TABLE OF CONTENTS
EU: European Union
SAP: Stabilisation and Association Process
FYROM: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
SAA: Stabilization and Association Agreement
IPA: Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
ECHO: The Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission
ASNOM: Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia
II) HISTORY OF MACEDONIA
III) EUROPEANIZATION PERIOD OF MACEDONIA
IV) NAME ISSUE AND THE GREEK OBSTACLE
V) PROPOSALS OF ALTERNATIVE NAMES
What are impacts of Name dispute between Greece and Fyrom in the Europeanization process of Macedonia?
This study mainly aims to discuss and analyze the issue of name between Greece and Macedonia, and effects of this dispute over Macedonian Europeanization process. Macedonia, newly founded state with the dissolution of Former Yugoslavia ,was supposed to need a democratic way which will sustain security, stability, and prosperity In that regards EU based on certain values such as freedom, democracy, rule of law, respect for minority rights and most substantially sustain economic assistance to members that need. Macedonia was decided to attend these values however Greece became main obstacle in this process.
The paper demonstrates that Name dispute have a huge impact upon the Europeanization process of Macedonia.
Key Words: EU Integration, Name Dispute, FYROM, Macedonia , Alexander the Great and Phillip, Territorial Claims, Identity, Border Issue.
In 1991 with the dissolution of Federal Yugoslavia, Macedonia has become independent with
approval of %95 of eligible voters in referendum. Kiro Gligorov is elected first president of
independent Macedonia. New constitution is adopted, declaring the Republic of Macedonia
a sovereign, independent, civil, and democratic state, and recognizing complete equality of
the Macedonians and the ethnic minorities in the country. As a sovereign and democratic
state Macedonia needs to sustain its security, develop economy and democracy. With this
aim Macedonia applied for Eu membership, however Greece as a full-member of EU has
hindered this application due to name dispute of macedonia. Over two decades since its
independence Macedonia faced with different challenges on the way of integration in the
European Union, in that regard Greek prevention makes them main obstacle in
Macedonian EU process.
‘’The Republic of Macedonia and Greece are neighboring countries that claim to be
committed to the defense of democratic values and the strategic goal of a stable, united
and prosperous Europe. Today, instead of working together to achieve these goals,
Macedonia and Greece are trapped in emotions evoked by the spirit of Alexander the
Great, who died some 2300 years ago. Both countries share parts of the territory of
Alexander’s legendary Kingdom and claim their rights to ancient Macedonian heritage
including the name “Macedonia.” The dispute between the two nations has arisen over
the simple issue of whether the Republic of Macedonia, a young country that emerged
from the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, may call itself Macedonia.’’
In this paper ,I will analyze the roots of problem that emerged aftermath of dissolution of
Yugoslavia between Greece and Macedonia.In that regard first chapter give information
about modern history of Macedonia because this name issue has directly linked to history of
Greece and Macedonia, second chaper elaborates the Europeanization process of
Macedonia, especially steps that are realized by Macedonia for this integration. Third
chapter focus on Name dispute over process both political, ethnic and territorial aspect.
Then paper will analyze the name proposals instead of Macedonia in order to solve this
problem. Lastly paper finishes with summarized conclusion.
HISTORY OF MACEDONIA
‘’Macedonia is located in the center of the Southern Balkans, north of ancient Hellas (Greece),
east of Illyria, and west of Thrace. The name “Macedonia” is the oldest surviving name of a
country on the continent of Europe. The ancient Macedonians were a distinct nation,
ethnically, linguistically, and culturally different from their neighbors. Their origins are in the
ancient Brygian (Phrygian) substratum that occupied the whole of Macedonian territory and
in Indo-European superstratum, which settled here at the end of the 2nd millennium.’’
