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Macedonia

CrisisWatch Macedonia

Unchanged Situation

Parliament 15 Nov voted 66-41 in favour of bill extending official use of Albanian across country (rather than only in areas where ethnic Albanians constitute at least 20% of population) in its first reading; later in month postponed adoption of new law after EU reportedly called for it to focus on reforms required for membership talks. Skopje court 2 Nov convicted 33 ethnic Albanian men of plotting attacks and clashing with police, sentencing them to between twelve years and life jail terms over role in May 2015 shootout in Kumanovo in which eight security forces and fourteen suspected perpetrators were killed. Several of those convicted were Kosovo citizens, prompting protests in Pristina and elsewhere in Kosovo; Kosovo govt called for international investigation into incident and recalled its ambassador for consultations. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias 5 Nov told Kathimerini newspaper that name dispute with Macedonia “must be settled within the first half of 2018”; UN mediator in name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, said fresh round of talks scheduled for 11-12 Dec in Brussels. Former PM Grueski 28 Nov led protest against arrest of 36 people including MPs from his VMRO DPMNE party accused of role in April unrest in parliament.

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Reports & Briefings

Latest Updates

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.

Also available in Македонски, Shqip

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