EU relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Church of Saint John at Kaneo, OhridChurch of Saint John at Kaneo, Ohrid

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied to join the European Union in the spring of 2004.

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), providing a comprehensive contractual framework for EU relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, took effect shortly afterwards. In 2005 the country was granted candidate country status.

In late 2009 citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were granted the right to travel to the Schengen Area without a visa.

In March 2012, a High-Level Accession Dialogue started between the European Commission and the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This offers a new opportunity to focus on EU-related priorities of benefit to the country's social and economic development, including:

  • the rule of law
  • the reform of public administration
  • freedom of expression
  • electoral reform
  • strengthening the market economy.

The European Commission has recommended opening negotiations on EU membership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Council has confirmed that it will consider the issue.

The Commission issues an annual Progress Report assessing the country's progress towards EU accession.

For further information, see:

- Council conclusions