Ahead of a crucial vote to amend its constitution, Skopje’s political landscape remains sharply divided. The current government strongly supports the changes, which will add language in recognition of the country’s Bulgarian minority, while the opposition remains vehemently opposed. Even a pro-amendment campaign by EU and US diplomats has yet to tip the scales in favor of the amendment’s adoption.

Just as the country voted to change its name before becoming a NATO member, adopting this constitutional amendment is considered to be North Macedonia’s exclusive path to EU membership. The government is therefore engaging in an open dialogue with opposition members in the hopes that a difficult compromise can be reached for the sake of progress.

Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare speaks to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Maricikj on the pressing questions surrounding North Macedonia’s accession to the EU. What is the public’s sentiment regarding the constitutional changes, and are North Macedonian politicians prepared to make tough choices to further EU integration? Does Skopje’s government have any contingency plans in case the amendment is defeated by the Parliament? How credible is the indicative date of 2030 as the deadline for accession of the Western Balkan countries? 


#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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