Saturday, 25. January 2020

North Macedonia

Macedonia is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. It declared independence in 1991.

The capital and the largest city, Skopje, is home to roughly a quarter of the nation’s 2.06 million inhabitants. The majority of the residents are ethnic Macedonians. Macedonia has a name dispute regarding the use of its constitutional name “Republic of Macedonia“ with Greece.

Macedonia was accepted into membership of the UN in 1993 under the provisional name the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is a member of the Council of Europe.

Macedonia – along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in 2003.  Its Stabilisation and Association Agreement is in force since 2004, and it is the first in the region. It applied for the EU membership in March 2004 and the Council decided to grant the country candidate status in December 2005, based on the Commission’s favourable opinion. Since October 2009, the Commission has recommended opening of the accession negotiations with the country, until 2015 when it made this conditional on continued implementation of the Pržino agreement and substantial progress in the implementation of the “Urgent Reform Priorities”.

Important dates

24 January 2000 – The European Commission adopts directives regarding cooperation and regarding the official start of negotiations for potential membership

March 2000 – Opening of the EU Delegation in Skopje and appointment of the first Chief of the Delegation

5 April 2000 – Start of 1st round of negotiations on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA)

9 April 2001 – SAA and Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade Issues signed

1 April 2004 – SAA enters into force following the ratifications by all the EU Member States

3 June 2004 – 1st meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee held in Skopje

14 September 2004 – 1st meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council in Brussels

17 December 2005 – The European Council in Brussels approves the candidate status

9 November 2006 – The European Commission decides to start visa facilitation negotiations with the Republic

29 March 2012 – European Commission launches a High-Level Accession Dialogue with Skopje