SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE IN THE NATIONAL SELF-IDENTIFICATION OF MACEDONIANS IN BULGARIA
Through the prism of “subjective” and “objective” criteria, this paper analyses the theoretical and practical problems associated with the self-identification of the Macedonians and the non-recognition of the Macedonian minority by the Bulgarian state. Realization of the fundamental natural subjective human right to independent and free national self-identification is extremely difficult in the absence of objective conditions, such as state guarantees aimed at the development of specific national minorities. The Bulgarian state not only does not provide any guarantees for the development of the Macedonian minority, but for many decades has denied the very fact of its existence in Bulgaria, which is consistently implemented in the lawmaking and enforcement activities of this state. In result Macedonians cannot even register their own NGOs, which led to numerous decisions of ECHR against Bulgaria.The authors of the paper critically assess the Bulgarian state national ideology and politics, devoid of any signs of tolerance and not based on real, internationally recognized objective facts confirming the centuries-old existence of the Macedonian minority, the Macedonian language and culture on the territory of modern Bulgaria. In addition, the official state myths that the citizens of Bulgaria who identify themselves with the Macedonian national minority are enemies of theBulgarian people and the state, oppose against the unity of the Bulgarian nation, have no objective basis. The importance of international legal protection for the restoration of historical justice for the Macedonian minority and for the protection of its rights is emphasized. However, the authors regretfully note its insufficient effectiveness (in particular, none of the 14 decisions of the ECHR in favor of the Macedonian minority by Bulgaria has been implemented), and also formulate proposals aimed at increasing the effectiveness of international legal protection of the rights of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria as an important objective condition for changing the Bulgarian national policy.
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