However name dispute has directly linked with historical background of country. Main issue stem from national identity and history fight. This means that both Nations Greeks and Macedons are sharing the same history. Both these nations claim that they have right to use of name of Macedonia, with Macedonian symbol (kutlesh star (vergina sun),and Macedonian Identity. There are two sides with two different statement. In order to understand the name issue, we need to look at historical period of Macedonia exclusively. ‘’This period consist of three part: first, the time from the reigns of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great to the Ottoman Empire; second, the era from the beginning of the 20th century until the Balkan wars (1912, 1913); and, third, during and after World War II.’’
From Ancient Macedonia to the Ottoman Empire
‘’The word “Macedonia” applies to the geographic region occupying the central
part of the Balkan Peninsula that covers about 67,741 square kilometers. Historically, the
Macedonian geographic boundaries changed constantly, until they were officially
recognized in the nineteenth century. The surrounding countries have traditionally been
attracted to the geo-strategic position of the Macedonian territory. Macedonia has served
as an economic crossroads, linking Central Europe and the Mediterranean region with the
Near East and the Suez Canal. Macedonia also links the Drin river valley with the
Adriatic Sea. Via Egnatia, the shortest Roman-era cross route to cross the Balkans, runs
through Macedonia, connecting the Adriatic Sea to the Bosphorus through Thessalonica’’
Although sharing the same history with Greeks, speaking Greek and dressing like them,
Macedonian do not accept themselves as Greek , on the contrary identified themselves as
genuine Macedon and built their own unique society in that regard. Macedonian see Phillip
II and Alexander the Great as their ancestor, in the constituting of national identity these
two figures are crucial, that’s why Greeks and Macedon are in fight of history because they
are trying to prove their national identity. Despite the limited knowledge about Macedonian
history Some evidence suggests that the period between the reigns of the first Macedonian
KingPerdiccas I (700 BC) and Phillip II (359-336 BC) was marked by instability, domestic
anarchy and external attacks. The Macedonian kingdom during Philip II’s rule prospered.
Philip introduced reforms in governance and the financial system of the state, and
encouraged the growth of economic trade, thus making the Macedonian state an
important trade factor in the Mediterranean.6 Furthermore, between 356 and 338 BC,
Philip II took advantage of the long-lasting political crisis in Greece and conquered its
territories Thessaly, Chalcidice, and Thrace. With their final victory over the Greek army
in 338 BC, the Macedonians established their dominance in the Balkans and their
hegemony was recognized by the Greek city-states. The glorious era of the Macedonian
kingdom continued under Philip’s son, Alexander the Great. In several battles between 334-
331 BC Alexander’s army defeatedthe Persians and expanded the Macedonian kingdom to
the east. The 331 BC victory atGaugamela established Alexander as the master of the Near-
and Middle East. Heextended his kingdom from the western Balkans to India and from the
Danube River andthe Black Sea to Egypt, Libya and Cyrenaica. After his death in 323 BC, his
enormousand “ungovernable” kingdom began to collapse .
In both nation there is a belief that they have direct historical links with this glorious Ancient
Kingdom of Macedon and society of Macedonian, there is a desire to identify themselves
with abundant society of Macedonia . Greeks claim that “during Antiquity, Macedonia was
part of the Hellenic world and the foundation of Alexander the Great’s vast empire.
Alexander the Great is significant to the Greeks because of his strong role in spreading
Hellenic culture to distant parts of the then unknown world. Greeks also take pride in being
descendants of his “extraordinary figure.” On the other hand , Macedonian rejected this
understanding instead they developed their own perspective and comparitive analysis of
the two the two civilizations’ formation of statehood and stabilization of territorial integrity.
With blaming each other two societies improved different political ,social , economical and
cultural aspects in this regard.
