European Politics and Institutions

Balkans Forum

What’s in a name? The Macedonian name dispute as a test case for Balkan enlargement

29 May 2018

Since the inauguration of a new government in Skopje last year, the prospects of a resolution to the long-standing name dispute with Greece have become realistic for the first time in many years. In February, four suggestions for the country’s future name were announced and, since then, regular meetings between senior diplomats have not only discussed the name, but also the timeframe and details of the implementation. The European Commission recently recommended, for the ninth year in a row, that accession negotiations be opened: if the dispute can be resolved by the Council meeting in June, it could reinforce the credibility of both Skopje’s reform programme and the EU’s strategy for the region. At this Policy Briefing, Nikola Dimitrov, the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, talked about the remaining challenges in resolving the name dispute, but also about his country’s recent brush with illiberal democracy and the efforts the government has undertaken to get back on the EU accession track.

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