European integration of North Macedonia: challenges of the 21st century

Keywords: North Macedonia, European Union, Prespa Agreement, Framework Position, Macedonian language, Greece, Bulgaria, France


The article focuses on research and analysis of the international situation surrounding the Republic of Macedonia on its way to joining the European Union. It is shown how the process of recognition of the Republic of Macedonia by the European Union was complicated by the contradictions between the EU member states and the Republic of Macedonia. First, the disputes with Greece regarding the name of the state, citizenship and elements of the state symbols of the Republic of Macedonia, which began in the early 90s of the XX century, led to the imposition of a veto by Greece on the negotiation process of the Republic of Macedonia’s accession to the EU and NATO, which blocked the negotiation process during 2008-2018. Second, historical and linguistic contradictions with Bulgaria and Bulgaria’s refusal to approve the European Union’s negotiating framework for North Macedonia on November 17, 2020, which lasted until July 2022. Attention is drawn to the fact that events at the European level affected the already slow process of the country’s accession to the European Union. 2019 has been a year of European elections, including elections to the European Parliament, the appointment and restructuring of the European Commission, and the protracted issue of Brexit. And the discussion and acceptance of France’s requirements regarding the new, more complex methodology for joining the EU delayed the process of considering the issue of new members joining the EU for another two years. It is emphasized that the official accession negotiations with North Macedonia, which began on July 19, 2022, are an important factor that strengthens the security and defence of the Balkans and ensures the stability of the region. After 17 years of waiting, negotiations have finally begun, opening new perspectives for the state and citizens of North Macedonia.


Download data is not yet available.


Bieber, F. (2018). Building Impossible States? State-Building Strategies and EU Membership in the Western Balkans. EU conditionality for the Western Balkans. Edited by Florian Bieber. London: Routledge. [in English].

Bieber, F. (2018). Patterns of competitive authoritarianism in the Western Balkans. Journal of East European Politics, 34(3), 337-354. [in English].

Bolhariia i Pivnichna Makedoniia pidpysaly protokol, yakyi maie rozblokuvaty rukh Skopie do YeS. [Bulgaria and North Macedonia have signed a protocol that should unblock the movement of Skopje to Jes.]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Bulgaria asks EU to stop ‘fake’ Macedonian identity. Retrieved from [in English].

Bulgaria sends memorandum to the Council on North Macedonia. Retrieved from [in English].

Bulgarian intellectuals: Unacceptable to deny Macedonian nation, language; green-light talks immediately. Retrieved from [in English].

,8% ot b’lgarite sa protiv Makedoniya v ES. [83.8% of Bulgarians are against Macedonia in the EU.]. Retrieved from [in Bulgarian].

Der Spiegel: Bulgaria Misuses Its Right of Veto for Nationalistic Purposes Retrieved from [in English].

Gaјiћ, A.S. (2018). Evroatlantske Integratsiјe, Srbiјa I Zapadni Balkan Posle „Bregzita “: Geopolitichke Okolnosti. [Euro-Atlantic Integration, Serbia and the Western Balkans After «Brexit»: Geopolitical Circumstances.]. Politika natsionalne bezbednosti, 14 (1), 123-139. Retrieved from [in Serbian].

Habinet, M.Yu. (2020). Suchasnyi stan ta perspective intehratsii Respubliky Pivnichna Makedoniia do YeS. [The current state and perspective of the integration of the Republic of North Macedonia into the EU.]. Naukovi zapysky studentiv ta aspirantiv. Seriia: «Mizhnarodni vidnosyny», 5, 58-67. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Kovachev: Nikoј ne saka da go zeme Delchev, toј e na Makedoniјa, toј e i na Bugariјa. [Kovachev: Nobody wants to take Delchev, he is in Macedonia, he is also in Bulgaria.]. Retrieved from [in Macedonian]

Maistrenko, Yu. (2017). Rehion Zakhidni Balkany: zovnishni chynnyky ta osoblyvosti politychnykh transformatsii. [The Western Balkans region: external factors and features of political transformations]/ Visnyk ONU im. I.I. Mechnykova. Sotsiolohiia i politychni nauky, 2 (29), 92-99. Retrieved from ttps:// [in Ukrainian].

Mandić, D. (2017, January) Anatomy of a Refugee Wave: Forced Migration on the Balkan Route as Two Processes. Europe Now Journal. Retrieved from [in English].

Ofitsiinyi sait Yevropeiskoho Soiuzu. Konsolidovana redaktsiia Dohovoru pro Yevropeiskyi Soiuz. [Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Ramkova pozitsiya otnosno razshiryavane na es i protsesa na stabilizirane i asotsiirane: Republika Severna Makedoniya i Albaniya. [Framework position on EU enlargement and the stabilization and association process: Republic of North Macedonia and Albania.]. Retrieved from [in Bulgarian].

Skrypnyk, O. (2021). Osoblyvosti protsesu intehratsii Respubliky Albaniia do YeS. [Peculiarities of the process of integration of the Republic of Albania to the European Union]. Yevropeiski istorychni studii, 18, 63-77.URL: [in Ukrainian].

Subotić Strahinja (2018, Novembar). Zapadni Balkan iz perspective Bregzita. CEP pogled. Retrieved from [in Serbian].

Tongue-tied: Bulgaria’s language gripe blocks North Macedonia’s EU path. Retrieved from [in English].

Vitman, K.M. (2019). Nazva «Respublika Pivnichna Makedoniia» yak rezultat etnopolitychnoho kompromisu z Hretsiieiu. [The name «Republic of North Macedonia» as a result of an ethnopolitical compromise with Greece]. Aktualni problemy polityky, 63, 111-124. [in Ukrainian].

Vracic, A. (2018, May) The Way Back: Brain Drain and Prosperity in the Western Balkans. ECFR Report. Retrieved from [in English].

YeS pohodyvsia pochaty peremovyny pro vstup z Albaniieiu ta Pivnichnoiu Makedoniieiu. [The EU is ready to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian]

YeS rozpochav perehovory pro vstup Albaniieiu ta Pivnichnoiu Makedoniieiu. [The EU has started negotiations on the accession of Albania and North Macedonia]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Yevrokomisiia rozrobyla novu protseduru vstupu krain do YeS. [The European Commission has developed a new procedure for the accession of countries to the EU]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Abstract views: 122
PDF Downloads: 60
How to Cite
Kravchenko, D. (2022). European integration of North Macedonia: challenges of the 21st century. Acta De Historia & Politica: Saeculum XXI, (04), 72-79.