The rise in Bulgarian citizenship among the people of FYROM


normal Readers emails The rise in Bulgarian citizenship among the people of FYROM

The rise in Bulgarian citizenship among the people of FYROM
Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
May 13, 2010
Citizens that live in a country that is a member state of the European Union enjoy the benefits of a single market which provides for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. This allows for the ability to study, work, travel and reside permanently in any other EU member state.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is currently not an EU member and is yet to receive an accession date for its European Union membership. Becoming an EU member state for FYROM will allow the country to move closer to gaining credibility, and access to an economic and political union, amidst their current political conflicts.

Bulgaria on the other hand, has been an EU member state since its accession in January 2007. In order to be granted Bulgarian citizenship, a person must prove their Bulgarian origins, through their family name and birth certificate. If they cannot produce the appropriate documentation to prove their Bulgarian origins, they cannot be granted citizenship. The entire process can take up to five years to reach completion.

A total of 75,000 people have been granted Bulgarian citizenship over the past 20 years. From this, 50,000 (or 67%) are from the FYROM. In the first four months of 2010, 6,103 people have been granted Bulgarian citizenship, of which 4,562 (or 75%) have gone to people from FYROM. If this growth continues throughout 2010, then a total of 20,000 Bulgarian passports could be issued in 2010 alone. What is alarming is that under these rules, two-thirds of FYROM’s population of two million people are eligible for Bulgarian citizenship, as they are of Bulgarian origins. ( Even more alarming is the contradiction of the above statistics, with the notion that the people of FYROM have been trying to establish their identity as “Macedonians”. If this is the case, then why are thousands of people from FYROM acquiring Bulgarian passports?

Although it is not so clear as to why so many people from FYROM have been acquiring Bulgarian passports, it does raise some poignant questions as to the future status of this region. What does this mean for the current name dispute regarding Greece and FYROM? The situation pertaining to the neighbourly relations between Greece , Bulgaria and FYROM? What does this do to FYROM’s chances of joining the EU?

There is a belief that once FYROM becomes an EU member, the number of people acquiring Bulgarian passports will reduce. This remains to be seen.

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

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  1. Bulgaria: 4.562 persons from FYROM took Bulgarian Citizenship between January and April, 2010
  2. 30 000 Bulgarian citizenship applications approved in 2010
  3. Let’s stop discrimination and torture against people with Bulgarian self-consciousness in FYROM
  4. RADKO Association regarding FYROM – Bulgarian population is subjected to repressions, police persecution and harassment, discrimination and genocide
  5. “Erasing Bulgarian material memories” continues in FYROM – The New target is now all the Bulgarian military graves