Justice Ministry confirms it is banning the use of the name Macedonia by private organizations

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The Justice Ministry confirmed media reports that it will begin to deny applications from organizations and companies who want to register using the name Macedonia or its adjectives in their name. The issue was raised yesterday after media outlets reported that a civic organization was denied the right to use the word Macedonia in its name. The Ministry insists on the use of the imposed name “North Macedonia”.

We emphasize that according to the Constitution, there is no possibility to use the terms “Macedonia” and “Republic of Macedonia” or the interim reference “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in official communication, including in names of organizations that intend to use the international codes MK or MKD and who declare themselves as organizations who are active on the territory of the entire country. When an association states that it is organized to act on the territory of the country and abroad, approval of its name is possible only if the constitutional name of the country is used, the Justice Ministry said in its press release.

Outraged comments are continuing for a second day. Using the name Macedonia is common for many civic associations, cultural groups, as well as businesses. Most are registered in a procedure that does not involve the Justice Ministry and at the moment it is not clear whether the Ministry intends to review the registrations done by the Central Registry. It also remains to be seen whether the Ministry intends to go after the myriad of existing institutions that use Macedonia in their name, or only stop new registrations.

According to the Ministry, groups can use the adjective Macedonian, which the Zaev regime insists is free to use in Macedonia under the Prespa Treaty, but if the institution is not linked to the state or public institutions and does not receive financial assistance from the state.

We knew they are criminals, and now we know they are fascists. Macedonia is a sacred name for us. It is our right and our duty to use it, said VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski in response to the statement from the Justice Ministry.

Justice Minister Bojan Maricic, who already faces a no-confidence vote over the huge levels of corruption noted in the latest Transparency International report, was the main target of criticism after this decision.