The goal of the EU justifies the means of Bulgaria?!

Citizens near the EU InfoCentre in Skopje
Citizens near the EU InfoCentre in Skopje / Photo: "Free Press" / Dragan Mitreski

Regardless of the fact that Sofia is part of the club in which solidarity reigns, if the major powers in the Union set the expansion as strategic for security or any other interest, they would immediately be more critical of Bulgaria.

Influential countries in the European Union say they want to see all six countries from the Western Balkans at the big table in Brussels, but only after the Union is internally reformed, including after the principle of unanimity is abolished. And in order to "reform unanimity" in the EU, the unanimity of the member states is needed. This is the best picture of the vicious circle in the Union in which the countries of the Western Balkans are trying to enter.

Not bringing bilateral disputes into the Union has turned into a mantra whose ultimate goal seems to be prolongation of enlargement, and the "bilateralization" of European integrations, as in the case of Macedonia and Serbia, has turned out to be the longest road to the EU. Serbia has been negotiating for ten years and the whole time the issue of Kosovo has been hanging over its head. Macedonia has the longest experience in the EU waiting room and now Greece has been replaced by Bulgaria. Montenegro has been negotiating for ten years, there is no major problem, no bilateral dispute, but it is also stuck on the European road. However, Macedonia is a unique case. For years the name issue was a "bilateral" dispute with Greece that the EU did not want to bring to Brussels and the only obstacle to progress. The name was settled, but the "only" obstacle remained. Only now it got another name - Bulgaria.

The impression is that the EU tolerates Bulgaria and will continue to do so. It's just that, regardless of Sofia being part of the solidarity club, if the major powers in the Union made enlargement strategic for security or any other interest, they would immediately be more critical of Bulgaria regarding funds, for example, or public stated, so Bulgaria would have made other calculations, maybe it would have started to block less so as not to cost it too much, and then the expansion would have been easier.

Instead, Sofia discovered the algorithm - historical issues do not "resonate" with Europeans, but human rights are therefore of particular interest.

– In every stage of the access process, human rights are in the center of attention. This means that the candidate country will become part of the EU with a good record in respect of human rights and will be able to contribute to what is essentially a community of democracies. We are following this closely in the accession process - said the European ambassador in the country, David Geer.

Macedonia, let's recall, always received passing marks for respect for human rights and was an example of a multi-ethnic society. But the Union is exempt from responsibility when it comes to the problems with the minorities in its members, at least in the case of Macedonia and the Macedonians in neighboring Bulgaria. Then it is pointed out that "the main organization that is responsible for monitoring the respect of human rights is the Council of Europe".

Human rights were not an issue when the country received candidate status or a recommendation for negotiations, but now "discrimination" against Bulgarians has been revealed, which the EU appears to understand. And they even got to a meeting with the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelji. As much as this meeting is considered a personal step by Varhelji, the fact that he receives a salary from the EU and tomorrow he will fight for another commissioner's mandate, which will certainly mean to him if Bulgaria or any other country raises hand for him.

All this leads to the conclusion that it is a matter of coordinated performance and complementarity. Bulgaria has a bilateral agenda and is diligently implementing it, and it responds to the wishes of those who are not supporters of the enlargement of the Union. Or, as the famous Austrian journalist Michael Martens of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" recently said - to all those who believe in the enlargement with the Western Balkans, I send special greetings from Santa Claus.

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