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Accession of North Macedonia to NATO

  (Redirected from Accession of Macedonia to NATO)

North Macedonia is currently in the process of acceding to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a member state. In 1995, the country joined the Partnership for Peace. It then began taking part in various NATO missions, including the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Two years later, NATO intervened in the 2001 Macedonian insurgency. At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Greece vetoed the country's invitation to join; however NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[2] Following an agreement in June 2018 to rename the country the "Republic of North Macedonia", the permanent representatives to NATO of the member states signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO on 6 February 2019.[3]

North Macedonia NATO Accession Treaty
Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia[1]
Location NATO Macedonia.svg
  Current NATO members   
  North Macedonia
TypeAccession Treaty
SignedFebruary 6, 2019 (2019-02-06)
Effectivenot in force
ConditionEntry into force of the accession treaty after ratification by all current NATO-members. Membership of North Macedonia starts after deposit of its instrument of accession after the treaty has entered into force.
DepositaryUnited States
LanguagesEnglish and French



The then Republic of Macedonia joined the Partnership for Peace in 1995, and commenced its Membership Action Plan in 1999, at the same time as Albania. Participating in the 1999 NATO intervention in FR Yugoslavia, it received aid from NATO in dealing with refugees fleeing from Kosovo. In August 2001, NATO intervened in the 2001 insurgency, during which rebel Albanian group, the National Liberation Army, fought government forces. In Operation Essential Harvest, NATO troops joined with the local military to disarm rebel forces following a cease-fire agreement.[4]

At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Greece vetoed the Republic of Macedonia's invitation to join, however NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[2] Greece felt that its neighbor's constitutional name implies territorial aspirations against its own region of Macedonia. After the veto, Greece was sued in the International Court of Justice, over the use of "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as an acceptable option with which to enter NATO, while Greece counterargued that it was a collective decision of NATO not to invite the Republic of Macedonia, and therefore the interim accord signed between the two countries was not violated. Greece also considered blocking the Republic of Macedonia's accession to the European Union over the naming dispute.[5] Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the Republic of Macedonia and Greece to find an "acceptable solution" to the dispute, so that the Republic of Macedonia would be free to join NATO.[6] In 2014, prior to the 65th anniversary of its founding, NATO announced that it would not be offering any new countries membership in the organization that year. Some analysts, such as Jorge Benitez of the Atlantic Council think tank, argued that this reluctance was partly due to the new security climate after Russia's annexation of Crimea.[7]

Following an agreement in June 2018 to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia, NATO agreed to consider extending an invitation to the country to join at its summit on 11–12 July.[8] On 11 July 2018, NATO invited the republic to begin membership talks, saying the country could join the organization once the naming issue was resolved.[9] Formal accession talks began on 18 October 2018.[10] On February 6, 2019, the permanent representatives to NATO of the member states signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO.[3] The protocol was approved by the Hellenic Parliament on 8 February 2019.[11]

Negotiation progress

Event Date
Partnership for Peace 1995-11-15[12]
Membership Action Plan 1999-04-19[13]
Invitation to join 2018-07-11[14]
Accession protocol 2019-02-06[3]
Ratification by:
  Albania 2019-02-14[15]
  Bulgaria 2019-02-20[16]
  Czech Republic
  Greece 2019-02-08[17]
  Slovenia 2019-02-12[18]
  United Kingdom
  United States
Full membership

Public opinion

Anti-NATO graffiti in Ohrid in 2018

During the Kosovo War of 1999, the Macedonian government maintained a pro-NATO position.[19] A majority of the population of the Republic of Macedonia criticised the government stance and opposed NATO intervention in Kosovo due to fears over irredentism from ethnic Albanian Macedonians, the unstable economy, disruption of trade brought about by war, and Slavic solidarity with Serbs.[20] Prime Minister Ljubčo Georgievski stated during the war that anti-NATO sentiment was the "second biggest threat" to the country after the arrival of Albanian refugees from Kosovo.[21] The country's Albanian population supported NATO and its intervention to assist the Albanians of Kosovo.[19]