The Balkan Wars and the End of the Ottoman Empire
With Balkan wars in 1912-13 , Ottoman Empire lost its land in Balkans and these nations
that live here gaind their independence .This outcome caused anoter longstanding political
problem concerning Macedonia and Greeks. All Nations in Balkans are trying to gain their
freedom from Ottoman Empire and building of sovereign and national identity. These
desires of Balkan Nations caused territorial and minority dispute and partittioning of
Macedonia.In the nineteenth century, the Ottoman rulers divided the Balkan territory into
“three vilayets,” named Solun (Thessaloniki), Bitola, and Kosovo, known as Macedonia by
Macedoniannationalists as well as the rest of the world. In today’s terminology, this territory
is called “Greater Macedonia. Future of Macedonian land was determined among the
Balkan countries. In the First Balkan War in 1912, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro
came together, attacked Ottoman Empire and defeated Empire. At the end of First Balkan
War Macedonia was occupied by Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia and Albania was created. In
that War Macedonian rebelled against Ottoman Empire with the sovereingty promise of
Balkan states.However with the London Conference Agreement in may 1913, Macedonia
was divided among Balkan allies.
Aftermath of Ottoman withdrawal from Balkans, Balkan Allies states couldn’t share the lands
that gained this caused another second Balkan War, also known as the Inter-Allied War . This
time Serbian and Greek allied to attack Bulgarian in order to regain control of Macedonia
and Bulgaria was defeated in its own territory, meanwhile Ottoman took back Eastern
Thrace. ‘’The Second Balkan War ended with the signing of the Bucharest Treaty at a
conference held on August 10, 1913. This conference resulted in the redistribution of the
Macedonian land between Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Albania. Bulgaria received the
eastern part, known as Pirin Macedonia; Serbia took Vardar Macedonia in the north; and
Greece received the Aegean part. Although the Greek rulers received the biggest portion of
the Macedonian territory, they nonetheless did not keep the name Macedonia, nor did they
use it in describing the region until the 1980’s. In 1919 Albania also received a small part of
the Macedonian territory.’’
Interwar Period – Between the Two World Wars
During the World War I, Great Powers on both sides ignored the Macedonian question .
Problem came to desk at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 when The Treaty of Versailles
signed. With the end of WW I, Committee established to deal with the creation of new
states. However Different aspects on the Macedonian identity issues came under
consideration, Great Powers did not declare Macedonia as an independent state, instead
Conferenceconcluded that Macedonians should be treated as a minority and the territory
they inhabited should be divided among four neighboring countries: Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria
Macedonians in the Occupied Territories
‘’Greece took the biggest piece with the 1913 partition of Macedonia: about 34,356 square
kilometers. Although statistics about the national composition of the population in Aegean
Macedonia before 1913 are inaccurate, all but Greek sources claim that Macedonians were
the biggest group at 28 percent, followed by 25 percent Turks, and 21 percent Greeks.
Immediately after the occupation, the Greek government started a forcible Hellenization of
the Macedonian population. The existence of any Macedonians was totally denied, the use
of their language was strictly forbidden, and both their personal names and the geographic
toponyms were replaced by Greek names’’ .
‘’In order to make significant changes to the national structure, the Greek government turned
to forced emigration and colonization of the population in Aegean Macedonia. Population
exchanges occurred mainly with Bulgaria and Turkey. Over 80,000 Macedonians were
expelled from Greece to Bulgaria, and 23,000 Greeks from Bulgaria settled in Aegean
Macedonia. Approximately 400,000 Turks were expelled from Greece in 1923, while
1,200,000 Greeks from Asia Minor settled in Greece.’’
‘’Serbia and Bulgaria occupied a smaller part of Macedonian. In 1918, with its 25,713 square
kilometers and 728,286 inhabitants, the Serbian dominated Vardar Macedonia became part
ofthe Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, better known as Yugoslavia. As in Greece,
Macedonians under Serb rule were not allowed to declare their national identity, were
called Serbs and exposed to forced assimilation. Initially the Serbian part of Macedonia was
called “Southern Serbia.” During the period between the two World Wars this area was
named Vardarska Banovina (Province of Vardar). After World War II Vardarska Banovina
became partof the Yugoslav federation under the name of The People’s Republic of
Macedonia. It was renamed again in 1963 as the Socialist Republic of Macedonia.’’
