CONVENTION BETWEEN GREECE AND BULGARIA RESPECTING RECIPROCAL EMIGRATION
Signed at Neuilly-sur-Seine the 27th November, 1919.
As provided in Article 56, paragraph 2, of the Treaty of Peace with
Bulgaria concluded the 27th November 1919, and in accordance with the
decision of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers of the 27th November,
1919, to the following effect: "Having regard to Article 56, paragraph
2, of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria the Principal Allied and Associated
Powers consider it opportune that the reciprocal voluntary emigration
of the racial, religious and linguistic minorities in Greece and Bulgaria
should be regulated by a convention concluded between those two Powers
in the terms decided upon this day." The undersigned plenipotentiaries
of Greece, of the one part, And of Bulgaria, of the other part, After
exchanging their full powers, respectively found in good and due form,
have agreed as follows:
The high contracting parties recognize the right of their subjects
belonging to the racial, religious or linguistic minorities to emigrate
freely to their respective territories.
The high contracting parties undertake to facilitate by all the means
at their disposal the exercise of the right referred to in Article 1
and not to place directly or indirectly any restriction on the right
of emigration, notwithstanding laws or regulations to the contrary,
which in this respect shall be deemed to be without effect. In particular,
the exercise of the right of emigration shall not affect the pecuniary
rights of the emigrants, such as they exist at the moment of emigration.
No obstacle shall be placed in the way of the departure of a voluntary
emigrant for any reason whatever, save in ease of a final sentence to
imprisonment for an infraction of ordinary law. In case of a sentence
which is not yet final or of penal proceedings under ordi nary law against
an emigrant, he shall be delivered to the authorities of the country
to which he is going by the authorities of the prosecuting country with
a view to his trial.
The right of voluntary emigration belongs to every person over 18 years
of age. It shall be exercisable during a period of two years from the
date of constitution of the mixed commission provided for in Article
8, by means of a declaration before that commission or before its representatives.
A declaration of intention to emigrate on the part of a husband shall
imply a declaration by his wife; a declaration of intention to emigrate
on the part of parents or guardians shall imply a declaration by their
children or wards under 18 years of age.
Emigrants shall lose the nationality of the country which they leave
the moment they quit it and shall acquire that of the country of destination
from the time of their arrival there.
Persons who, in execution of the foregoing provisions, exercise the
right of emigration shall be free to take with them or to have transported
their movable property of every kind, without any duty, whether export
or import, being levied from them on this account. Similarly in cases
where the right of emigration is exercised by members of communities
(including churches, convents, schools, hospitals or foundations of
any kind whatever) which on this account shall have to be dissolved,
the mixed commission provided for in Article 8 shall determine whether
and in what circumstances such members shall have the option of freely
taking with them or having transported the movable property belonging
to the communities. The real property, rural or urban, belonging to
voluntary emigrants or to the communities to which Article 6 refers
shall be liquidated in accordance with the following provisions by the
mixed Commission provided for in Article 9.
Within a period of three months from the entry into force of the present
convention a mixed commission shall be created, composed of one member
nominated by each of the contracting states concerned and of an equal
number of members of a different nationality from among whom the president
shall be chosen and who shall be nominated by the Council of the League
The mixed commission shall have the functions of supervising and facilitating
the voluntary emigration referred to in the present convention and of
liquidating the real property of emigrants. It will fix the conditions
of emigration and of liquidation of real property. In general the mixed
commission shall have full powers to take the measures rendered necessary
by the execution of the present convention and to decide all questions
to which this convention may give rise. The decisions of the commission
shall be by majority, the president's vote being decisive in case of
an equal division of votes.
The mixed commission shall have full power to have a valuation made
of real property, the interested parties being heard or duly summoned
to a hearing. The government of the country where the liquidation takes
place shall pay to the mixed commission, under conditions to be fixed
by the latter and for transmission to the rightful parties, the value
of the real property liquidated, which shall remain the property of
the said government.
Funds shall be advanced to the mixed commission by the states concerned
with the view of facilitating emigration and under conditions fixed
by the said commission. The commission shall advance to emigrants, according
to the funds available, the value of their real property.
Persons who before the entry into force of the present convention have
left the territory of one of the contracting states and have already
established themselves in the territory of the state to which they belong
by race, religion or language shall have a right to the value of the
property left by them in the country which they have left, such value
to be that resulting from the liquidation which will be made of the
property by the mixed commission.
The expenses of the maintenance and working of the mixed commission
and its agencies shall be borne by the governments concerned in proportions
to be determined by the commission.
The present convention does not affect the rights accruing to the persons
concerned under the provisions of treaties or conventions concluded
or to be concluded for the regulation of current matters.
The high contracting parties undertake to make in their respective
legislation the modifications necessary to secure the execution of the
Within the period of one year úrom its entry into force the present
convention shall be open to the adhesion of states with a common frontier
with one of the signatory states. Such adhesion shall be notified through
the diplomatic channel to the Government of the French Republic and
by it to the signatory or acceding states and also to the mixed commission.
It shall have effect a fortnight after the notification to the French
Government. The present convention shall be ratified and the respective
ratifications shall be deposited in Paris by the signatory Powers at
the same time as their ratifications of the Treaty of Peace signed at
Neuilly-sur-Seine on the 27th November, 1919. It shall enter into force
at the same time as the said treaty shall enter into force as between
Greece and Bulgaria. Done at Neuilly-sur-Seine the twenty-seventh November
one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, in one copy, which shall remain
deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic,
and of which authentic copies shall be given to each of the signatory
[L.S.] ELEFTHERIOS VENISELOS.
[L.S.] N. POLITIS.
[L.S.] AL. STAMBOLIJSKI.
Source: British Parliamentary Papers, Miscellaneous, No 3, 1920
(Cmd. 589) and as published in The American Journal of International
Law, Vol. 14, No. 4 Supplement: Official Documents. (Oct., 1920), pp.356-360.
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