Accession of Macedonia to the European Union

Macedonian EU accession bid
Status Candidate
Opened chapters 0
Closed chapters 0
Website Secretariat for European Affairs
EU averageMacedonia
PPP GDP ($M)552,78017,396
PPP per capita ($)40,60014,631
Area (km2)165,04825,713

Accession of Macedonia to the European Union (EU) is on the current agenda for future enlargement of the EU. Macedonia has been a candidate for accession to the European Union since 2005 but has not yet entered into accession negotiations. It submitted its membership application in 2004, thirteen years after its independence from Yugoslavia. As of June 2014, it is one of six candidate countries, together with Albania, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, after the latest round of enlargement that brought membership to Croatia. Among current obstacles to full membership is the ongoing objection by Greece over the country's name, which is also the reason why it is officially addressed by the European Union with the provisional appellation "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", rather than its constitutional name, "Republic of Macedonia". Accession to the EU has been defined as the highest strategic priority for the country's government.[1][2] The expected accession is currently described as a "medium to long term" prospect.[3]

The government's motto for the candidacy is "The Sun, too, is a star", referring to the sun from the flag of the Republic of Macedonia being displayed among the other stars in the Flag of Europe, in the official logo of the candidacy.

Macedonia is currently receiving EUR 1.3 billion of development aid until 2020 from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, a funding mechanism for EU candidate countries.

On 27 June 2018, following the withdrawal of the Greek veto as part of the Prespa agreement to change the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia, the EU approved the start of accession talks, which are expected in 2019, provided certain conditions are met.[4]


The Republic of Macedonia began its formal process of rapprochement with the European Union in 2000, by initiating negotiations about the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process, and it became the first non-EU country in the Balkans to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), on 9 April 2001 in Luxembourg. The agreement was ratified by the Macedonian parliament on 12 April 2001, and was the first to be ratified by all the member states and came into force on 1 April 2004.

At the same time, on 22 March 2004 in Dublin, Ireland, Macedonia submitted its application for EU membership. On 6 September 2004, the Macedonian government adopted a National Strategy for European integration, supported by the country's parliament through its Commission for European Issues. The government subsequently began the procedure of answering the questionnaire of the European Commission regarding its performance in preparation for membership in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria, a process that was finished by 31 January 2005. The European Council officially granted the country candidate status on 17 December 2005, after a review and a positive recommendation of the candidacy by the European Commission.


This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Macedonia

A major obstacle for the accession process is the Republic's still-unresolved objection by Greece over its name, as it argues that it implies territorial ambitions towards Greece's own northern province of Macedonia. While the country prefers to be called by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia, the European Union, in acknowledgment of concerns raised by Greece, has maintained a practice of recognising it only as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the compromise "provisional reference" introduced by the United Nations in 1993. Greece, as any other EU country, has veto power against new accessions, and continues to block Macedonian accession unless the naming issue is resolved beforehand.[5][6][7] In April 2008, at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Greece rejected all proposals by the Macedonian government and UN mediator Matthew Nimetz – including the name "Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)" – and vetoed Macedonia's accession to NATO. As Macedonia would have also agreed to accede as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the Greek veto breached the 1995 Interim Agreement.[8]

In December 2009, Greece vetoed the start of Macedonia's EU membership negotiations. Since 2008, resolution of the naming conflict has also been added to the official preconditions raised by the EU.[9] [10]

In 2006 EU sources criticised the country's leadership under prime minister Nikola Gruevski for its policies against its Albanian minority and the politicisation of many state institutions, warning that these problems might become obstacles to the official start of accession talks.[11]

Bilateral conflicts also exist with Bulgaria, mainly related to conflicting views about the two countries' shared 19th- and 20th-century history and the ethnic separateness of the two nations. Bulgaria joined the EU on 1 January 2007. In July 2006, Bulgarian foreign minister Ivaylo Kalfin and president Georgi Parvanov stated that Bulgaria's support for Macedonian membership might not be unconditional, citing concerns over negative and aggressive attitudes against Bulgaria and Bulgarian history fostered by the Macedonian authorities.[12][13] Defiant answers were reported from the Macedonian political leadership.[14][15]