In 2008, a poll following the NATO summit showed that 82.5% of ethnic Macedonian citizens opposed changing their country's constitutional name in order to join NATO.[22] NATO membership in general in 2008 was supported by 85.2% of the population.[23] Elections were called following the 2008 summit, resulting in further support for the center-right pro-NATO party, VMRO-DPMNE. The elections were marred by violence that attracted criticism from NATO members.[24]

In a statewide 2010 survey, 80.02% of respondents said they would vote for the Republic of Macedonia to become part of NATO if a referendum on accession were to take place.[25] In another survey, some 65% of ethnic Macedonians expressed that they opposed a name change of the state as being the price for NATO membership.[25]

In a 2016 poll, some 68% of ethnic Macedonians supported joining NATO, possibly under the FYROM name.[26]

Albanians of North Macedonia harbour strongly pro-NATO sentiments.[27]

See also


  1. ^ "Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia". Treaty Base. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Lungescu, Oana (2008-04-02). "Nato Macedonia veto stokes tension". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  3. ^ a b c "NATO Allies sign Accession Protocol for the future Republic of North Macedonia". NATO. 2019-02-06. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  4. ^ "NATO's relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". NATO. 2008-05-26. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  5. ^ Marusic, Sinisa-Jakov (2009-03-25). "Macedonia 'Respects' Greece's Identity". Balkan Insight. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  6. ^ "Diplomatic Diary: NATO chief makes last visit to Bucharest". Southeast European Times. 2009-04-28. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  7. ^ "NATO rules out admitting new members anytime soon". Fox News. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  8. ^ "The invitation to Macedonia for NATO membership was listed on the agenda for the July summit". 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  9. ^ "NATO invites Macedonia to begin membership talks, says it can join once name issue is resolved". ABC News. 2019-07-11. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  10. ^ "Formal Accession Talks with Skopje begin at NATO Headquarters". NATO. 2018-10-08. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  11. ^ "Greek Parliament Set To Vote On Macedonia's NATO Protocol". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  12. ^ "Signatures of Partnership for Peace Framework Document". NATO. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Membership Action Plan (MAP)". NATO. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Brussels Summit Declaration". NATO. 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  15. ^ Government of the Republic of Albania (14 February 2019). "Albania ratifies North Macedonia's NATO Accession Protocol". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Bulgarian Parliament ratifies North Macedonia's Nato accession protocol". Sofia Globe. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  17. ^ "NOMOΣ ΥΠ' ΑΡΙΘΜ. 4593 – Κύρωση του Πρωτοκόλλου στη Συνθήκη του Βορείου Ατλαντικού για την Προσχώρηση της Δημοκρατίας της Βόρειας Μακεδονίας" [Law No. 4593 – Ratification of the Protocol in the North Atlantic Treaty for the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia]. Government Gazette of the Hellenic Republic (in Greek). Athens: National Printing House. 1 (22). 08 February 2019. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Government of the Republic of Slovenia (12 February 2019). "Slovenia ratifies North Macedonia's NATO Accession Protocol". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b Drezov 2001, p. 63.
  20. ^ Drezov 2001, pp. 62-63.
  21. ^ Drezov, Kyril (2001). "Collateral Damage: The impact on Macedonia of the Kosovo War". In Waller, Michael; Drezov, Kyril. Kosovo: The politics of delusion. London: Psychology Press. p. 62. ISBN 9781135278533.
  22. ^ "Macedonians Won't Give Up Name for NATO". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 2008-03-13. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  23. ^ "Macedonians Hugely Oppose Name Change For NATO Entry - Poll". Dow Jones Newswires. 2008-09-18. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  24. ^ "PM claims win in Macedonian poll". BBC News. 2008-06-02. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  25. ^ a b Mulchinock, Niall (2017). NATO and the Western Balkans: From Neutral Spectator to Proactive Peacemaker. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 241. ISBN 9781137597243.
  26. ^ Braw, Elisabeth. "Greek troubles prompt Macedonia NATO push". Politico. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  27. ^ Bechev, Dimitar. "What next after the failed Macedonian referendum?". Aljazeera. Retrieved 4 October 2018. "the Albanian community, which is traditionally strongly pro-NATO and EU."

"Macedonia Responds to Greece", New York Times

External links