Membership to the European Union is of the highest strategic interest and priority for the Government, an objective shared by an overwhelming majority of citizens and all political parties. The accession of North Macedonia to the European Union (EU) has been on the current agenda for future enlargement of the EU since 2005, when it became a candidate for accession. North Macedonia submitted its membership application in 2004, thirteen years after its independence from Yugoslavia. It is one of five current EU candidate countries, together with Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Accession talks started in March 2020.
North Macedonia is a member state of the (NATO). In 1995, the country joined the Partnership for Peace. It then began taking part in various NATO missions. At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Greece vetoed the country’s invitation to join; however, NATO member states agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the North Macedonia naming dispute, Following an agreement in June 2018 to rename the country, representatives of NATO member states signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO on 6 February 2019. Over the next thirteen months, all of NATO’s 29 member states ratified the protocol. The accession protocol entered into force on 19 March 2020, allowing North Macedonia to deposit its instrument of accession and thereby become a member state of NATO on 27 March 2020.