As threat grows of an Afghan migrant wave, Macedonia is left without a Frontex mission because of the language dispute with Bulgaria

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The European Commission informed the MIA news agency that the agreement with Frontex, meant to help patrol the Macedonian borders and prevent illegal migrant crossings, remains blocked because of the dispute over the Macedonian language with Bulgaria.

Bulgaria does all it can to stop the establishment of the Macedonian language as an official language of the European Union. This includes blocking bilateral treaties, such as the crucial Frontex treaty. Macedonia is a key country on the Balkan migrant route and was crucial in ending the 2015-16 migrant crisis. Bulgaria now blocks the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia as it demands that Macedonia redefines its history and national identity along Bulgarian lines. Bulgaria insists that the Macedonian language is a dialect of the Bulgarian and wants the EU position to reflect their view.

The issue comes to the front as Europe is concerned about a possible wave of Afghan migrants. The lack of agreement means that Frontex would not have the option to deploy troops in Macedonia in case of a new wave.