In October 2012, the European Commission recommended for the fourth consecutive year that membership negotiations with Macedonia be launched. On each previous occasion the opening of negotiations had been vetoed by Greece. In 2012 Bulgaria also utilised its veto.[16] [17] A solution for the long-lasting naming dispute, however, moved considerably closer, when the Greek foreign minister on 4 October 2012 forwarded a draft for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to settle the question. According to the Euractive website the proposal was answered positively by the Macedonian foreign minister on 8 November 2012.[18] Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, stated that the softening of positions by the two states could allow for accession negotiations to begin before a compromise on the naming dispute was reached.[19] On 11 December 2012, the Council of the European Union concluded that Macedonia could start accession negotiations as early as the second quarter of 2013, conditional on reaching an agreement on its dispute with Bulgaria and Greece. The Council was encouraged that progress on the latter dispute had recently been made by a UN mediator.[20] [21] However, in February 2013 Füle canceled his planned trip to Macedonia to assess the country's progress on reforms due to ongoing political instability in the country, including the boycott of parliament and the threat to boycott upcoming local elections by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia. He warned that the stalemate was “putting at risk” the launch of accession negotiations.[22] The political crisis was resolved when the EU brokered a compromise between Macedonia's political parties on 1 March 2013.[23] [24] In October 2013 the European Commission recommended for a fifth straight year that accession negotiations with Macedonia be launched.[25] At the most recent meeting of the Council of the European Union in December 2013, the Council for the fifth consecutive year concluded that "the political criteria continue to be sufficiently met", but in regards to making the final decision to open accession negotiations it was only agreed to revisit the issue in 2014. The decision whether or not to start accession negotiations will be made "on the basis of an update by the Commission on further implementation of reforms in the context of the High Level Accession Dialogue, including the implementation of the 1 March 2013 political agreement - and on tangible steps taken to promote good neighborly relations [with Bulgaria] - and to reach a negotiated and mutually accepted solution to the name issue [with Greece]".[26]

The UN mediator, Matthew Nimetz, has invited Greece and Macedonia to a new round of "name dispute" negotiations to begin on 26 March 2014.[27] In February 2014, the European Parliament passed a resolution stating that according to its assessment, the Copenhagen criteria has been sufficiently fulfilled for Macedonia to begin negotiations for EU accession,[28] and called on the Council of the European Union to confirm the date for the launch of accession negotiations straight away, as bilateral disputes must not be an obstacle for the start of talks - although they must be solved before the accession.[29] However, whether or not the Council agreed with the parliament's opinion, it had no mention of Macedonia's accession negotiations at its meeting in June 2014.

As of May 2014 the name dispute was still unresolved,[30] but it was announced that negotiations were to be resumed after the Greek EP election and local elections on 25 May.[31] At the Council meeting in June 2014, the fixing of a start date for Macedonia's accession negotiations was not on the agenda.[32] On 12 June 2018, the Macedonian and Greek governments reached a preliminary agreement to end their dispute, which would result in Macedonia being renamed the Republic of North Macedonia (Република Северна Македонија)[33]

On 12 June 2018 an agreement was reached between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev, known as the Prespa agreement,[34] under which the Republic of Macedonia would be renamed the "Republic of North Macedonia".[35] As part of this deal, Greece withdrew its veto, allowing the EU to approve on June 27 the start of accession talks with the Republic of Macedonia. The talks are expected to begin in 2019, subject to several conditions being met.[36][37]

