Negotiations between FYR Macedonia and Greece on name dispute

Author (Person)
Series Details December 2017 to January 2018
Publication Date 25/01/2018
Content Type

Further information:

New rounds of official and unofficial negotiations kicked off following the announcement by Macedonian authorities that they wished to solve the issue so that the country could advance on its objectives of NATO and EU accession.

+ FYR Macedonia addresses naming dispute to relaunch EU and NATO bids

Governments in both countries showed their optimism over the resolution of the dispute during 2018. The European Commission praised Macedonian authorities for engaging in discussions with Greece.

On 21 January 2018, thousands of Greeks gathered in the country's northern city of Thessaloniki to march against the use of 'Macedonia' in another country's name.

As a gesture to unlock the situation, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he was ready to change the name of the country's main airport, named after Alexander the Great. This historical figure was used by Macedonian authorities throughout the years to claim the heritage of the country's denomination, angering the Greeks.

Background information:

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.

Media reports and commentary on the negotiations between Greek authorities and their counterparts from FYR Macedonia aiming at resolving a long-standing dispute over the latter country's name.

Related Links
Reuters, 13.11.17: Macedonia's PM hopes for quick solution to name dispute with Greece
The Guardian, 15.12.17: Macedonia says it needs prospect of joining EU to thwart authoritarianism
Reuters, 04.01.18: Greece says it wants to settle Macedonia name dispute this year
EurActiv, 05.01.18: Commission expects ‘concrete’ results on Macedonian name dispute
Kathimerini, 04.01.18: Kammenos remarks hint small shift in stance on FYROM name talks
Euronews, 02.01.18: Macedonia - it's complicated
Deutsche Welle, 31.12.17: A thaw in relations? Macedonian prime minister sees in the New Year in Greece
The Guardian, 31.12.17: The name 'Macedonia': 2,300 years on, a warrior hero's spirit hovers over peace bid
The Economist, 19.12.17: Why Macedonia still has a second name
EUObserver, 06.12.17: EU ushers Macedonia to come closer
B92, 04.01.18: Skopje and Athens 'optimistic' about solving name dispute
ECFR: [Commentary] Resolving the Macedonian Name Dispute: Prospect for Transformative Mutual Recognition
The Conversation, 30.01.18: Who gets to use the name ‘Macedonia’? A decades-old row still to be resolved
EUObserver, 25.01.18: Macedonia takes step to end Greek name dispute
EurActiv, 25.01.18: EPP chief: ‘Window of opportunity’ to resolve the Macedonian name dispute
Kathimerini, 26.01.18: Tsipras to meet party leaders on name issue amid tension
Kathimerini, 21.01.18: Thousands protest in Thessaloniki against 'Macedonia' name talks
Balkan Insight, 26.01.18: UN Name Mediator to 'Take Pulse' in Greece, Macedonia
Deutsche Welle, 21.01.18: Greeks rally over name row with neighbor Macedonia
Reuters, 28.01.18: Greek PM fails to get political backing for deal with Skopje
EurActiv, 12.01.18: Greece, Macedonia hope for UN proposal this month in chronic name dispute

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