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Tag: North Macedonia

Elections in North Macedonia: the importance of election observation in young democracies

On May 8th, landmark elections took place in North Macedonia. With many important issues on the line, including future EU membership, the validity of the elections was more important than ever. For this exact reason, observers from the Danish NGO “Silba - Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy” set out to observe these elections. In this account of the mission, a coordinator and two observers share their experiences and discuss the importance of election observation.

June 5, 2024 - Daniela Lange Andersen Jelle Baartmans John Bracken Stijn van der Veen

Double elections end North Macedonia’s de facto duopoly, but sometimes more is less

Dissatisfaction with the Social Democrats and nationalist demands from Bulgaria have shifted the country to the right.

May 14, 2024 - Kristijan Fidanovski

The double murder that traumatized North Macedonia

Two recent disappeared person cases in North Macedonia could not have looked more different at first glance. However, further investigations have brought to light connections to an obscure pro-Russian network in the country. Such a shocking turn of events only further shows Moscow’s influence during a time of heightened uncertainty across the region.

North Macedonia, a nation with a rich history and vibrant culture, has, unfortunately, experienced its fair share of distressing incidents, including public shootings, criminal clashes, and cases of femicide over the years. But rarely has Macedonian society been so shaken to its very core as after the double murder of Vanja Gjorchevska, a 14-year-old teenager from Skopje, and Pance Zhezhovski, a 74-year-old retired barber from the town of Veles. What makes this crime particularly horrifying is the unprecedented cruelty inflicted upon a minor and an elderly citizen.

April 11, 2024 - Jovan Gjorgovski

Polish approach to the transatlantic and European ambitions of Ukraine, North Macedonia and Moldova: a reality check of public debate

Poland has often been seen as a key supporter of EU and NATO enlargement. Having benefitted immensely from these processes itself, it has now backed enlargement to states like Ukraine, North Macedonia and Moldova. Despite this, there are certain peculiarities in its approach when it comes to each country.

March 11, 2024 - Michal Krawczyk

Kidnapping EU: misuse of the veto power on enlargement

On December 15th 2023, the leaders of Ukraine would have been shocked to hear that the EU might not provide its 50 billion euros as a result of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban's veto. The EU's right of veto has often been unduly used and exploited by EU member states against their neighbours, generally for issues unrelated to EU values.

March 8, 2024 - Rigels Lenja

“North Macedonia has made a clear national decision”

An interview with Slavjanka Petrovska, minister of defence of North Macedonia. Interviewer: Jovan Gjorgovski.

May 4, 2023 - Jovan Gjorgovski Slavjanka Petrovska

North Macedonia in the crosshairs of Russian propaganda

North Macedonia may not be the first country that comes to mind when discussing Russian propaganda. Despite this, the small Balkan state continues to grapple with consistent efforts by the Kremlin to influence domestic politics. Such campaigns are ultimately designed to challenge the nation’s continued desire to further integrate with the West through EU membership.

Supporting democracy does not come cheap, but then again freedom is also costly. In Kherson, Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia the cost is in human lives. In Europe it is in the ever-rising electricity and utility bills. For North Macedonia, a small country in the middle of the Western Balkans, prices are not the only problem. The youngest member so far of NATO, for the past several months especially, has faced textbook hybrid attacks intended to create fear, panic and distrust in state institutions.

February 15, 2023 - Jovan Gjorgovski

France’s EU proposal for North Macedonia teaches us that nationalism shall prevail

North Macedonia has faced numerous challenges on its path to EU membership. Having signed a pivotal agreement with Greece in 2018, it was hoped that Skopje could move towards integration unhindered. However, a recent French-sponsored agreement with Bulgaria suggests that Sofia will now wield disproportionate influence over the country’s future.

August 22, 2022 - Alejandro Esteso Pérez

Bulgaria’s veto for North Macedonia’s European hopes spells trouble for the region

Bulgaria’s veto for neighbouring North Macedonia’s accession talks to the European Union late last year could spell trouble in the long run for the rest of the region. By blocking Skopje’s European path, the decision taken by Bulgarian authorities goes to show how historical feuds in the region are still threatening to disrupt its already fragile and patchy path towards the EU.

The conditions that Bulgaria has set ahead for its much smaller neighbour include an official acknowledgement of having a common history, a change in the formulation describing the official language (Macedonian) which is being used in North Macedonia, and a roadmap for the implementation of a friendship treaty that the two countries signed in 2017. Bulgaria has also requested that the agreement includes Skopje's renunciation of claims to the existence of a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.

February 3, 2021 - Bojan Stojkovski

North Macedonia’s EU challenges: the Bulgarian ego and mechanisms of defence

Following the resolution of an almost three-decades-long surreal name dispute with Greece, North Macedonia’s path to EU membership looked relatively optimistic. Until recently.

December 14, 2020 - Bojidar Kolov

A case of the tail wagging the dog? Bulgaria, the EU and North Macedonia

Bulgaria's veto on the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia comes as a result of how the country's elites envision a "Bulgarian world".

December 10, 2020 - Tomasz Kamusella

What lurks behind Bulgaria’s “veto” on North Macedonia’s accession talks? 

Bulgaria's decision to block North Macedonian accession talks with the EU is being portrayed as a result of how the two neighbours view their history and language. A Friendship Treaty between the two is being used to raise tensions rather than alleviate them.

November 30, 2020 - Radosveta Vassileva

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