State of Stabilisation and Association Agreement ratification

Status of SAA ratification
Event Macedonia [38] Croatia [39] Albania [40] Montenegro [41][Note 1] Bosnia and
Serbia [44][Note 2] Kosovo* [45][Note 3]
SAA negotiations start 2000-04-05 2000-11-24 2003-01-31 2005-10-10 2005-11-25 2005-10-10 2013-10-28[47]
SAA initialled 2000-11-24 2001-05-14 2006-02-28 2007-03-15 2007-12-04 2007-11-07 2014-07-25[48]
SAA/IA signature 2001-04-09 2001-10-29 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2008-04-29 2015-10-27[49]
Interim Agreement:
EC ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2009-12-08 N/A [Note 4]
SAP state ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-10-09 2007-11-14 2008-06-20 2008-09-22 N/A [Note 4]
entry into force 2001-06-01 2002-03-01 2006-12-01 2008-01-01 2008-07-01 2010-02-01 N/A [Note 4]
Deposit of the instrument of ratification:
SAP state 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-11-09 2007-11-13 2009-02-26 2008-09-22 2016-02-26
Austria 2002-09-06 2002-03-15 2008-05-21 2008-07-04 2009-09-04 2011-01-13 N/A
Belgium 2003-12-29 2003-12-17 2008-10-22 2010-03-29 2010-03-29 2012-03-20 N/A
Bulgaria entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2009-03-13 2010-08-12 N/A
Croatia entered the EU later N/A
Cyprus entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2008-11-20 2009-07-02 2010-11-26 N/A
Czech Republic entered the EU later 2008-05-07 2009-02-19 2009-07-23 2011-01-28 N/A
Denmark 2002-04-10 2002-05-08 2008-04-24 2008-06-25 2009-05-26 2011-03-04 N/A
Estonia entered the EU later 2007-10-17 2007-11-22 2008-09-11 2010-08-19 N/A
Finland 2004-01-06 2004-01-06 2007-11-29 2009-03-18 2009-04-07 2011-10-21 N/A
France 2003-06-04 2003-06-04 2009-02-12 2009-07-30 2011-02-10 2012-01-16 N/A
Germany 2002-06-20 2002-10-18 2009-02-19 2009-11-16 2009-08-14 2012-02-24 N/A
Greece 2003-08-27 2003-08-27 2009-02-26 2010-03-04 2010-09-20 2011-03-10 N/A
Hungary entered the EU later 2007-04-23 2008-05-14 2008-10-22 2010-11-16 N/A
Ireland 2002-05-06 2002-05-06 2007-06-11 2009-06-04 2009-06-04 2011-09-29 N/A
Italy 2003-10-30 2004-10-06 2008-01-07 2009-10-13 2010-09-08 2011-01-06 N/A
Latvia entered the EU later 2006-12-19 2008-10-17 2009-11-12 2011-05-30 N/A
Lithuania entered the EU later 2007-05-17 2009-03-04 2009-05-04 2013-06-26 N/A
Luxembourg 2003-07-28 2003-08-01 2007-07-04 2009-06-11 2010-12-22 2011-01-21 N/A
Malta entered the EU later 2008-04-21 2008-12-11 2010-01-07 2010-07-06 N/A
Netherlands 2002-09-09 2004-04-30 2007-12-10 2009-01-29 2009-09-30 2012-02-27 N/A
Poland entered the EU later 2007-04-14 2009-02-06 2010-04-07 2012-01-13 N/A
Portugal 2003-07-14 2003-07-14 2008-07-11 2008-09-23 2009-06-29 2011-03-04 N/A
Romania entered the EU later 2009-01-15 2010-01-08 2012-05-22 N/A
Slovakia entered the EU later 2007-07-20 2008-07-29 2009-03-17 2010-11-11 N/A
Slovenia entered the EU later 2007-01-18 2008-02-07 2009-03-10 2010-12-07 N/A
Spain 2002-10-04 2002-10-04 2007-05-03 2009-03-12 2010-06-15 2010-06-21 N/A
Sweden 2002-06-25 2003-03-27 2007-03-21 2009-03-11 2009-09-14 2011-04-15 N/A
United Kingdom 2002-12-17 2004-09-03 2007-10-16 2010-01-12 2010-04-20 2011-08-11 N/A
European Communities or
European Union and Euratom
2004-02-25 2004-12-21 2009-02-26 2010-03-29 2015-04-30 2013-07-22 2016-02-24 [Note 5]
SAA entry into force 2004-04-01 2005-02-01 2009-04-01 2010-05-01 2015-06-01 2013-09-01 2016-04-01[53]
EU membership (SAA lapsed) (TBD) 2013-07-01 (TBD) (TBD) (TBD) (TBD) (TBD)