World War II
Macedonians, led by their aspirations for self-determination and creation of their
independent state, started an active anti-fascist movement in 1940. The communist leader
Josip Broz Tito, whose plan was the unification of all the Yugoslav territories, supported
the Macedonian resistance. Macedonian see this Yugoslav anti-fascist movement as an
advantage to realize their natioal wisdom.In order to do that, around sixty thousand
Macedonian attended the Yugoslav partisans and constituted about five hundred ‘national
liberation councils’ throughout the occupied territory. They achieved success on August 2,
1944 during thefirst session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of
Macedonia(ASNOM) held at the Monastery St. Prochor Pcinski, when the delegation decided
to establish the Macedonian state. This event is considered as one of the most important in
modern Macedonian history.
‘’After centuries of repression, partition and assimilation, theAssembly’s decision opened the
door toward independence With this success Republic of Macedonia gained its
autonomous status and became one of siz Yugoslav republics. Macedonian declared their
town constitution, Macedonian language succeded of becoming one of the official
languages in Yugoslavia.The outcome of World War II did not bring national unification to
the Macedonian territories, nor recognition of the Aegean (Greek) and Pirin (Bulgarian)
parts. On the contrary, the prowestern Greek governmen completely denied the
Macedonian minority and identity on its own territory, and referred to the Macedonians in
the Republic of Macedonia as “Serbs” or “Skopjans”.’’
EUROPEANIZATION PERIOD OF MACEDONIA
In 1991, with the dissolution of USSR, European Union developed an enlargement process for former Soviet Union states in Eastern Europe and Balkans in order to integrate them into the western democracy and sustain them with financial assistance. Macedonia is one of these countries. EU Commission adopts an enlargement perspective for Western Balkan Countries.
‘’For the future of region EU Commission is making some geostrategic investment in the aim of stable, strong, United Europe based on common values such as democracy, freedom, rule of laws and respect for minority. Meeting in 1993.For the region countries integration with EU is not an impetus process. In addition to this EU facilitates the membership for former USSR countries joint to the EU for the future of region, for the stable, fully integrated continent of Europe, democracy and values of EU community. Obstacles to accession are presented for various reasons, such as: rejection of any member state, undemocratic fluctuations within states2, hindering the process through a referendum by the citizens of states, etc.’’
With the difference of Central and Eastern Europe countries EU has followed another way for the integration of Western Balkan countries. States of Central and Eastern Europe ,once, signed agreements on cooperation association however now EU has imposed an Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) over Western Balkan countries for membership. Stabilization and Association Process is a framework of long-term policy towards the Western Balkan countries in order of their association to the EU, simultaneously doing the complete stabilization, and their economic prosperity
Under the Enlargement process of EU there are some accession criterias that candidate states need to sustain them for applicant. These accession criteria, in other name called as Copenhagen Criteria has been determined in European Council meeting in Copenhagen in 1993.
Copenhagen Criteria mainly consist of four pillars which must be met any candidate state requires membership in EU, accession criteria are as follows:
-Political: stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, rule of law, respect
for human rights and minority rights, and acceptance of the political
objectives of the EU;
– Economic: existence of a functional and efficient market economy, the
capacity to cope with competition and market laws within the EU;
– Legal: full approval of the ‘acquis communautaire’ (primary and secondary
legislation, rulings of the European Court of Justice, declarations and
resolutions of the EU, measures taken on the common foreign and security
policy, provisions on justice and home affairs, international agreements
that the EU has concluded and the agreements between Member States on
the scope of the EU);
– Administrative: adaptation of the administrative structure with the
objectives of harmonization and gradual integration (such as strengthening
of administrative capacity, the establishment of efficient administration
which will ensure the acceptance and implementation of EU legislation. On
justice and home affairs domestic).
