On Tuesday, the North Macedonian government decided to change the country’s constitution, so that the Bulgarian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Slovene, Jewish and Egyptian nationalities will be included in the text of the basic law in addition to the nationalities included so far – Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Vlach, Serbian, Roma and Bosnian. According to the government’s justification, the multi-ethnic nature of the country is strengthened by expanding the number of ethnic groups that make up the country.
Our country is a good example of a functional, multi-ethnic democracy in the region and in Europe, as well as a good example of respect for civil and human rights, which is why the country is rightly considered a miniature version of Europe
– can be read in the government’s statement, which continues that North Macedonia acts along European values, therefore, it deserves to be a full member of the European Union after NATO.
According to the government’s expectations, after the constitutional amendment, the first EU accession chapters can be opened already in December of the current year. The constitutional amendment is necessary because
the EU member Bulgaria has so far prevented the admission of North Macedonia to the union, mainly due to issues concerning the Bulgarian minority and the common history.
Sofia finally demanded the constitutional recognition of the Bulgarian minority as a condition for starting the accession negotiations.
For now, it is not possible to know whether the government will succeed in changing the country’s constitution, to amend the constitution requires two-thirds support, which cannot be achieved without the votes of the opposition representatives, and the right-wing opposition announced that it did not support the amendment.
North Macedonia changed its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia in 2019 in order to end a decades-long dispute with Greece in order to become a member of the European Union.
Cover image source: Umeys Sulejman/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images