Bulgaria Could Veto Serbia for EU over Bulgarian Minority - VPBulgaria in EU | April 15, 2012, Sunday // 17:17| views
Bulgaria's VP Popova has hinted of vetoing Serbia's EU accession over the rights of the indigenous Bulgarian community in the Western Outlands. Photo by BGNES
Serbia will not become a member of the European Union until it resolves the issue with its Bulgarian minority, Bulgaria's Vice President Margarita Popova has declared.
Popova visited the town of Bosilegrad in Serbia, which is populated by ethnic Bulgarians, not onlike other border regions in Eastern Serbia, which Bulgaria was forced to cede under the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine after World War I.
The regions in today's Serbia, which are populated by ethnic Bulgarians, are known in Bulgaria as the Western Outlands.
The Bulgarian Vice President spoke at the Bulgarian Cultural and Information Center in Bosilegrad on Sunday, Bulgarian Orthodox Easter Day, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio.
"Serbia will become a member of the EU but there is no way this could happen unless your issues here are resolved," she told the Bulgarians in Bosilegrad, thus hinting of using the veto card to make sure that Serbia respects the rights of the Bulgarian community there.
Popova further committed to helping speed up the procedure for granting Bulgarian citizens to the Bulgarians in Serbia, and to help any of them wishing to apply to Bulgarian universities.
The Bulgarian VP promised to work on a school application campaign for Bulgarians in Serbia together with the Sofia University.
Popova formally visited Bosilegrad to open the 19th International Children's Festival in the town, and to meet with the Bosilegrad Mayor. Since taking over as Bulgarian VP in January, she has spoken about the need to develop a new policy towards Bulgarians living abroad, including the historic and indigenous Bulgarian communities in countries such as Serbia, Macedonia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
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