From Prespa to Brussels: North Macedonia’s Route toward European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
His Excellency Mr. Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Republic of North Macedonia
Dr. Rosa Balfour, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The past year saw North Macedonia change its fortunes. The Prespa Agreement reached with Greece brought to an end the decadeslong dispute over the country’s name, opening the door to good neighbourly relations in the region. NATO agreed to offer North Macedonia membership, which is expected to take place at the London summit this December. The European Commission praised the country for its reforms and for positively reverting the drift away from democracy in recent tumultuous years. It thus repeated its recommendation, initially issued in 2009, for North Macedonia to start negotiations to join the EU. The EU as whole, caught between preoccupations over the strength of the union and the need to stand by commitments made, is yet to give its full green light to start accession talks. Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov will explore how decisions that will be taken in the coming weeks and months will affect North Macedonia and the Western Balkans, how the government is preparing for the next meetings with the EU and NATO, and how to ensure that the spirit of the Prespa Agreement builds reconciliation in the region.
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