Bulgaria takes further steps to make negotiations with North Macedonia, Sofia and Skopje, a joint commission of historians, agreed on a compromise about labelling historical figures from the common history.

Both nations agreed to accept recommendations by each other to describe King Samuel (Tsar Samuil), who ruled from 997 to 1014. He was the general and second son of emperor Peter I of Bulgaria.


The joint commission of historians declared King Samuel the ruler of the sizeable medieval state. The majority of modern historical scholarship claims the Bulgarian kingdom with its centre in the regions of today’s North Macedonia.

The main question is whether King Samuel is the king of Bulgaria or North Macedonia. The question is resolved based on the authorities of Skopje.

On behalf of the Bilateral agreement signed by both countries in 2017, the joint commission suggests that both governments celebrate the celebration of King Samuel will be a sign of shared values ​​and true neighbourliness and friendship among both nations.

The Governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia signed a friendship treaty on 1 August 2017, set up by the joint historical commission to remove the disputes in their similar history. In 2020, Bulgaria compromised and agreed to acknowledge the Macedonian language and national identity if North Macedonia agreed to the term that both nations and languages have common historical roots. North Macedonia rejected this proposal as a threat. Now, the commission has come up with a suggestion of changing the history in the textbooks of both nations.

They recommend changing 6th standard textbooks in North Macedonia about continuity between ancient Macedonia and the modern Macedonian state historical misplacement in time.

The commission also recommends changes to the Bulgarian textbooks for the 5th standards, aiming for “greater precision”. The recommendation is to use pronouncements such as today’s Bulgarian land or territory of modern Bulgaria. The historical maps should follow the historical conditions and methodological goals.