An interesting (though overtly pessimistic) article I recently read mentioned that there are rumors circulating about a federal state in the making between Bulgaria and Macedonia. While it might be possible, and Bulgarians would certainly like the idea, I’m not so sure how much Macedonians would like to be part of such a union. Macedonians still feel that Bulgarians want Macedonia to be incorporated into a larger Bulgaria. I’m not certain that there is any mainstream political party (except for Ataka, maybe) who even has this goal. In fact, Bulgaria unconditionally recognized the existance of Macedonia as a nation a long, long time ago. And though many people claim that Bulgaria didn’t recognize the Macedonian ethnicity and language, the Bulgarian premier who recognized Macedonia, Philip Dimitrov, has repeatedly said that Bulgaria recognized all aspects of Macedonian independence, such as statehood, ethnicity, and language.
I think it would certainly be an interesting experiment, anyway. As long as the two countries enter into such a union willingly and for good reason. Here’s what it says on the article: “It is interesting to note that widespread rumors for an eventual “Federal Union” between FYROM and Bulgaria are beginning to circulate, an event that will have ramifications probably more important and intense than Kosovo independence.” Not to mention that it might be the only way for Macedonia to get into NATO and the EU in the near future. That is, if the recent trouble between Russia and Georgia doesn’t force Greece to be more lenient with its northern neighbor.
I personally think it’s in the regions interest if all nations work at building closer ties and develop more economic links. What would be very interesting is if the idea of a Yugoslavia sees a rebirth, stemming from the creation of such a union. This time, though, Bulgaria would be included. I think later on I’ll examine how and why it was a mistake and detrimental for Bulgaria to not join (since after World War II Stalin meant for Bulgaria Yugoslavia until Tito took a more independent course) the old Yugoslavia, both for Bulgaria and Yugoslavia as a whole.