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North Macedonia

CrisisWatch North Macedonia

Improved Situation

EU leaders gave North Macedonia long-awaited green light to start formal EU accession talks and it joined NATO. Following French President Macron’s Feb announcement that France was ready to lift opposition to opening of EU accession negotiations, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi 2 March confirmed his recommendation that EU open talks with North Macedonia, stating govt had taken “significant steps to strengthen the independence of the judiciary”, including recent adoption of EU-sought Law on Prosecution. EU leaders 26 March gave approval for North Macedonia (and Albania) to start formal membership talks. President Pendarovski 20 March signed NATO accession agreement after Spain 17 March ratified accession protocol, final NATO member state to do so. Party leaders 17 March agreed to postpone 12 April elections over concerns about COVID-19, without setting new date for polls. Pendarovski 19 March declared state of emergency over outbreak.

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The Western Balkans: Fragile Majorities

Political instability keeps growing in the Western Balkans amid geopolitical contests and increased tensions with Russia. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to engage intensively to ensure the political space for avoiding more serious crisis does nto entirely vanish in the Western Balkans.

Macedonia: Defusing the Bombs

Macedonia is being shaken by twin political and security crises, both of which could escalate into violent confrontation or worse. While another civil war in the Western Balkans is not imminent, there is a serious threat to regional stability that the country’s leaders and international partners need to contain.

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The Macedonian revolution to come

Just two years ago it appeared that deadly conflict in Macedonia was no longer a serious risk. Recent events have revived the threat.

Originally published in POLITICO