N/A: Not applicable.

  1. Montenegro started negotiations in November 2005 while a part of Serbia and Montenegro (SiM). Separate technical negotiations were conducted regarding issues of sub-state organizational competency. A mandate for direct negotiations with Montenegro was established in July 2006. Direct negotiations were initiated on 26 September 2006 and concluded on 1 December 2006.[42]
  2. Serbia started negotiations in November 2005 while part of SiM, with a modified mandate from July 2006.
  3. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states. The European Union remains divided on its policy towards Kosovo, with five EU member states not recognizing its independence. The EU launched a Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism for Kosovo on 6 November 2002 with the aim of aligning its policy with EU standards. On 10 October 2012 the European Commission found that there were no legal obstacles to Kosovo signing a SAA with the EU, as independence is not required for such an agreement.[46]
  4. 1 2 3 No Interim Agreement associated with Kosovo's SAA was concluded.[50]
  5. Kosovo's SAA was the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU. As a result, unlike previous SAAs Kosovo's is exclusively between it and the EU and Euratom, and the member states are not parties independently.[47][51][52]


Date Event
October 1992The Republic of Macedonia appoints its representative in Brussels, agreeing to the use of the "former Yugoslav" before its constitutional name ("Republic of Macedonia") designation in bilateral relations.
22 December 1995The Republic and the EU establish diplomatic relations. Negotiations commence directed at an agreement with a wide scope of co-operation in the fields of trade, financial operations and transport.
February 1996The permanent Macedonian Mission in Brussels is upgraded to an ambassadorial level.
10 March 1996Macedonia becomes a full partner in the PHARE Programme (Poland and Hungary: Assistance for Reconstruction of their Economies).
20 March 1996Negotiations begin towards a Cooperation Agreement and a Transport Agreement between the Republic and the European Communities.
20 June 1996Conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement and the Transport Agreement.
November 1997The Transport Agreement enters into force
1 January 1998The Cooperation Agreement enters into force.
February 19981st political talks on ministerial level are held in Ohrid, in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement.
11 March 1998A Trade and Textile Agreement is signed (it remains in force until 1998 and is later replaced with a new agreement on 1 January 2000).
21 and 22 March 19981st meeting of a mutual Cooperation Council in Skopje.
5 March 19992nd meeting of the Cooperation Council in Brussels
24 January 2000The European Commission adopts directives regarding cooperation and regarding the official start of negotiations for potential membership.
March 2000Opening of the EU Delegation in Skopje; appointment of the first Chief of the Delegation.
5 April 2000Start of 1st round of negotiations on the SAA.
June 2000Adoption of a Perspective (regulation) on Potential Membership by the European Council in Fiera.
24 November 2000The SAA is initiated at the Zagreb Summit.
December 2000Entering into force of Council Regulation on Introducing Exceptional Trade Measures; Macedonia joins the Regional CARDS Programme 2002–2006.
16 February 2001Interim Agreement on SAA Trade Provisions signed.
9 April 2001SAA and Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade Issues signed. The Agreement enters into force on 1 June 2001.
January 2002Supplementary Protocol on Wine and Spirits, and Textile Products Trade Agreement.
20 February 2003The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, visits Skopje, reconfirming the EU position on the country's perspective for EU membership.
