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Republic of Macedonia: country overview — EUbusiness.com

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August 16, 2012

by Ina Dimireva

— last modified January 26, 2017

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – along with other Western Balkan countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership at the European Council summit in ThessalonikiSearch for available translations of the previous link••• en 2003. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied for EU membership in March 2004. The Commission issued a favorable opinion in November 2005 and the Council decided in December 2005 to grant the candidate country country status candidate. In October 2009, the Commission recommended the opening of accession negotiations.


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Macedonian flag

Member of the Schengen area: No

Political system: Republic

Capital city: Skopje

Total area: 25,433 km²

Population: 2.05 million

Currency: denar

Macedonia map

Country overview

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – along with other Western Balkan countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership at the 2003 Thessaloniki European Council summit.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied to become a member of the EU in March 2004. The Commission issued a favorable opinion in November 2005 and the Council decided in December 2005 to grant the candidate country the status of candidate country. In October 2009, the Commission recommended the opening of accession negotiations.

Overview of the economy

Since gaining independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment, but it lags behind the Balkan region in attracting foreign investment. Corruption and weak rule of law remain significant problems. Some companies complain of opaque regulations and uneven enforcement of the law.

Macedonia’s economy is closely linked to Europe as an export customer and source of investment, and has suffered from prolonged weakness in the euro zone. Unemployment has remained consistently high, around 30% since 2008, but it may be overestimated due to the existence of a large gray market, estimated between 20% and 45% of GDP, which is not taken into account in official statistics.

Macedonia has maintained macroeconomic stability throughout the global financial crisis by pursuing a prudent monetary policy, which keeps the national currency pegged to the euro, and limiting budget deficits. However, the government relaxed its fiscal policy and the budget deficit rose to 4.2% of GDP in 2013 and 2014, falling gradually to 3.7% in 2015. At the end of 2015, the debt public sector stood at 40.3%, which, although low in regional comparison, is significant for a small economy.

Source: Europa, CIA – The World Factbook

Useful links

EU Delegation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Government of Macedonia

Tourist information

EU membership

Source: Europe

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