Greece–North Macedonia relations

Greece–North Macedonia relations refers to the bilateral relations between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia.

Greece–North Macedonia relations
Map indicating locations of Greece and North Macedonia

Greece

North Macedonia

Greece has an Embassy in Skopje and a Consulate General in Bitola. Similarly, North Macedonia maintains an Embassy in Athens and a Consulate General in Thessaloniki.

RelationsEdit

Ever since the former Republic of Macedonia broke away from former Yugoslavia in 1991, Greece refused to recognize its name.[1]

The provisional reference the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)[2] was used in relations with Greece from 1991 to 2019. All United Nations member-states agreed to accept any final agreement resulting from negotiations between the two countries. The dispute did not prevent the two countries from enjoying close trade links and investment levels (especially from Greece), but it generated a great deal of political and academic debate on both sides.

 
Tsipras and Zaev in Oteševo, on North Macedonia's side of Lake Prespa, after signing the Prespa agreement

On 13 September 1995 the two countries signed the Interim Accord,[2] whereby Greece recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its provisional reference.[2] Negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute continued intermittently from 1995 to 2018. Under Greek pressure, the European Union and NATO agreed that in order for the Republic of Macedonia to receive an invitation to join these institutions the name dispute needed to be resolved first.[3][4][5] This resulted in a case at the International Court of Justice against Greece for violation of the Interim Accord.[6]

In the 2001 insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia, Greece sent peacekeeping forces together with other NATO and European Union members. In addition, Greece donated 10 APC Leonidas-2 to the Republic of Macedonia.

On 4 October 2012, the Greek foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos sent a memorandum of understanding to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Poposki.[7][8]

On 12 June 2018, Greece agreed to recognize its neighbor as the Republic of North Macedonia,[9] a move which the Republic of Macedonia welcomed,[10] and on 17 June 2018 the two Prime Ministers (Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev) signed the Prespa agreement ending the naming dispute.[11][9] The agreement was subject to a national referendum held in the Republic of Macedonia on 30 September 2018, which approved the agreement and renamed the country to "North Macedonia".

In 2019 Delphi Economic Forum, Alexis Tsipras announced also the intension of the two countries to found a Supreme Council of Cooperation.[12]

Prior to 2019, Greece maintened a Liaison Office in Skopje and an Office of Consular, Economic and Commercial Affairs in Bitola. Similarly, North Macedonia maintained a Liaison Office in Athens and an Office for Consular, Economic and Commercial Affairs in Thessaloniki. However, since May 2019, the two countries exchanged notes verbales upgrading their Liaison Offices and the Consular Offices into Embassies and Consulate Generals, as result of the Prespa Agreement.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "FYROM Name Issue". www.mfa.gr. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "GREECE and THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA - Interim Accord (with related letters and translations of the Interim Accord in the languages of the Contracting Parties). Signed at New York on 13 September 1995" (PDF). untreaty.un.org. 13 September 1995. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Bucharest Summit Declaration Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008". www.summitbucharest.ro. 3 April 2008. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  4. ^ "2008/212/EC: Council Decision of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and repealing Decision 2006/57/EC". eur-lex.europa.eu. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Conclusions on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (PDF). ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  6. ^ "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia institutes proceedings against Greece for a violation of Article 11 of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995" (PDF). www.icj-cij.org. 17 November 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Macedonia and Greece". The Economist. 2012-10-12.
  8. ^ "Letter from Avramopoulos to FYROM foreign minister Poposki". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens. 2012-10-04.
  9. ^ a b "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Macedonia Agrees to Change Its Name to Resolve Dispute With Greece". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Greece and Macedonia sign agreement on name change". 17 June 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  12. ^ Τσίπρας από Δελφούς: ιδρύεται Ανώτατο Συμβούλιο Συνεργασίας
  13. ^ "Greece and North Macedonia upgrade their liaison offices to embassies". keeptalkinggreece.com. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.