Macedonia has particular features in the Balkanic entanglement. On the one hand, we could say it is a classical Balkanic country, with all the negative connotations this adjective unfortunately implies: a post-Yugoslavian country, which encounters difficulties to ensure its authority, a society in crisis, corruption, and the rampant problem of extremist nationalism, enhanced by the presence of minorities on the Macedonian territory. Nonetheless, on the other hand, and at least till 2001, we could hope that Macedonia would step forward other Balkanic countries, by its capacity to avoid conflict, its respect of minorities and the success of its democratic transition (compared to other countries hardly affected by wars). Indeed, the existence of Macedonia, after 1991, was not obvious at all, since the small country had problems with almost all its neighbours. The rampant conflict with Greece, about the name of the country, was more or less settled through the appellation of Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia.
[...] There is definitely a strong connection between the relations of Macedonia with Albania, and the future accession of Macedonia to the EU. On the one hand, a good management of those relations (both with Albania, the country, and Albania, the minority within the Macedonian borders) is necessary for Macedonia to convince the EU leaders of its readiness for a full membership. On the other hand, the European dream is definitely a motivation for both countries to improve their relations. The Orchid framework agreement has proved, since 2001, its functionality. [...]
[...] Indeed, even though this agreement could be considered as an “internal” agreement -since it was signed by the major Macedonian political parties, and deals with the relations between “Macedonian Macedonians” and “Albanian Macedonians”-, Albania may be parts and parcels of it, since the guerilleros claimed themselves Albanians and some of them fought in the name of the “Great Albania”, that is gathering all the territories in which Albanians live. This would encompass Albania, Kosovo, parts of Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro, and the Western part of Macedonia. [...]
[...] Hence, we could wonder to what extent the relations between Macedonia and Albania could be an asset in the accession to the EU. We will see first that the diplomatic relations between the two countries could be an example of regional integration and cooperation. Then, at an internal scale, finding equilibrium between the two communities is a challenge towards political maturity. I Diplomatic relations between the two countries: towards regional integration and cooperation All the countries of the Balkans are deeply related to each other, by the similarity of their political situation, their common will to integrate rapidly the European Union, and also by the forced entanglement of their ethnic populations. [...]
[...] This accession will then be the priority of all governments, whatever the ethnic composition is, and this accession is one of the major gathering elements between the two communities. Bibliography Reports - Report n°153, International Crisis Group, 25/02/2004: “Pan-albanisme, quelle menace pour la stabilité des Balkans?” - Information Report n°287, French Sénat, 04/04/2006, Rapport d'information sur les relations de l'Albanie et l'Ancienne République Yougoslave de Macédoine avec l'Union Européenne Articles - Les Balkans signent un accord régional de commerce, un pas vers l'UE 19/12/06 http://www.7sur7.be/ - Balkans : Les portes de l'Union Européenne entrouvertes à la [...]
[...] II Good relations between the two communities : a challenge towards political maturity Macedonia, as most of the other countries of the Balkans, has a substantial percentage of its population who could be considered as “minorities”. From a census of 2006 are Turks are Gypsies. However, the Albanian group, with more than is definitely the most important minority group in Macedonia (cf annex). What's more, the birth rate of the Albanian population is much higher than that of the Macedonians, which is a source of anxiety for the Macedonians. [...]
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