25 July 2003Last of 6 meetings of the Cooperation Council in Brussels.
February 2004“Declaration on the Application for EU membership” signed by the Macedonian parliament.
22 March 2004At a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, the Macedonian government submitted the application for membership in the EU.
1 April 2004SAA enters into force following the ratifications by all the EU Member States.
3 June 20041st meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee held in Skopje.
6 September 2004National Strategy for European Integration adopted by the Macedonian government.
14 September 20041st meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council in Brussels.
1 October 2004Questionnaire on accession preparation submitted to the Macedonian government by the European Commission.
31 January 2005Answers to the Questionnaire finalised by the Macedonian government.
14 February 2005Answers to the Questionnaire submitted to the European Commission by a Macedonian delegation in Brussels.
10 May 2005Additional questions to the Questionnaire of the European Commission that were received on 22 April 2005 are answered, accepted by the Republic's government, and sent to Brussels.
9 November 2005Positive recommendation on Macedonian accession issued by the European Commission.
17 December 2005The European Council in Brussels approves the candidate status.
9 November 2006The European Commission decides to start visa facilitation negotiations with the Republic.
12 July 2007The European Parliament issues the 2006 Progress Report on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[54] Both Greece and the Republic declare a "victory" – The report is critical of the Bilateral Immunity Agreement with the USA (which violates the principles of the Rome Statute); failures in the implementation of the Badinter principle; the Khaled El-Masri affair; the renaming of Skopje Airport to "Alexander the Great"; and other issues such as environmental protection and neighborly relations. Two proposed amendments referring to Bulgaria and Greece's failure to recognise a Macedonian minority living in these countries, and one referring to the constitutional name Republic of Macedonia, were rejected.[55] On the other hand, the EU reiterated that the naming issue will not be considered in the accession process (although Greece's ability to veto remains intact). EuroMPs from the ruling Greek New Democracy party voted in favor of the resolution; those from the opposition PASOK party voted against.
23 June 2008Following the EU summit, the resolution of the naming dispute was added as a precondition to EU accession.[9][56]
14 October 2009The European Commission has recommended start of the accession negotiations for full-fledged membership of the Republic of Macedonia.[57]
8 December 2009The EU council of ministers postpones granting Macedonia a start date for accession negotiations until at least the first half of 2010.[58]
14 March 2012European Parliament adopts a resolution urging the Council to give the country a date to start accession negotiations. The institution regrets the fact that accession prospects are blocked by a dispute with Greece. EP also raises concerns regarding corruption and the segregation of children from different ethnic groups.[59]
29 March 2012European Commission launches a High Level Accession Dialogue with Skopje.[60]
10 October 2012In its report the Commission recommends the opening of accession negotiations to accelerate reforms in the country in favor to a quick resolution of the dispute over the name with Greece under the auspices of the Commission.

Negotiation progress

No chapters have been opened thus far. If the European Council approves, screening will start and once screening has finished, accession negotiations will begin.

