Six years after the Prespa Agreement – Macedonia became “North”, part of NATO, but not EU member-state

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The Prespa Agreement was signed on the Greek side of the Prespa Lake and closed the dispute between the two countries about the name, after which the Republic of Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia entered NATO, but not the European Union, after being vetoed first by France, then by Bulgaria.

The agreement was signed by the then ruling party SYRIZA on the Greek side, and SDSM on the Macedonian side, and was signed by the then Ministers of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias, in the presence of the then-Prime Ministers Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras. The mediator in the negotiations Matthew Nimetz, ex-enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn and other senior international representatives of both countries and the EU attended the signing.

After the referendum failed, the Agreement was ratified in the Parliament eight months later, and entered into force on February 12, 2019.

According to the agreement, the Republic of Macedonia was renamed the Republic of North Macedonia, the citizenship became Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia, and the language remained Macedonian.

The country became the 30th member of NATO and (partially) opened the way for membership in the European Union, but not the EU.

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