About: North Macedonia

Enlargement 26-11-2021

Burned by Bulgaria veto, North Macedonia to ‘act more carefully’ on EU integration narrative, justice minister says

Partially attributing his party’s crushing defeat in the recent municipal elections to the stalling EU accession negotiations, North Macedonia’s justice minister Bojan Marichikj told EURACTIV the government in Skopje would be more careful in the future. The stand-off between Bulgaria...
Enlargement 10-11-2021

North Macedonia’s PM to delay resignation

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who announced his resignation over poor results in a local vote last month, will stay on in the job until the political situation stabilises, media reported on Wednesday (10 November).
08-11-2021

Kiril Petkov offers preview of new Bulgarian politics in the making

'Change continues’, a new centrist political party in Bulgaria, is seen as the king-maker in a future coalition after the 14 November parliamentary elections. In an exclusive interview with EURACTIV,  its co-leader Kiril Petkov gave a preview of his party policies.
Global Europe 01-11-2021

Turmoil on the horizon for North Macedonia after prime minister quits

Following North Macedonia's local elections, the Balkan country found itself without a prime minister, with the majority of municipalities falling into the hands of the opposition and with the possibility of snap elections looming - all of which could impact its EU accession bid.
Digital & Media 12-10-2021

The erosion of media freedom in the Balkans has gone too far

The EU is supposed to embody the values of liberty, democracy and fundamental human rights. But when it comes to media freedom, it is a passive observer in the face of widespread abuses on its own turf and in its immediate neighbourhood, writes Antoinette Nikolova.
Enlargement 06-10-2021

Sofia asks Skopje to stop the ‘erasure’ of Bulgarians

At the Western Balkans summit in Brdo, Slovenia, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev told North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev that the "subtle erasure" of Bulgarian identity in the neighbouring country must stop before Bulgaria lifts its veto on Skopje’s EU accession negotiations. EURACTIV Bulgaria reports.
Enlargement 29-09-2021

EU no longer agrees on Balkan membership guarantee, diplomats say

The European Union, fearing a political backlash in member states, can no longer agree to give a guarantee of future membership to the six Balkan countries once promised a place in the club, according to four diplomats and an internal...
Enlargement 27-09-2021

North Macedonia holds high-stakes census, first in 20 years

In the country called today North Macedonia -- which gained independence in 1991 following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and came close to civil war in 2001 -- the long postponed census is far from being a statistical operation.

Slovenia aims to make EU-Western Balkans summit regular feature

Slovenia's EU presidency will host an EU-Western Balkans summit in early October and its desire is to make these summits a regular annual event as a means of accelerating the EU enlargement process, Foreign Minister Anže Logar has said.
Coronavirus 31-08-2021

WHO sounds alarm over rising COVID deaths in Europe

The World Health Organisation warned Monday (30 August) that 236,000 more people could die from COVID in Europe by December, sounding the alarm over rising infections and stagnating vaccine rates across the continent. Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechia, North Macedonia and Bulgaria are among the countries with the highest mortality.
Global Europe 31-08-2021

EU removes US, Western Balkan countries from COVID safe list for non-essential travel

The European Union on Monday (30 August) recommended that its member states reimpose travel restrictions on US tourists over rising covid infections in the country.
Coronavirus 19-08-2021

EU recognises Covid certificates from Turkey and Ukraine

The EU will recognise national Covid certificates from Turkey, Ukraine and North Macedonia from Friday, opening the way to easier travel for their residents, the European Commission said.
Enlargement 15-07-2021

Political scientists say EU has lost the battle for the Balkans

The EU has lost the battle for the Balkans, where Russia and China are offering bonuses without asking for reforms, geopolitical experts told an online conference organised by EURACTIV.bg this week, proposing increased cooperation and a Balkan common market as the best way forward.
Enlargement 22-06-2021

Slovenian FM: EU inaction in Western Balkans ‘strategically dangerous’

The EU needs to move "as soon as possible" from a wait-and-see approach to a problem-solving strategy in dealing with enlargement and the Western Balkans, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar told EURACTIV in an interview about the priorities for his country's upcoming EU Council presidency.
Global Europe 17-06-2021

The Hungarian bill against the LGBTQI+ minority and North Macedonia’s policy win with UEFA

This week, the Yellow Room takes us to Budapest, where the government passed a new bill introducing tougher penalties for paedophilia, in the wake of several cases of child abuse. However, the new amendments put the LGBTQI+ minority on the...
Digital & Media 12-05-2021

Media freedom in the Western Balkans is a geopolitical issue

The decline in media freedom in the Balkans is eroding the European values of democracy and rule of law and creating a climate ripe for disinformation that is cultivating anti-EU and anti-western sentiment across the region, writes Peter Horrocks.
Enlargement 12-05-2021

Facing pressure, Bulgaria tries to explain its North Macedonia veto

Facing pressure from EU members, the Bulgarian ambassador to the EU explained on Tuesday (11 May) to the EU ministers his country’s decision to veto the start of neighbouring North Macedonia's accession negotiations.
Enlargement 22-04-2021

EU action awaited as phantom paper further unhinges Western Balkans

A firmer stance from Brussels – noticeably missing last week – against a controversial document proposing border changes in the Western Balkans would help calm the growing anxieties in the region, analysts said. At the same time, regional and international...
Enlargement 16-04-2021

Michel silent over unofficial document mulling border changes in Western Balkans

A phantom document proposing controversial border changes across the Western Balkans caused a political storm in the region and in Brussels this week. While most EU officials had little knowledge of the elusive document, the office of European Council President Charles Michel could not deny receiving it.  EURACTIV took a closer look
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.