POSTS BY Toni Deskoski

Bumps on the Roadmap towards the Republic of Northern Macedonia?

Greece and the Republic of Macedonia are one step closer to re-naming R. Macedonia into the “Republic of Northern Macedonia” or “Republic of Upper Macedonia”. On 28 May 2018, the Foreign Ministers of both countries have announced significant progress towards the bilateral treaty regarding the name issue. At the same time, a road map for the name change of the Republic of Macedonia was announced that includes a binding referendum by the Macedonian people. But what happens if the treaty is already signed and binding, and the people of Macedonia vote against the name change in the referendum?

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What’s in a Name? The Republic of Macedonia at the Crossroads

Forming of the new Government on 31st of May 2017 marked the beginning of the end of one of the most serious political crisis that Republic of Macedonia has lived through from its independence. The country was faced with challenges both on the domestic front – the dissolution of the democratic institutions and backsliding to authoritarianism, and on the international front as well – worsening of the relations with its neighbors. One of the first steps taken by the new government was to renew the ties with its Southern neighbor – Greece and to continue the talks over the name issue. After a period of three years, the representatives from both countries started negotiating again in order to resolve the name dispute and the security implications of this prolonged dispute on the Balkan region. But by all means the renewal of the negotiations is only just a beginning of the lengthy path of rebuilding the trust and solving the issue that has been a huge burden especially to the R. Macedonia’s integration in EU and NATO.

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