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been candidate status since 2005. However Macedonia is newly founded state, EU process is a long story goes back to 1990s. Aftermath of dissolution of Yugoslavia Macedonia gained its independence. However as an independent and sovereign state, Macedonia is weak with all economic, social and democratic aspects so that Macedonia determined to attend EU in order to enhance these aspects because EU is based of Freedom, democracy, respect for Human Rights, most importantly economic assistance that needs such as Macedonia.
-The Former Yugoslavia of Republic of Macedonia applied for EU membership in March 2004.
-The EU Commission thought a favourable opinion about FYROM in November in 2005
-Council decided to grant country candidate status in 2005
– Commission recommend that accession negotiations should be opened in October in 2009
Namely FYROM has been a EU candidate status since 2005 but EU story of FYROM has initiated in 1990s with independence.
– Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia becomes eligible for funding under the EU Phare Programme. Then EU developed a regional approach for Macedonia. The EU Council of Ministers establishes political and economic conditionality for the development of bilateral relations.
-Cooperation Agreement and Agreement in the Transport enter into exercise in January in 1998. Then EU opened the Office of Resident Envoy in Skopje, capital city of Macedonia
-The EU offers new Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) for five countries of southeastern Europe in 1999.
-EU decided to open negotiations with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia due to conclusion of study is positive about Macedonia.
-Council adopts negotiating directives for a Stabilization and Association Agreement in June 2000.
– EU upgrades the EU Representative in Skopje to a permanent delegation of the European Commission in March 2000. Then Negotiations started between EU and FYROM to conclude SAA.
-Aftermath of successful conclusion of negotiations at the Zagreb Summit in April in 2001, The SAA is signed in Luxemburg in 24 November in 2000.In addition to this an Interim Agreement is also signed in the same day. With the agreement the Parties allow the trade and trade related matters of the SAA to enter into force. Under the Co-operation Agreement, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia benefits from asymmetric trade preferences with the EU.
-In June in 2001, EU’s special Representative François Leodard came to Skopje.Then EU’s Emergency Assistance Programme is initiated by European Agency for Reconstruction Operational Centre Skopje.
-In 4 April in 2002, First Annual Report on Stabilization and Association Process is published by European Commission
-In June 2002, European Council expressed the willingness of EU to take over from NATO in FYR Macedonia. Aftermath of the new head of Delegation, Donato Chiarini, presents his credentials to the President of FYR Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski.
– 30 April 2003, The Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission (ECHO) is finishing its activities in FYR Macedonia after almost 10 years.
– March 2003, then, Second Annual Report on SAA process is published by European Commission. Aftermath of this report, EU take over its international military presence in FYR Macedonia from NATO.
– June 2003, Thessaloniki Summit is considered to be a historic one as for the first time in the history of the European Union, a mini-summit called ‘EU – Western Balkans Summit’ was held in the framework of the summit. In this way the European Union is sending a positive political signal for the future European perspective of the Western Balkans.
– March 2004, The European Commission has approved the first ever European Partnerships for the Western Balkans which are inspired by the Accession Partnerships that have helped prepare countries for eventual membership in the past. The partnerships are based on the third Annual Reports on these countries, also published on 30 March.
– April 2004, The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and FYR Macedonia, signed on 9 April 2001, enters into force on 1 April, taking the country another step forward on the road to European integration. This is the first Stabilisation and Association Agreement to enter into force.
– May 2004, The historical Enlargement of the European Union on 1 May expanded the European family of states to 25, and the Union population by 20% to 450 million. This event created the biggest single market in the world.
– June 2004, The Stabilisation and Association Committee between FYR Macedonia and the EC, established after the Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force, held its first meeting in Skopje on 3 June 2004.
– September 2004, The Stabilisation and Association Council between fYR Macedonia and the EC, established after the Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force, held its first meeting in Brussels on 14 September 2004.
