Chronology of bilateral relations

1996

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia becomes eligible for funding under the EU Phare programme.

1997

Regional Approach. The EU Council of Ministers establishes political and economic conditionality for the development of bilateral relations.

January 1998

Co-operation agreement and Agreement in the field of Transport enter into force.

Opening of the Office of the Resident Envoy in Skopje.

1999

The EU proposes a new Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) for five countries of southeastern Europe. On 16 June 1999, the conclusion of a feasibility study to open negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is positive.

24 January 2000

The Council adopts negotiating directives for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

March 2000

Upgrading of the EC Representation in Skopje to a permanent Delegation of the European Commission.

Start of negotiations between the EU and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to conclude a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

June 2000

The European Council meeting at Santa Maria de Feira (Portugal) confirms that its objective remains the fullest possible integration of the countries of the region into the political and economic mainstream of Europe, and affirms that "all the countries concerned are potential candidates for EU membership".

9 April 2001

Following the successful conclusion of the negotiations at the Zagreb Summit of 24 November 2000, a Stabilisation and Association Agreement is signed in Luxembourg.

An Interim Agreement is also signed on the same day; with the IA the Parties allow trade and trade-related matters of the SAA to enter into force.

1 June 2001

Under the Co-operation Agreement, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia benefits from asymmetric trade preferences with the EU.

28 June 2001

Arrival of EU’s Special Representative François Leotard

September 2001

Launch of EU’s Emergency Assistance Programme managed by the European Agency for Reconstruction, Operational Centre Skopje

29 October 2001

Arrival of the new EU’s Special Representative Alain Le Roy

12 March 2002

Donors’ Meeting for fYR Macedonia in Brussels

04 April 2002

First Annual Report on the Stabilisation and Association process by the European Commission

21 – 22 June 2002

At the Seville Conference the European Council expressed the willingness of the EU to take over from NATO in fYR Macedonia.

09 October 2002

The new Head of Delegation, Donato Chiarini, presents his credentials to the President of fYR Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski.

1 November 2002

Arrival of the new EU’s Special Representative Alexis Brouhns

30 April 2003

The Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission (ECHO) is ending its activities in fYR Macedonia after almost 10 years.

26 March 2003

Second Annual Report on the Stabilisation and Association process by the European Commission

31 March 2003

EU takes over the international military presence in fYR Macedonia from NATO

June 2003

Thessaloniki Summit is considered to be a historic one as for the first time in the history of the European Union, a mini-summit called ‘EU – Western Balkans Summit’ was held in the framework of the summit. In this way the European Union is sending a positive political signal for the future European perspective of the Western Balkans.

1 February 2004

Arrival of the new EU’s Special Representative, Mr. Soren Jessen-Petersen

30 March 2004

The European Commission has approved the first ever European Partnerships for the Western Balkans which are inspired by the Accession Partnerships that have helped prepare countries for eventual membership in the past. The partnerships are based on the third Annual Reports on these countries, also published on 30 March.

1 April 2004

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and fYR Macedonia, signed on 9 April 2001, enters into force on 1 April, taking the country another step forward on the road to European integration. This is the first Stabilisation and Association Agreement to enter into force.

1 May 2004

The historical Enlargement of the European Union on 1 May expanded the European family of states to 25, and the Union population by 20% to 450 million. This event created the biggest single market in the world.

3 June 2004

The Stabilisation and Association Committee between fYR Macedonia and the EC, established after the Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force, held its first meeting in Skopje on 3 June 2004.

01 September 2004

Arrival of the new EU's Special Representative, Mr Michael Sahlin.

14 September 2004

The Stabilisation and Association Council between fYR Macedonia and the EC, established after the Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force, held its first meeting in Brussels on 14 September 2004.

1 October 2004

The President of the European Commission, Mr Romano Prodi, paid an official visit to Skopje on 1 October in order to hand over the Commission's Questionnaire to the Government necessary for the Commission to prepare an Opinion on the country's membership application.

26 November 2004

The new Commissioner for Enlargement, Dr Olli Rehn, (now covering also the countries of the Western Balkans) pays his first official visit to Skopje.

1 November 2005

Erwan Fouéré appointed for new EU Special Representative and Head of the EC Delegation.

9 November 2005

The European Commission issued the Opinion on the application of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for membership in the European Union. The Opinion recommends granting candidate status for membership in the EU.

16 December 2005

The European Council decided to recognize the country as a candidate for EU membership.

30 January 2006

The Council adopts the European Partnership

14 February 2006

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso paid his first official visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, accompanied by the Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.

1 January 2007

Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU

30 October 2007

IPA Framework agreement and Financing agreement for 2007 IPA national programme signed

1 January 2008

Visa facilitation agreement and Readmission Agreement with the EU enters into force

18 February 2008

Council adopts the Accession Partnership for the country, thus updating the previous European Partnership of January 2006

February 2008

Visa liberalisation dialogue is launched

March 2008

European Commission adopts a Communication on the Western Balkans which indicates benchmarks for moving to the next stage in the accession process

May 2008

European Commission presents a roadmap setting out a number of benchmarks for visa liberalisation with the country

15 July 2009

European Commission proposes to grant the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia visa liberalisation

14 October 2009

EC recommended opening negotiations for country’s accession to the European Union

1 December 2009

The Treaty of Lisbon enters into force

1 December 2009

The Delegation of European Commission to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia renamed in the Delegation of European Union to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

1 December 2009

The Treaty of Lisbon enters into force

19 December 2009

The Visa free travel for citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to the Schengen area

1 March 2011

Peter Sørensen appointed for new Head of the Delegation of the European Union.

1 March 2012

Aivo Orav appointed for new Head of the Delegation of the European Union.

1 July 2013

Croatia joined the EU