A total of 318 amendments have been filed to the draft-resolution on Macedonia in the EP that was prepared and presented before the Foreign Affairs Committee last month by rapporteur Ivo Vajgl. As is usually the case, most amendments have been filed by Greek and Bulgarian MEPs. Two-thirds of the amendments have been filed by MEPs from those countries. Some of them included a request to omit the terms “the Republic of Macedonia” and “Macedonia” as well as the adjective “Macedonian”, while others condemned the political crisis and requested that the recommendation for start of membership negotiations be taken away. Also, they include a request to recognise 100,000 Bulgarians in Macedonia as well as a request for a joint celebration of historic events with Bulgaria. With two amendments, Greek MEPs Maria Spyraki, Manolis Kefalogiannis and Sofia Sakorafa have requested the EP to fully refute that it takes the ICJ ruling into consideration. With some of the amendments, Cristian Dan Preda, Eduard Kukan and Tunne Kelam from the EPP have insisted that the text read that the EP confirms its unambiguous commitment to Macedonia’s EU accession process. However, unlike them, Tonino Picula and Knut Fleckenstein, through an amendment, have requested that the terms “Macedonia” and “the Republic of Macedonia” be omitted. Also, they’ve used another amendment to request that the recommendation for starting accession negotiations be conditioned by a complete fulfilment of the Przino Agreement and the Urgent Reform Priorities. Kelam has requested a census of the population with a methodology accepted with a broad consensus. Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev, too, through an amendment, has insisted on there being a census because, in his view, 100,000 Macedonians are ethnic Bulgarians, which they prove when they obtain a Bulgarian passport. Another Bulgarian MEP, Angel Dzhambazki, together with Kefalogiannis, Sakorafa and Spyraki, Picula and Fleckenstein, has filed an amendment requesting that the mandate of the Special Prosecutor’s Office be extended until all abuses in the wire-tapping process are investigated and until protected witnesses are enabled. The vote on the resolution will take place in the middle of March.
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