Speaking before the Bulgarian Parliament, Justice Minister Desislava Ahladova said that a total of 65,000 Macedonian citizens acquired Bulgarian citizenship over the past 10 years.
These citizenships were handed out under the clause of Bulgarian origin – foreign citizens are asked to “declare” that they are Bulgarians or that their ancestors were Bulgarian, and can receive the passport. It’s a popular route for many Macedonians who want to live and work in European Union countries, as Bulgaria is an EU member state and its citizens have much easier travel and work arrangements. This scheme is less used in the past few years after allegations of abuse and corruption.
Getting a Bulgarian passport is quicker than getting your order from Ali Express
My own brother received a Bulgarian passport and currently lives in France. It’s not just that our family has nothing to do with Bulgaria in any shape or form, but my grand father fought against the Bulgarian fascists in WW2. My brother obtained his passport after hiring an attorney from Sofia who took care of the whole process for a fee of 1,000 euros. During the process my brother was never asked to provide any document to prove some sort of connection to Bulgaria.
Brussels has reprimanded Bulgaria repeatedly for essentially dishing out passports like pastries, but it may be too little too late, as hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Ukrainians, Moldovans and Albanians have obtained and continue to obtain Bulgarian passports.