INTEGRATION Osmani: Treaty roadmap is possible as part of EU process, not negotiating framework

If we establish that the Friendship Treaty is not delivering trust, we can add mechanisms in the process monitoring without prejudice to the outcome of those debates and talks, in the form of a roadmap, says Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani.

“The Treaty itself is a roadmap. It incorporates the commission of historians and an intergovernmental committee that meets once a year and makes an overview of results achieved and remaining tasks. The treaty includes controlling mechanisms, but if we establish it fails to deliver trust, we could have additional facilities in place for the purpose of the process monitoring, without prejudice to the outcome of those debates and talks, in the form of a roadmap. However, we believe this should not be part of the negotiating framework because it will unnecessarily shift the process,” FM Osmani told Alsat-M TV.

He says the roadmap would still be part of the EU process although not formally part of the negotiating framework, because other member-states do not agree with this.

“We are discussing these aspects with Bulgaria these days and we will know shortly whether open issues can be overcome,” notes Osmani.

According to him, Bulgaria’s demands for acceptance of the thesis that the Macedonian ethno-genesis is Bulgarian and that the Macedonian language was codified on the basis of western-Bulgarian dialects reflect the mistrust in the Friendship Treaty.

“In fact, this formulation was officially put forward by Bulgaria as a solution at one of the meetings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) prior to the General Affairs Council – if we accept the historic reality, then Bulgaria will accept the present reality. However, I believe this position reflects the mistrust in the Treaty and the process we have created. The Treaty does not stipulate this topic of discussion, it says that the commission on historical issues is to review the historical arguments as a basis for joint observances and building of trust,” says Osmani.

He believes there is no other solution than implementation of the Friendship Treaty.

“There is no room for agreement on such a formulation. Mistrust lies in the core of the problem. Mistrust that has existed between the two societies for a longer period, among intellectuals, academia, historians, politicians. This mistrust has been transferred to the Treaty, which role was to bring back trust. This evolved into a resolution, a declaration adopted by the Bulgarian parliament,” notes Osmani.

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