It was not that long ago, in 2018, when Bulgaria won praise in several quarters for using its presidency of the Council of the EU to return the Western Balkans to prominence as an issue.
Now, in 2020, Bulgaria has been facing the choice of whether to be guided by petty nationalisms, that plague of the Balkans, or whether to give primacy to the expanding and strengthening of the EU. An EU that its foes, in Moscow and other capitals, would prefer to see fractured, weakened and bereft of direction.
A Bulgaria that could have had the leadership role it dreamt of for itself is paying the price of having ultra-nationalists in government, a cohort that sees the opportunity, with an eye to the coming elections, in being beastly to the Republic of North Macedonia.
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