Macedonia and Her Diffi cult Neighbours on the Path to the EU
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Since 1991, when Macedonia became independent, integration with Western structures – the European Union and the NATO – has been its main foreign policy objective. All Macedonian governments have consistently worked towards implementing the political, economic and social reforms required by the Copenhagen criteria. To a certain extent, the EU appreciated Macedonia’s efforts: in 2005, it granted Macedonia, known as FYROM, the status of a candidate country. However, the implementation of internal reforms alone has proved insuffi cient to commence the accession negotiations. The path to the EU is still blocked by unsettled issues with Greece and Bulgaria. The government in Athens demands that Macedonia settle the dispute over its name and accuses it of appropriating Greek historical heritage. Sofi a, in turn, accuses Skopje of falsifying history and discriminating against the Bulgarian minority living on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
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