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Tag: North Macedonia

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

No concrete promise after EU-Balkan summit commits to Albania

On May 6th, the EU held a virtual EU-Western Balkans summit. The COVID-19 response forced the summit to focus on aid and solidarity rather than on enlargement talks, but reforms in Albania still remained high on the agenda.

May 22, 2020 - Charles Fourmi

Grim reality after a colourful revolution

The left-wing government that came to power in North Macedonia after the 2016 mass protests is facing new challenges. Symbolic politics is significant for showing that the new North Macedonia is indeed a country for all, but it may not be enough. What the citizens want, first and foremost, is a functioning state.

When you use a water pistol filled with paint as a weapon against the government no one takes you seriously. The situation changes, however, when tens of thousands of enraged fellow citizens join you in this fight. This is exactly what happened when Macedonian citizens succeeded in overthrowing the nationalist government that had been in power for a decade. They wanted to put a stop to corruption and the mafia connections but also set up extremely high demands for the Social Democrats who have gained power. The new government brought along a change in the name of the country – now called North Macedonia – and long-awaited freedom, but also many disappointments.

April 6, 2020 - Aleksandra Zdeb

New enlargement strategy of the EU: a new chance for the Balkans

With a new enlargement strategy, the European Union gives itself more time while candidates and potential candidates claim a new chance to focus more seriously on upcoming reforms.

March 31, 2020 - Svjetlana Ramic Markovic

North Macedonia and the uncertain future of Syriza

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize over the improvement of Greek-North Macedonian relations following the latter’s name change. But what if the Greek population is not as impressed as the rest of the international community?

May 9, 2019 - Michael Goodyear

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