FYR Macedonia addresses naming dispute to relaunch EU and NATO bids

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Series Details 12.06.17
Publication Date 12/06/2017
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FYR Macedonia was granted EU candidate status in 2005 but never started accession talks, mostly due to a name dispute with Greece and a lack of political willingness to pursue economic reforms. Because of the same dispute, Greece blocked FYR Macedonia's bid to become a member of the NATO alliance in 2008.

Greece considers the country's name represents a territorial claim over its northern province, also named Macedonia. Years of UN-mediated talks and pressure from the European Union achieved no progress. The dispute has been active ever since FYR Macedonia became an independent country.

FYR Macedonia's newly-formed government opened the door to new attempts at solving the issue. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev vowed to use the UN-recognised name 'FYROM' to secure the relaunch of the country's NATO bid, followed by fresh negotiations to permanently solve the dispute with Greece. The Greek government reportedly rejected the idea, but showed willingness to restart talks on the name dispute.

Macedonia government also showed the intention to improve the relations with neighbouring Bulgaria. Later, both countries signed a bilateral treaty with that aim.

The newly-formed government in FYR Macedonia vowed in June 2017 to relaunch the country's NATO membership bid and EU accession process, alongside speeding up the implementation of economic reforms. These guidelines had already been presented to the Parliament during the government's programme presentation on 30 May 2017.

In this framework, solving a dispute with Greece over the country's own name was seen as an essential step. Stakeholders argued there was a fresh momentum for an appropriate solution. Foreign minister from both countries held meetings in August and September 2017, after which it was stated that 'big steps' had been taken to solve the issue.

Source Link http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/new-macedonia-leaders-vow-to-revive-eunato-bid/
Related Links
EUObserver, 12.06.17: EU sees 'momentum' on Macedonia name dispute https://euobserver.com/enlargement/138199
Politico, 12.06.17: Macedonia renews push to join NATO under provisional name http://www.politico.eu/article/macedonia-nato-nikola-dimitrov-renews-push-for-to-join-nato-under-provisional-name/
Kathimerini, 12.06.17: FYROM willing to consider provisional names so as to overcome Greek objections http://www.ekathimerini.com/219158/article/ekathimerini/news/fyrom-willing-to-consider-provisional-names-so-as-to-overcome-greek-objections
Deutsche Welle, 12.06.17: New Macedonian government boldly demands Brussels' attention http://p.dw.com/p/2eYuB
Balkan Insight, 12.06.17: Macedonian PM Renews Bids to Join EU, NATO http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonia-renews-euro-atlantic-integration-bid-06-12-2017
Balkan Insight, 05.06.17: New Macedonia FM to Visit Greece http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonia-s-new-fm-set-to-visit-neighbouring-greece-06-04-2017
EurActiv, 08.06.17: New Macedonia PM signals willingness to tackle row with Greece https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/new-macedonia-pm-signals-willingness-to-tackle-row-with-greece/
B92, 08.06.17: Macedonia ready for name compromise in order to join NATO http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2017&mm=06&dd=08&nav_id=101496
Sputnik International, 08.06.17: Macedonian PM Ready to Compromise on State Name for Boosting NATO, EU Joining https://sptnkne.ws/eAJU
Sputnik International, 11.06.17: What's in a Name? Macedonia Ready to Lose Its Identity to Join NATO https://sptnkne.ws/eBGG
Balkan Insight, 02.06.17: Macedonia's Regime Change Boosts NATO Accession Hopes http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonia-boosts-its-nato-accession-hopes-05-31-2017
Reuters, 30.05.17: Macedonia's new PM vows to pursue economic reform, EU and NATO membership http://www.reuters.com/article/us-macedonia-politics-idUSKBN18Q1XN
Wikipedia: Macedonia naming dispute https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia_naming_dispute
EU: EEAS: Press Release, 12.06.17: High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/28004/
EUObserver, 15.06.17: Macedonia and Greece mend ties, wary of Russia https://euobserver.com/foreign/138231
Euro|Topics: Debates, June 2017: Macedonia: name dispute may soon be settled http://www.eurotopics.net/en/180957/macedonia-name-dispute-may-soon-be-settled
The Guardian, 13.06.17: Macedonia and Greece appear close to settling 27-year dispute over name https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/13/macedonias-nato-hopes-rise-as-deal-with-greece-looks-feasible
CBC.ca, 18.06.17: Naming Macedonia: It'll be harder than it looks http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/don-murray-macedonia-name-1.4163804
Kathimerini, 14.06.17: FM: FYROM must change name for it to join NATO http://www.ekathimerini.com/219260/article/ekathimerini/news/fm-fyrom-must-change-name-for-it-to-join-nato
EurActiv, 21.06.17: Bulgaria and Macedonia start removing hurdles to relations http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/bulgaria-and-macedonia-start-removing-hurdles-to-relations/
EurActiv, 23.06.17: EPP hails positive momentum on Macedonia name dispute http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/epp-hails-positive-momentum-on-macedonia-name-dispute/
EurActiv, 06.09.17: Macedonia says ‘big step’ made in name row with Greece http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/macedonia-says-big-step-made-in-name-row-with-greece/
EurActiv, 31.08.17: Greek FM visits Skopje to build trust for ‘substantial’ talks on name dispute http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/greek-fm-visits-skopje-to-build-trust-for-substantial-talks-on-name-dispute/
EurActiv, 19.07.17: Macedonia says ‘FYROM’ name no better than ‘Klingon’ http://www.euractiv.com/section/languages-culture/news/macedonia-says-fyrom-name-not-better-than-klingon/
BBC News, 02.08.17: The man who has focused on one word for 23 years http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40781213

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