affairs which will conduct and approve eventual changes to the textbooks, North Macedonia is obliged to reaffirm the condemnation of and the apology for the injustice and repressions committed by the communist authorities for former Yugoslavia over citizens based on their ethnic or political determination, including Bulgarians, and to establish conditions for proper rehabilitation of the victims of the communist regime from that time, and both countries are obliged to take effective measures for prevention of hate speech. The protocol in full in Macedonian language can be viewed at the following link .