Centre d'Information sur les Institutions Européennes

Centre d'Information sur les Institutions Européennes (CIIE)

North Macedonia

  • Adhesion to the Council of Europe : 1995
  • Area : 25 713 km2
  • Population : 2.07 million inhabitants (2014)
  • Capital : Skopje
  • Official language : Macedonian
  • Predominant religion : Orthodox
  • Régime politique : Parliamentary democracy
  • Head of State: Stevo Pendarovski, President since 12th May 2019
  • Head of Government : Prime Minister Zoran Zaev since  31th  May 2017
  • Official currency : Denar (MKD)
  • International code : + 389
  • National holiday : August 2

From the end of the Middle Ages, as with the rest of the Balkans, Macedonia was under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. However, due to rising nationalism during the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was unable to maintain control of the region, which later led to the disintegration of the Empire. 

Saint Clément University, 9th century, Ohrid
© Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director of Public Diplomacy


  • 1912-1913 : First Balkan War: Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia unite to free Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1913 : Conflicts arise between the three states over Macedonian territory. Greece and Serbia received large amounts of territory, while Bulgaria obtained only a small portion of the country.
  • 1944 : During WWII, Yugoslavia was dismembered. However, the Yugoslavian government under Tito decided to incorporate Macedonia into the Yugoslavian bloc.
  • 1946 : At the time of the proclamation of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Macedonia became one of the six republics of the Yugoslavian state. From the start, Macedonia had extremely repressive social policies in regards to their Albanian, Turkish, Greek, Serbian, and Bulgarian minorities.
  • End of the 60’s : Tension rises between the several nationalities of Macedonia, especially against the Albanians, who had gained much autonomy. 
  • 1980 : After the death of Josip Tito, Macedonia followed the example of the other republics, demonstrating against the federal government that was predominantly Serbian.
  • End of the 80’s : In response to the new discriminatory laws, Albanians began to demonstrate against the government. The communist government then redrafted the constitution, declaring the Republic as a State of Macedonians, omitting the several minorities of the state.
  • June 1991 : Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia, and are fully recognized by the international community.
  • September 8 1991 : Macedonia held a national referendum for independence, with 95% of the population voting for a independent state of Macedonia.
  • October 1991 : Macedonia proclaims its independence from Yugoslavia and becomes the Republic of Macedonia. However, it is recognized as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRoM).
  • 1993 : Accession to the United Nations. 
  • 2001 : Signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.
  • 2004 : The Republic of Macedonia becomes a candidate for accession to the European Union. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement enters into force.
  • 2005 : The European Council gives the Republic of Macedonia official candidate country status, but does not open the accession negotiations due to a conflict with Greece about the name of the country (that also refers to a region in Greece)
  • 2020: ministers for European affairs gave their political agreement to the opening of accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia.
  • 2020 North Macedonia became the 30th member of the NATO.

A third of the total population live in Skopje, the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. Because of its status, the bulk of administrative, political, economic, and cultural activities of Macedonia happen here. Located alongside the biggest river in Macedonia, Vardar, the city is surrounded by several mountain ranges. There are plenty of cultural treasures : the Cathedral of St. Clement; the “kale” built in the eleventh century when Macedonia was passing into the hands of Byzantium, Bulgaria and Serbia; the fortress of Skopje; the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mustafa Pasha mosque built in 1492; and of course, the famous bazaar. Today. the city is still deeply marked by the earthquake of 1963, which destroyed almost the entire city and many ancient monuments.

© Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sommerfestival von Ohrid, Welterbestadt

Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After the collection at the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this collection is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.
The region of Ohrid is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO because of the presence of numerous archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic, Bronze and the Hellenistic periods. Moreover, the wealth of the country led Ohrid to be placed on the World Heritage List in 1979.

Picture: Ohrid lake, Trpeica beach
© Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director of Public Diplomacy


Born in Macedonia in 1979, Simon Trpčeski had established himself as one of the most remarkable young musicians to have emerged in recent years by his mid twenties, playing with many of the world’s great orchestras and delighting audiences world-wide. His sold-out recital at the Wigmore Hall in London prompted the Telegraph’s critic to describe Simon Trpčeski as “one of the great musicians of our day.”
Following a successful BBC Proms debut in 2004, Simon has performed extensively in the UK, including concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, as well as the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In the coming season, he will make a seventh return visit to the Wigmore Hall and will continue to give recital performances throughout UK, Europe and US. He will also return to the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom he plays each season, and to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

All over a name…

The dispute over the official name of Macedonia dates back to 1991, when it proclaimed its independence from Yugoslavia. Greece feels that Macedonia is the birthplace and homeland of Alexander the Great. The Greek government alleges that the disputed territory was not “Macedonia” before WWII, but Vardarska. Thus, Greece considers the name Republic of Macedonia as a territorial demand on their northern province of the country. Greece also holds the position that a name change could greatly dismantle the already volatile region. 

Picture: Old Wheat Mill, village of Papradiste, Mount Babuna
© Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director of Public Diplomacy


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