– October 2004, The President of the European Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi, paid an official visit to Skopje on 1 October in order to hand over the Commission’s Questionnaire to the Government necessary for the Commission to prepare an Opinion on the country’s membership application.
– November 2004, The Commissioner For Enlargement, Dr. Olli Rehn, officially realized first visit to Skopje.
– November 2005, European Commission concluded the opinion on the application of FYR Macedonia for membership in EU. The Opinion offers granting candidate status for membership in the EU. Then European Council decided to recognize country as a candidate for EU membership. In addition to this The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso paid his first official visit to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, accompanied by the Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.
– October 2007, IPA Framework agreement and Financing agreement for 2007 IPA national programme signed.
– January 2008, Visa facilitation agreement and Readmission Agreement with the EU enters into force.
– February 2008, Council adopts the Accession Partnership for the country, thus updating the previous European Partnership of January 2006
– March 2008,European Commission adopts a Communication on the Western Balkans which indicates benchmarks for moving to the next stage in the accession process
– May 2008, European Commission presents a roadmap setting out a number of benchmarks for visa liberalisation with the country.
– July 2009, European Commission proposes to grant the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia visa liberalization.
– October 2009, EC recommended opening negotiations for country’s accession to the European Union.
– December 2009, The Delegation of European Commission to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia renamed in the Delegation of European Union to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
– December 2009, The Visa free travel for citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to the Schengen area.
Briefly, EU and Macedonia relations guides such as:
– In 1995 established diplomatic relations with EU
– In 1996 signed the first bilateral agreement on the use of the PHARE
– In 1997 signed a cooperation agreement which entered into force in 2004,
and the Agreement on textiles which is in force since 1998.
– In April 2001 signed the SAA, and the same came into force in April 2004.
– On March 22, 2004 filed a request for EU membership.
– In 2004 led National Strategy for EU Integration.
– On December 16, 2005 received candidate status for membership.
– In 2007 adopted the National Strategy for the approval of EU law, brought
national development plan for the period 2007-09 as well as pre-accession economic program
Today ,Macedonia is an independent state that is recognized by United Nations is expecting and waiting for the date to initiate negotiations with EU, while statement from EU official always focus on the strictly conditioned situation of name dispute ,only with resolution of dispute with Greece over the name of country will have initiated the negotiation process.
NAME DISPUTE AND THE GREEK BLOCK
With the collapse of Communism and aftermath dissolution of Yugoslavia, Republic of Macedonia left from Yugoslavia and became an independent state by a popular referendum held in September 1991 when the majority of voters approved independence. However with independence Macedonia found itself in constant identity conflict with neighbours. With Greece contesting its name and symbols, Bulgaria challenging its language and national identity and Serbia its religious identity. But mostly name problem goes on with Greece due to territorial claims.
The name dispute of Macedonia is always become trend topic for decades. Main problem stems from border and territorial integrity. There are two places that identifies themselves as Macedon .The first one is a region of Greece-northern part of Greece. The second one is a country with official name of Republic of Macedonia. Both country and nations are sharing the same history, affiliation with Ancient Kingdom of Macedon where Alexander the Great was born.
With these common historical aspect, also Greece and Macedonia share the same border in northern part of Greece, have been locked due to name dispute since Skopje declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.Mostly country recognized its declared name as Republic of Macedonia, but only a handful does not. Greece is leader of them, blocked Macedonian recognition by European Community. This is still keeping it from apply for EU membership. In addition to this Greece also hindered the Macedonian integration to NATO, vetoed Macedonian application to join NATO in 2008. Greece had disputed Macedonia’s constitutional name citing two reasons:
– The first one was historical: the exclusive right to use the Greek name “Macedonia” and
– The second was the territorial character: Macedonians potential claims for territory to Greece
When we look at the historical roots of name dispute, story begun with the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia. Alexander the Great is one of the most successful military leaders in history, unified a vast expanse of land from Greece to Egypt and India.
