About: North Macedonia

Enlargement 30-03-2021

North Macedonia minister: Tensions should ‘naturally decline’ after Bulgarian election

Tensions between North Macedonia and its southern neighbour Bulgaria, which is blocking Skopje's EU membership bid, should "naturally decline" after the 4 April election in Bulgaria and pave the way for an agreement, North Macedonia's Justice Minister Bojan Marichikj told EURACTIV.
Enlargement 25-03-2021

MEPs pressure Bulgaria to lift North Macedonia accession veto

MEPs put pressure on Bulgaria on Thursday (25 March) to lift its veto on the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia but failed to pass an amendment criticizing the Bulgarian position.
Enlargement 11-03-2021

Bring Western Balkans back on the agenda, urge nine EU member states

Nine EU member states have called on the EU’s chief diplomat, Joseph Borrell, to have a strategic discussion on the Western Balkan countries and their prospects when EU foreign ministers meet in April, according to a letter made available to...
Enlargement 05-02-2021

Majority of French still against Balkans’ EU integration

Some 59% of French citizens do not see the prospect of the Western Balkans countries' EU accession in a positive light, a new study has found. But it also revealed increasing mistrust toward the bloc overall.
Enlargement 07-01-2021

EU enlargement in 2021: Moribund or revenant?

In the Western Balkans, where all EU applicant countries (bar Turkey) are located, the year ahead will be dominated by Europe's quest for a vaccine and efforts to restart the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 
Enlargement 16-12-2020

North Macedonia slams Bulgaria’s ‘blackmail’ in EU entry process

North Macedonia's foreign minister called on the EU Tuesday (15 December) to end the "blackmail" of his country through the imposition by Bulgaria of fresh obstacles to its membership of the bloc.
Enlargement 23-11-2020

EU enlargement: Beware the veto epidemic

Dangling its veto, Bulgaria only uses its position of EU member to achieve some of its foreign policy interests, in the same way that many other have done before. The problem is that the EU does not have the desire and the way to discourage such unilateral actions, writes Orhan Dragaš.
Enlargement 18-11-2020

Bulgaria spells out conditions for unblocking North Macedonia’s EU path

Bulgaria vetoed the decision to open EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia on Tuesday (17 November), a move which indirectly also affects Albania, another Western Balkans candidate which has advanced on its EU path in tandem with Skopje.

Eight detained after Vienna attack had previous convictions

Eight of those detained following Monday night's terrorist attack in Vienna had previous convictions, including for terror offences, the Austrian interior minister said Thursday (5 November), as the investigation extended to Switzerland and a second, unnamed country.
Enlargement 06-10-2020

Commission seeks to revive enlargement with new package

The European Commission published its long-awaited enlargement package on Tuesday (6 October) in a fresh attempt to revive the stalled process with promises of more substantial economic assistance in exchange for reforms. The package included country-specific reports on the progress of the six Western Balkans countries and Turkey.
Enlargement 11-09-2020

Revolutionary hero’s identity stands in the way of Skopje’s EU path

Historic figure Gotse Delchev, considered as a national hero both in Bulgaria and North Macedonia, now appears to stand in the way of Skopje’s EU path. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.
Enlargement 16-07-2020

North Macedonia’s pro-EU SDSM set to win parliamentary vote

North Macedonia's Social Democrats who pledged to take the Balkan country to the EU are set to win the parliamentary vote on Wednesday (15 July), state election commission parliamentary results showed.
Enlargement 15-07-2020

North Macedonia heads to election with pace of EU accession at stake

North Macedonia holds a parliamentary election on Wednesday (15 July) that may decide the pace of the country's bid for European Union membership, with the governing pro-EU Social Democrats and the main opposition nationalists locked in a close race.
Enlargement 23-06-2020

North Macedonia faces ‘necessary evil’ when voters head to ballot

To choose your leaders or your health? Voters in North Macedonia are facing this conundrum as the country heads towards key elections just as a second wave of the coronavirus is rising.
Enlargement 12-06-2020

Skopje declares end of COVID emergency, paving the way for election in July

North Macedonian president announced the end of the state of emergency on Friday (12 June), indicating that general elections in the EU candidate country will go ahead in early July despite a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
Enlargement 02-06-2020

Várhelyi: EU hopefuls to conform to bloc’s electoral expectations

Parties in Albania need to deliver a 'crucial' agreement on electoral reform, while North Macedonia's vote must leave sufficient time and possibilities for campaigning, the EU's enlargement chief Olivér Várhelyi said on Tuesday (2 June), outlining the priorities for the two EU hopefuls before accession talks can start.
Enlargement 20-05-2020

Enlargement Package postponed until autumn, negotiation framework to go ahead in June

Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi confirmed to EU lawmakers on Tuesday (19 May) that the publication of the European Commission's enlargement package has been postponed until autumn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enlargement 07-05-2020

Half-truths and double standards in Skopje’s language politics

The President of North Macedonia has no right to state that the country “doesn’t need the EU”  if it has to fulfil Bulgaria's conditionalities regarding the country’s language, because it is doing the same to its own ethnic Albanian citizens, writes Ziadin Sela.
Enlargement 07-05-2020

EU and Western Balkan leaders reaffirm ties in veiled response to China, Russia

EU leaders confirmed their "unequivocal support for the European perspective" to their Western Balkans counterparts during a video-summit on Wednesday (6 May). However, the final declaration doesn't make reference to a tangible time frame for the region's accession to the bloc.
Enlargement 05-05-2020

EU leaders urge Skopje to solve its historic dispute with Bulgaria

The draft declaration of Wednesday's (6 May) EU summit with the leaders of the Western Balkans, seen by EURACTIV, calls on North Macedonia to find a solution to bilateral disputes in the implementation of the Treaty on Good Neighborhood Relations with Bulgaria.
Global Europe 01-04-2020

Russia fumes at North Macedonia’s NATO accession

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a scathing statement on Wednesday (1 April) seeking to belittle and ridicule North Macedonia's recent accession to NATO. 
Enlargement 24-03-2020

Balkan hopefuls get green light to start EU talks, conditions still weigh on Tirana

EU ministers on Tuesday (24 March) approved starting membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, a move hailed as restoring "credibility" after months of damaging delays and bickering.
Enlargement 23-03-2020

EU moves to start membership talks with North Macedonia, Albania

The European Council is set to give the green light this week for starting accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, in a long-awaited move for the Western Balkans after the enlargement process was effectively put on hold last year.
Global Europe 23-03-2020

Borissov orders his ministers to obtain Russian coronavirus medicines

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Sunday (22 March) he was impressed by the statements of a Russian official who claimed that his country knows how to control the coronavirus, and that he had ordered his ministers to obtain the Russian medicines.