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North Macedonia

CrisisWatch North Macedonia

Deteriorated Situation

European Council 18 Oct decided not to begin formal accession talks with North Macedonia (and Albania) following French veto, in move widely criticised for undermining EU influence and credibility in Western Balkans, and prompting frustration in Skopje, where it is feared rejection will weaken PM Zaev’s reformist govt. Amid calls from opponents for his resignation, PM Zaev 19 Oct called for snap elections, saying “we are victims of the EU’s historic mistake”, and that electorate will “decide the road we are going to take”; poll set for April 2020. European Parliament 24 Oct passed resolution calling decision a “strategic mistake” and called for European Council to unanimously back opening of accession talks at its next meeting. NATO Sec Gen Jens Stoltenberg 21 Oct confirmed North Macedonia’s NATO accession process “well on track”.

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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