North Macedonia and its Neighbours: Challenges and Perspectives

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Abstract

In this paper, the author has analysed the perspectives of Macedonia’s new foreign policy concept regarding its neighbours since the second half of 2017. Therefore, he points to Macedonia’s numerous bilateral issues, primarily about its name with neighbouring Greece. The paper also includes a review of other open issues with Bulgaria and Albania, which jeopardize its path towards the EU and NATO membership. The signing of two crucial bilateral agreements with Bulgaria (2017) and Greece (2018) has significantly changed its foreign policy position and accelerated the realization of its Euro-Atlantic perspective. Additionally, Macedonia has improved relations with Albania and Kosovo. Although the relations with Serbia have oscillated, they cannot, in general, be labelled as bad.

The author concludes that the determination of the new Macedonian political elite to resolve the accumulated bilateral issues with its neighbours is very significant in the broader regional context. It also represents a stimulus for the rest of the Western Balkans.

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