Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighbourliness, and Cooperation between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria


UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION

 

The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria (hereinafter jointly referred to as the Contracting Parties

Stemming from their shared commitment to further developing the good- neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation between the two countries,

Deeply convinced of the need for developing cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, understanding, good-neighbourliness and mutual respect for the interests of their countries,

Believing that the comprehensive development and deepening of the friendly good-neighbourly relations between them serves the interests of the peoples of the Republic of Macedonia and of the Republic of Bulgaria,

Convinced of the necessity to strengthen the security and peace, the cooperation and trust in Southeast Europe,

Welcoming the commitment/aspiration of the Republic of Macedonia to integration in the European and Euro-Atlantic structures,

Believing that constructive dialogue about all aspects of the bilateral relations, as well as about regional and international issues shall contribute to the further development of the relations between the two countries, on equal footing,

Reaffirming the fundamental importance of the Joint Declaration of 22 February 1999 for the relations between the two countries,

Taking account of the shared history that ties together the two countries and their people,

Abiding by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the documents of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the democratic principles set forth in Council of Europe documents,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The two Contracting Parties shall develop comprehensive relations, in pursuance with fundamental principles of international law and good- neighbourliness.

Article 2

1. The two Contracting Parties shall cooperate within the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and within other international organizations and fora.

2. The two Contracting Parties shall develop their cooperation in the area of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, with a view to successful preparation of the Republic of Macedonia for its accession to the European Union and NATO. The Bulgarian side shall share its experiences in order to help the Republic of Macedonia fulfil criteria required for membership of the European Union, and shall support the Republic of Macedonia in obtaining an invitation for membership of NATO, in accordance with relevant decisions adopted at NATO summit meetings.

Article 3

The two Contracting Parties shall facilitate the development of the cooperation among Southeast European countries, as well as the strengthening of the understanding, peace and stability in the Region and the implementation of regional projects, as part of the overall process of building a united Europe.

Article 4

1. The two Contracting Parties shall maintain contacts and exchange meetings between representatives of their respective state authorities, at different levels for purposes of developing their friendly relations and cooperation.

2. The two Contracting Parties shall facilitate contacts between their respective local authorities and citizens of the two countries.

Article 5

Taking into consideration that the two Contracting Parties are geographically close, they shall strive to create the required legal, economic, financial and trade conditions to ensure the most comprehensively possible movement of goods, services and capital. They shall encourage joint investments and shall ensure their protection.

Article 6

The two Contracting Parties shall support the increase of their exchange in the area of tourism, and the development of relevant forms of cooperation in the area of tourism.

Article 7

1. The two Contracting Parties shall expand and improve their transportation interconnections and other communication links between them, including in the framework of regional infrastructure projects.

2. The two Contracting Parties shall strive to facilitate the customs and border formalities for passengers and goods, moving between them.

Article 8

1. The two Contracting Parties shall encourage their active and unimpeded cooperation in areas of culture, education, health care, social policy and sports.

2. With a view to strengthening their mutual trust, within three months at the latest from the entry into force of this Treaty, the two Contracting Parties shall establish, on parity basis, a Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission for Historical and Education Issues, aiming to contribute to objective, scientific interpretation of historical events, founded on authentic and evidence-based historical sources. The Commission shall submit an annual report about its work to the Governments of the two Contracting Parties.

3. Upon mutual agreement, the two Contracting Parties shall organize joint celebrations of shared historical events and personalities, with the aim of strengthening their good-neighbourly relations, in the spirit of European values.

Article 9

The two Contracting Parties shall make efforts to facilitate the free dissemination of information by encouraging and developing their cooperation in the area of the media, by utilizing possibilities offered by modern communication systems. The two Contracting Parties shall also work on the protection of copyrights and intellectual property rights of authors of two countries.

Article 10

The two Contracting Parties shall advance their cooperation in the legal and consular areas and more specifically in areas of civil, criminal and administrative affairs, and shall promote the resolution of humanitarian and social problems of their respective nationals.

Article 11

1. Neither of the two Contracting Parties shall undertake, encourage or support activities aimed against the other Contradicting Party, which are of hostile nature.

2. Neither of the two Contracting Parties shall allow that its territory be used against the other Contracting Party by organizations and groups, the goal of which is to commit subversive, separatist activities and activities which threaten the peace and security of the other Contracting Party.

3. The two Contracting Parties do not harbour and shall not make territorial claims against each other.

4. Each of the two Contracting Parties shall have the right to protect the rights and interests of its respective nationals, on the territory of the other Contracting Party in accordance with international law.

5. The Republic of Macedonia hereby confirms that nothing in its Constitution may be and should be interpreted in a way that it constitutes or shall ever constitute the basis for interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, with the purpose of protecting the status and rights of persons, who are not nationals of the Republic of Macedonia.

6. The two Contracting Parties shall undertake efficient measures to prevent ill-intentioned propaganda by institutions and agencies and shall discourage activities of private entities aimed at inciting violence, hatred and other similar activities that may be detrimental to their relations.

Article 12

1. Within three months from the entry into force of this Treaty, the two Contracting Parties shall establish a Joint Inter-Governmental Commission. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two Contracting Parties shall co-chair the Commission, which shall also include high-ranking officials of the two countries.

2. The Joint Inter-Governmental Commission shall have regular meetings once a year, in order to review the effective implementation of this Treaty, of the application of measures for the improvement of their bilateral cooperation, and in order to resolve issues that might arise in the course of the implementation of this Treaty. As deemed necessary, each Contracting Party may propose the convening of additional meetings of the Joint Inter-Governmental Commission.

Article 13

1. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification in accordance with the respective Constitutional requirements of the two Contracting Parties. This Treaty shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of instruments of ratification between the two Contracting Parties and shall remain in force for an indefinite period.

2. This Treaty may be amended upon written agreement between the two Contracting Parties. The amendments shall be agreed upon via diplomatic channels and shall enter into force in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. Each Contracting Party may terminate this Treaty by sending a written notification to the other Contracting Party. The Treaty shall cease to apply within one year following the date of receipt of the said notification.

Article 14

This Treaty shall be without prejudice to the bilateral and multilateral agreements to which the Contracting Parties are Parties.

Signed in Skopje, on 1 August 2017, in two original copies, each in the respective official languages of the Contracting Parties - in the Macedonian language, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and in the Bulgarian language, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, both texts being equally authentic.

 

FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA                                                                                                                        FOR THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

ZORAN ZAEV PRIME MINISTER Signed                                                                                                                     BOYKO BORISSOV PRIME MINISTER Signed

Last updated: 23 November 2020