Screening and Chapter Dates
Acquis chapterScreening OpenedScreening FinishedChapter OpenedChapter Closed
Overview0 out of 350 out of 350 out of 330 out of 35
1. Free Movement of Goods
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services
4. Free Movement of Capital
5. Public Procurement
6. Company Law
7. Intellectual Property Law
8. Competition Policy
9. Financial Services
10. Information Society & Media
11. Agriculture & Rural Development
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy
13. Fisheries
14. Transport Policy
15. Energy
16. Taxation
17. Economic & Monetary Policy
18. Statistics
19. Social Policy & Employment
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy
21. Trans-European Networks
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights
24. Justice, Freedom & Security
25. Science & Research
26. Education & Culture
27. Environment & Climate Change
28. Consumer & Health Protection
29. Customs Union
30. External Relations
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy
32. Financial Control
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions
34. Institutions
35. Other Issues
Latest EC Assessment
Acquis chapterStatus as of April 2018[61]Chapter Status
Overview2 chapters in early stage
24 chapters which are moderately prepared
2 chapters with some level of preparation
5 chapters with good level of preparation
2 chapters in which there is nothing to adopt
0 chapters opened
1. Free Movement of GoodsModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
2. Freedom of Movement For WorkersEarly stageChapter not yet opened
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide ServicesModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
4. Free Movement of CapitalModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
5. Public ProcurementModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
6. Company LawGood level of preparationChapter not yet opened
7. Intellectual Property LawModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
8. Competition PolicyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
9. Financial ServicesModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
10. Information Society & MediaModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
11. Agriculture & Rural DevelopmentModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary PolicyGood level of preparationChapter not yet opened
13. FisheriesModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
14. Transport PolicyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
15. EnergyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
16. TaxationModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
17. Economic & Monetary PolicyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
18. StatisticsModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
19. Social Policy & EmploymentModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
20. Enterprise & Industrial PolicyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
21. Trans-European NetworksGood level of preparationChapter not yet opened
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural InstrumentsModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
23. Judiciary & Fundamental RightsSome level of preparationChapter not yet opened
24. Justice, Freedom & SecurityModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
25. Science & ResearchGood level of preparationChapter not yet opened
26. Education & CultureModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
27. Environment & Climate ChangeSome level of preparationChapter not yet opened
28. Consumer & Health ProtectionModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
29. Customs UnionGood level of preparationChapter not yet opened
30. External RelationsModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
31. Foreign, Security & Defence PolicyModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
32. Financial ControlModerately preparedChapter not yet opened
33. Financial & Budgetary ProvisionsEarly stageChapter not yet opened
34. InstitutionsNothing to adoptChapter not yet opened
35. Other IssuesNothing to adoptChapter not yet opened
Past Assessments
Acquis chapterEC Assessment at StartEC Assessment in 2016[62]EC Assessment in 2018[63]
1. Free Movement of GoodsEarly stageModerately preparedModerately prepared
2. Freedom of Movement For WorkersFurther efforts neededEarly stageEarly stage
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide ServicesFurther efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
4. Free Movement of CapitalFurther efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
5. Public ProcurementConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
6. Company LawConsiderable efforts neededGood level of preparationGood level of preparation
7. Intellectual Property LawEarly stageModerately preparedModerately prepared
8. Competition PolicyEarly stageModerately preparedModerately prepared
9. Financial ServicesFurther efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
10. Information Society & MediaConsiderable efforts neededGood level of preparationModerately prepared
11. Agriculture & Rural DevelopmentConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary PolicyConsiderable efforts neededSome level of preparationGood level of preparation
13. FisheriesNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
14. Transport PolicyConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
15. EnergyConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
16. TaxationConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
17. Economic & Monetary PolicyNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
18. StatisticsNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
19. Social Policy & EmploymentConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
20. Enterprise & Industrial PolicyNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
21. Trans-European NetworksNo major difficulties expectedGood level of preparationGood level of preparation
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural InstrumentsConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
23. Judiciary & Fundamental RightsConsiderable efforts neededSome level of preparationSome level of preparation
24. Justice, Freedom & SecurityConsiderable efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
25. Science & ResearchNo major difficulties expectedGood level of preparationGood level of preparation
26. Education & CultureNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
27. EnvironmentTotally incompatibleSome level of preparationSome level of preparation
28. Consumer & Health ProtectionFurther efforts neededModerately preparedModerately prepared
29. Customs UnionConsiderable efforts neededGood level of preparationGood level of preparation
30. External RelationsNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
31. Foreign, Security & Defence PolicyNo major difficulties expectedModerately preparedModerately prepared
32. Financial ControlEarly stageEarly stageModerately prepared
33. Financial & Budgetary ProvisionsNo major difficulties expectedEarly stageEarly stage
34. InstitutionsNothing to adoptNothing to adoptNothing to adopt
35. Other IssuesNothing to adoptNothing to adoptNothing to adopt
  totally incompatible
  early stage
  considerable efforts needed
  some level of preparation
  further efforts needed
  moderately prepared
  no major difficulties expected
  good level of preparation
  well prepared / well advanced