He was born in 356 B.C in Ancient Kingdom of Macedon but today that region is disputed. The Republic of Macedonia and the Region of Macedonia in Greece have been fighting about true borders of the Macedonian Region where the Great Alexander was born, for decades. Both nation affiliate themselves with the Ancient Macedonian and Alexander the Great .These both people who affiliate themselves with Macedonian culture in the region and Republic have their own language and traditions .That’s why Greece and Macedonia have been in conflict for decades. That‘s why Greece and other Balkan Nations refuse to recognize on independent Macedonian identity. They claim that what is Macedonian is actually Greek or Albanian or Bulgarian, depending on the country. Actually that claim is correct because Republic of Macedonia is ethnically diverse. The majority of FYROM are Slavs who consider themselves as ethnically Macedon. There are also many Albanian, some Turks, Vlachs, Bulgarians and Roma.
Greeks have view Macedonia as a part of their empire for a long time, but much of their history is interrelated. After the Balkan Wars in 1913, Greeks officially obtained the entire Macedonian Region. But they lost part of their territory during the World Wars to what later become Yugoslavia .With the breakup of Yugoslavia, last territory was known as the Republic of Macedonia. According to Greek officials, using the name Macedonia for another country implies territorial claims toward Greece’s own northern province of Macedonia. In addition to this Greece has an attitude that repressing Macedonian culture and denying its existence for better unification their own nation.
Greece alleges that:
The Macedonians should not be recognized as Macedonians because the Macedonians have been of Greek nationality since 2000 BC.
Those Macedonians whose language belongs to the Slavic family of languages, must not call themselves Macedonians because 4000 years ago, the Macedonians spoke Greek and still speak nothing but Greek.
Macedonia has no right to call itself by this name because Macedonia has always been and still is a region of Greece.
The Macedonians affirm that:
The ancient Macedonians were a distinct European people, conscious and proud of their nationality, their customs, their language, and their name. The same applies to the modern Macedonians today.
The ancient Macedonians regarded the ancient Greeks as neighbors, not as kinsmen. The Greeks treated the Macedonians as foreigners (“barbarians”) whose native language was Macedonian, not Greek.
Macedonia was never a region of Greece. On the contrary, ancient Greece was subjected to Macedonia. In 1913, modern Greece and her Balkan allies partitioned Macedonia. If today a portion of Macedonia belongs to Greece, it is by virtue of an illegal partition of the whole and occupation of a part of Macedonia. These assertions will be shown to be true in the eyes of history proving the absurdity of Greek allegations against the people of Macedonia .
Today due to this name dispute and territorial claim, politically stronger Greece, hindered
poorer country of Macedonia from joining organization like the EU and NATO, mostly over
the name dispute. Situation is much more worse than the previous periods. Even now The
Macedonian language is not permitted in Greek media, education or public life. But
Macedonia insist on their claims over Alexander the Great. In the early 2000’s they
challenged claim on Alexander the Great by renaming their airport in his honor and
building a huge statute of him in capital city Skopje .They also sued Greece in 2008 for
disallowing their access to NATO.They won their lawsuit; but tension not improved between
two countries. Other nation like Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo also have trouble
accepting Macedonians as a separate ethnicity. All of these issues Balkan Peninsula remain a
politically volatile area to continent.
PROPOSALS OF ALTERNATIVE NAMES
The negotiations between Macedonia and Greece begun in 1995 are ongoing, though with
varying intensity. After 15 years of joint efforts and international mediation
headed by UN mediators including Cyrus Vance, Robin O’Neil and current mediator
Matthew Nimetz, the only considerable progress was Greece’s claim that it would depart
from its hard position which stipulates that the final solution should not include the word
“Macedonia.” This concession by Greece is highly questionable since the provisional
name under which Macedonia became a UN member also contains the word“Macedonia.”
