Photo: President of the Republic of Bulgaria

A national conference “European perspective for good neighbourly relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia” in memory of the Bulgarian revolutionary Gotse Delchev was held on May 4, when we mark 119 years since his death. The forum was organized by the Institute for Historical Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Macedonian Scientific Institute and was held under the patronage of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. Participants in the conference were scholars from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, diplomats, journalists, representatives of Macedonian patriotic organisations in Canada and the USA, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian community in the RNM. Among the guests were many scholars, political, cultural and social activists, as well as ambassadors of European Union countries. The event also aroused interest among the student community.

After the opening remarks of the moderator Boyko Vassilev, the guests honoured the memory of Gotse Delchev with a minute of silence. The conference was opened by President Rumen Radev who welcomed the participants and guests. He stressed that the European perspective of the Republic of North Macedonia has no alternative and is a strategic goal of our foreign policy and society but taking into account the Bulgarian national interest.

Vice President Iliana Iotova noted that the goal of the presidential institution is for Bulgaria to reveal its cultural face to the world through a unified national cultural policy. The Vice President initiated the establishment of the Bulgarian National Cultural Institute, through which Bulgaria will regain its deserved place on the world cultural stage.

The conference was held in three panels. The first was dedicated to Gotse Delchev and the common history of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia – between facts and ideology. The second panel drew the audience’s attention to the state and prospects of good neighbourly relations: the European maturity of the RNM. The third panel was devoted to the organised movement of Macedonian Bulgarians around the world which marks a century of existence. Representatives of the Macedonian patriotic organisations “Pobeda” in Toronto, Canada and “Pirin” in Chicago, USA focused on the preservation of Bulgarian national identity and culture.