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CrisisWatch Macedonia

Improved Situation

President Ivanov 17 May offered mandate to form new govt to leader of Social Democrat SDSM party Zoran Zaev, following five months without govt after Dec 2016 elections. Ivanov, who had previously withheld mandate from Zaev despite his majority in parliament, citing Zaev’s acceptance of conditions set by ethnic Albanian parties, said “obstacles” for awarding mandate for new govt had been removed; Zaev reiterated commitment to “guarantee protection of unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity”. Followed increasing international pressure on Ivanov to offer mandate as route out of political crisis, particularly following protesters’ violent storming of parliament 27 April after it elected new ethnic Albanian speaker. PM-designate Zaev 28 May unveiled new cabinet, including seventeen ministers from SDSM, six from main ethnic Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration, and two from Alliance for Albanians; parliament approved new coalition govt 31 May. Special Prosecution 22 May launched investigations into new corruption probes, including two involving former PM Gruevski.

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Reports & Briefings

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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