The country was the first Western Balkan nation to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, which entered into force in April 2004. The SAA aims to liberalise trade for 95% of exports to the EU.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee of the EU and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was established in 2004. The Committee looks at all aspects of relations between the two parties, particularly the implementation of the SAA.
The Republic of North Macedonia was granted candidate country status for EU membership in December 2005.
In February 2008, the EU adopted the Accession Partnership for the country, which updated the previous European Partnership agreement of January 2006.
Citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia were granted visa-free travel to the Schengen area in December 2009.