Visa liberalisation process

On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Serbia and the EU entered into force.[64] Macedonia began a visa liberalisation dialogue with the EU in February 2008[64] and was added to the list of visa exempt nationals on 19 December 2009, allowing their citizens to enter the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania without a visa when traveling with biometric passports.[65]


The Macedonian government has established a management infrastructure for the European integration process on the basis of a paper adopted in 1997 under the title "The strategic bases of the Republic of Macedonia on achieving the membership of the European Union". It consists of the following institutions:

  • The Committee for Euro-Atlantic Integration plays the central role in the decision-making of the country's policies in the European integration process. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers, all ministers in the Government, the Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia and the President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts are members of the Committee.
  • The Working Committee for European Integration of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (WCEI) – It is chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers in charge of EU Integration, whose deputy is the Minister of Economy. The members are the secretaries from all Ministries. It is an operational, inter-ministerial body establishing the methods and dynamics for implementation of strategic decisions, political guidelines and priorities of the Government, as well as monitoring the realisation of the concrete tasks.
  • The Deputy to the President of the Government is responsible for the European integration as centre in the management and coordination of the operational part of the integration process. Its support and service is the Sector for European Integration within the General Secretariat of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
  • The Sector for European Integration within the Republic's government is given the task to organise, coordinate and synchronise the EU integration process. It is organised in seven units in charge of the approximation of the national legislation with that of the EU, translation of the EU legal acts, institution building, support to the WCEI, coordination of foreign assistance, and information to the broader public on EU and the European integration process.
  • Departments/Sectors/Units for European Integration within the Ministries have similar structure and competencies as the central Sector for European Integration within the Government, being a key link in the institutional infrastructure.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs – EU domain – is responsible for communications with the EU structures through the Mission of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Brussels, gathering valid and timely information that have impact on the integration process and presenting the uniform perspectives and positions in the European structures.

The other institutions supporting the EU integration process are the following:

  • the Republic's Assembly and its Commission for European Issues
  • the Secretariat for Legislation
  • the General Secretariat of the Government
  • the Subcommittee of the WCEI for approximation of the legislation with its working groups

Impact of joining

Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP
(billion US$)
per capita (US$)
Macedonia 2,058,539 25,713 10.98 4,935 Macedonian
EU28 507,890,191 4,381,376 17,267 32,501 24
EU28+1 509,948,730

See also


  1. "Europa, European Commission". Bilateral relations > The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  2. "Europa, The European Union in the World". The European Union Mission to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
  3. "BBC". EU to disappoint Balkan hopefuls. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2006.
  4. "Macedonia, Albania Hail EU Approval for Accession Talks". Balkan Insight. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  5. "Embassy of Greece – Washington, DC". Answer of FM Ms. D. Bakoyannis regarding the FYROM name issue. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
  6. "United Macedonian Diaspora". Interview with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
  7. "Report by B. Khiotis: «Εγώ δεν είπα ποτέ τη λέξη βέτο» (in Greek) ("I never used the word veto"), To Vima, 11 September 2007
  8. ESI, European Stability Initiative - (2017-04-04). "European Stability Initiative - ESI". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  9. 1 2 "Macedonia 'Name' Solution Before EU Talks". 20 June 2008.
  10. Sazdovska, Marina Malis, Cane Mojanoski, and Svetlana Nikoloska. "Some Aspects Of Corruption In Republic Of Macedonia." Horizons / Horizonti 16.(2014): 89. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
  11. "". Western Balkans told 'hold' for EU membership. Archived from the original on 22 November 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
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