Accession of Macedonia to NATO

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Macedonia

The accession of Republic of Macedonia to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is currently pending. NATO's invitation to the Republic of Macedonia was blocked by Greece at the 2008 Bucharest summit. NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[1] Greece feels 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 to enter NATO with, while Greece counterargues that it was a collective decision of NATO not to invite Macedonia and therefore the interim accord signed between the two countries was not violated. Greece may also block Macedonia's accession to the European Union over the naming dispute.[2] Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Macedonia and Greece to find an "acceptable solution" to the dispute, so that Macedonia will be free to join NATO.[3] In 2014, prior to its 65th anniversary since its creation, NATO announced that it would not be offering any new countries membership into 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.[4]

A poll following the summit showed that 82.5% of citizens surveyed opposed changing the constitutional name in order to join NATO.[5] NATO membership in general is supported by 85.2% of the population.[6] 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 was criticized by NATO members.[7]

The country 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.[8]

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.[9] On 11 July 2018, NATO invited Macedonia to begin membership talks, saying the country could join the organization once the naming issue was resolved.[10] Formal accession talks began on 18 October 2018.[11]

Sentiments among ethnic Albanians of Macedonia are traditionally strongly pro-NATO.[12]

Negotiation progress[]

Event Date
Partnership for Peace 19 November 1995
Individual Partnership Action Plan
Intensified Dialogue
Membership Action Plan 19 April 1999
Invitation to join 11 July 2018[13]
Accession protocol
Ratification by:
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
United States
Full membership

See also[]


  1. ^ Lungescu, Oana (2008-04-02). "Nato Macedonia veto stokes tension". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  2. ^ Marusic, Sinisa-Jakov (2009-03-25). "Macedonia 'Respects' Greece's Identity". Balkin Insight. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "NATO rules out admitting new members anytime soon". Fox news. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "PM claims win in Macedonian poll". BBC News. 2008-06-02. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "The invitation to Macedonia for NATO membership was listed on the agenda for the July summit". 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Formal Accession Talks with Skopje begin at NATO Headquarters". NATO. 2018-10-08. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ "Brussels Summit Declaration". NATO. 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2018-07-11.

5. Macedonia Responds to Greece, New York Times Macedonia Responds to Greece

External links[]