Despite the fact that a solution has not been reached, the negotiations pivot around
eventual compromise for a composite name of the Republic of Macedonia, which will
include a geographic determinant.
For the first time, since 1991 Greece and Macedonia may be close to solution of name
dispute.The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Matthew Nimetz has reportedly
delivered five name proposals to the delegations of both countries, during talks taking place
in New York.According to report proposed name all preceded by Republic of Macedonia
a) New Macedonia
b) Northern Macedonia
c) Upper Macedonia
d) Vardar Macedonia
e) Macedonia Skopje
Although Nimetz said the process was going in the right direction, Macedonia’s negotiator,
Vaskon Naumovski, dismissed the proposals presented by the UN mediator as “far from a
dignity. Athens does not want its neighbor to have the name Macedonia because of the
existence of a region in Greece with the same name.
Although Greek Authority wants to Macedonia add a modifier like NEW or NORTH , many
Greeks are against any use of Macedonia. In addition, attitude of Greek Government is
protested by Greeks. That’s why these name proposals did not work in solution.
There is a controversial situation in name dispute between Greece and Macedonia. When
Macedonia was a constituent part of the Former Yugoslavia during the 1944-1991, This
country has already nominated as People’ Republic of Macedonia and later turned into
‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’.
These two name has already been containing word of ‘’Macedonia’’ and did not rejected or
objected by Greece .Greece accepted the northern neighbour’s name as Macedon at that
time .However when Macedonia obtained its independence with the dissolution of Former
Yugoslavia , Name disputed started as a reaction of Greek objection.’’ The name dispute is a
complex issue. From the time the problem first arose, instead of solving it, Macedonia and
Greece both added more questions to the negotiation table. These additional issues
included the scope and use of the name, Macedonian identity, and the Macedonian
language. At this point, it is unclear how these problems will be resolved. Political leaders in
both countries are under enormous domestic pressures with respect to these issues. The
Greek government believes it successfully eliminated this pressure by publicly agreeing on
the use of the word “Macedonia” in the composite name for the Republic of Macedonia.
From its side, Macedonia also made several concessions and changed the national flag,
amended the country’s Constitution and most of all, agreed to negotiate about the name
that Macedonians already choose for their country. But the problem persists.’’ Unless
both sides will be willing to solve the problem for the future of region ,for the future of
continent of Europe and for the future integration policy of Macedonia, this attempt and
endeavour will be waste of time.
ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY VOL 25 NO 4, AUGUST 2009. Bulgarian passports, Macedonian identity
The invention of EU citizenship in the Republic of Macedonia
Bilge Adamlar Kurulu. (2014). Balkanlar Ve Türkiye. İstanbul: Bilgesam Yayınları.
Cowan, Jane K.(2000) Macedonia: The politics of identity and . Pluto Press.
Danforth, Loring M. (1997) The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational
world. Princeton: Princeton University Press
FYROM Name Issue – Hellenic Republic – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Geddes-Taylor ,Andrew (2016). In the shadow of fortress Europe? Impacts of European
migration governance on Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia. JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES.
Journal of Contemporary European Research-Volume 13, Issue 4 (2017)
Hristova, L., Cekik, A. (2015) The Europeanisation of interest groups: EU conditionality and adaptation of interest groups to the EU accession process in the Republic of Macedonia. East European Politics, 31 (1), pp. 23-38.
The Republic of Macedonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Slaveski , S., Kozarev , A. (2012) “Europeanization” of the Macedonian National Identity. THE WESTERN BALKANS POLICY REVIEW
The Journal of Accounting and Finance July 2017 Special Issue. Influence Of Budget Deficit On Economic Growth: The Case Of The Republic Of Macedonia
Zahariadis, Nikolaos. (1996)”Greek Policy toward the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia.” Modern Greek Studies (Modern Greek ), 303-327.
...(download the rest of the essay above)