Title: Republic of North Macedonia

Population: 2,083,374

Population Change: 0

National Average Age: 39

Urban Percentage: 59

Christian Population: 1,334,000

Christian Percentage: 65

Introduction: Macedonia officially the Republic of Macedonia is a country in the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia from which it declared independence in 1991.

Overview: Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greek objection to Macedonia’s name insisting it implies territorial pretensions to the northern Greek province of the same name and democratic backsliding have stalled the country’s movement toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Immediately after Macedonia declared independence Greece sought to block Macedonian efforts to gain UN membership if the name “Macedonia” was used. Macedonia was eventually admitted to the UN in 1993 as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and at the same time it agreed to UN-sponsored negotiations on the name dispute. In 1995 Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution are ongoing. Since 2004 the US and over 130 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name Republic of Macedonia. Ethnic Albanian grievances over perceived political and economic inequities escalated into an insurgency in 2001 that eventually led to the internationally brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) which ended the fighting and established guidelines for constitutional amendments and the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. Relations between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians remain fragile however. ++ Macedonia has been engulfed in a political crisis that began after the 2014 legislative and presidential election and which escalated in 2015 when opposition party began releasing wiretap content that it alleged showed widespread government corruption. Although Macedonia became an EU candidate in 2005 the country still faces challenges including overcoming the political crisis fully implementing OFA resolving the outstanding name dispute with Greece improving relations with Bulgaria halting democratic backsliding and stimulating economic growth and development. At the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest Romania the Allies agreed that Macedonia would be invited to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable resolution to the name dispute was reached with Greece.



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