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The relations between Macedonia and Albania

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Diplomatic relations between the two countries: Towards regional integration and cooperation.
    1. Linked by one of the major successes of the European Union.
    2. Commonly involved in the major current Balkanic issue.
    3. The Kosovo issue.
  3. Good relations between the two communities : A challenge towards political maturity.
    1. Albanians obtaining a political and social representation.
    2. Macedonia's search for equilibrium.
    3. The Orchid framework agreement.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

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. [...]

[...] First, there are some cultural differences between the Albanians of Albania, of Kosovo, of Macedonia and of Montenegro. Second, the Albanians can reach more political clout in the European Union (of course at mid or long term) if there are three ?Albanian? votes in the institutions: Albania, Kosovo, and maybe Macedonia (if the Albanian community represents, in the future of the population of this country, its opinion will have to be taken into account). Thus, there was very small possibility for a partition of Macedonia in order to create the Great Albania. [...]

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