On May 8, voters in North Macedonia will go to the polls in a pivotal parliamentary election that will chart the nation’s course towards European Union integration, alongside the decisive second round of the presidential election. The outcomes are anticipated to signal a shift in the electorate’s mood, reflecting their discontent with the stalled EU accession progress since the 2019 name change and the tensions with Bulgaria over demanded constitutional amendments.

Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare and political analyst Aleksej Demjanski, editor of the MacedonianMatters newsletter, discuss in this episode of #BalkansDebrief the significance of these elections for North Macedonia’s European aspirations.

They explore what Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova’s lead in the presidential election’s first round, securing 40.1% of the votes, reveals about the public’s appetite for change. The conversation will also cover the core messages and strategies of the incumbent SDSM party’s campaign, as well as the resonating themes of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE’s efforts, and how they align with the citizen’s concerns.

Furthermore, the conversation covers the potential post-election alliances. Could we witness a coalition between VMRO-DPMNE, ZNAM, and VLEN, or will the SDSM and DUI maintain their coalition? How will the political landscape and impact North Macedonia’s EU path?



#BalkansDebrief is an online interview series presented by the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and hosted by journalist Ilva Tare. The program offers a fresh look at the Western Balkans and examines the region’s people, culture, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch #BalkansDebrief on YouTube and listen to it as a Podcast.


The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

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