A large group of historians from the Balkans co-authored a sharp letter opposing Bulgaria’s demands for historic revisionism following the blockade of North Macedonia on the EU accession negotiating framework. “We urge European institutions and countries to respond to he violations of history, respecting the basic principles of the European Union that are being threatened in the Balkans and in Europe these days, such as diversity, antifascism and democracy”, the letter reads.
The signatories of the letter are some of the most famous historians and professors from the universities of Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo.
The historians’ letter:
“Conflicts over history and historical symbols are once again a major political issue in South East Europe. In recent months, the Bulgarian government has threatened to block the start of negotiations between Brussels and Skopje, urging North Macedonia to accept the “historical truth” that its Macedonian identity and language have Bulgarian roots and that the Macedonian nation and the Communist International.
Based on the views expressed in the Declaration “In Defense of History”, we, the signatories of this letter, express our protest and condemnation of this case of historical revisionism and misuse of history for political purposes. We believe that such an approach is dangerous not only for history as a humanitarian discipline, but also for the democracy and prosperity of the region, but also for the European Union itself. The imposition of “historical truth” is unacceptable and dangerous. The creation of the Macedonian nation is no different from the way all other nations were created, and the right to self-determination is a basic human right.
That is why we ask the historians in North Macedonia and Bulgaria, but also in all the countries of the region to be professionals and to oppose the abuse of their discipline. We urge politicians to pursue a responsible policy, not to support historians who provoke nationalist conflicts and not to exert pressure that leads to the falsification of the past. We urge the European institutions and countries to respond to the violations of history, respecting the basic principles of the European Union that are being threatened in the Balkans and in Europe these days, such as diversity, antifascism and democracy. The European Union was created as a cure for the bad experiences of the past, and therefore we must not allow the distortions of history to destroy the principles on which the idea of a united Europe is based.
We, the signatories of this letter, support the intellectuals and historians in North Macedonia and Bulgaria who openly oppose the political pressures and fight for the protection of their profession and professional standards. Only with solidarity can we overcome the serious obstacles that lie ahead of us!”
Dr. Dubravka Stojanovi, University of Belgrade
Dr. Husija Kamberovi, University of Sarajevo
Dr. Tvrtko Jakovina, University of Zagreb
Dr. Bozo Repe, University of Ljubljana
Dr. Adnan Prekic, University of Montenegro
Dr. Snezana Koren, University of Zagreb
Dr. Milivoj Belin, University of Belgrade
Dr. Damir Agicic, University of Zagreb
Dr. Branimir Jankovi ,, University of Zagreb
Dr. Momir Samardzic, University of Novi Sad
Dr. Olga Manojlovic-Pintar, Institute of Recent History of Serbia, Belgrade
Hrvoje Klasic, University of Zagreb
Dr. Radina Vucetic, University of Belgrade
Dr. Srdjan Milosevic, historian, Belgrade
Dr. Aleksandar R. Miletic, Historian, Institute of Recent History of Serbia, Center for Historical Studies and Dialogue, Belgrade
Veliko Stanic, Historian, Belgrade
Petar Zarkovic, Historian, Belgrade/ibna