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The Macedonia Name Dispute: A Few Drivers and Spoilers of Success

In June 2018, after 27 years of negotiations, the governments of Macedonia and Greece signed an agreement to resolve the so-called ‘name dispute’ over the use of the term ‘Macedonia’ in the name of the country Macedonia. The agreement put an end to one of the longest regional disputes and is expected to unblock Macedonia’s integration into NATO and the EU, where Greece had vetoed its membership since 2008. However, the full success of the agreement is still uncertain, with persistent domestic resistance in both countries and a challenging regional and geopolitical context.

The Macedonia Name Dispute A Few Drivers and Spoilers of
Workers cover the name Republic of Macedonia with a sign reading Republic of North Macedonia on a road sign at the Greece-Macedonia Bogorodica border
 

Introduction

When in June 2018, the prime ministers of Macedonia and Greece signed an agreement aimed at resolving the long-standing ‘name dispute’ between the two countries, reactions among the domestic and international public ranged from disbelief to rejection, to congratulations. Putting an end to a bilateral dispute that had dominated Macedonia’s foreign policy since independence –and has come to define its relationship with key international partners such as NATO and the EU– entailed some difficult decisions on behalf of both governments.

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