Bilateral relations > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Relations with the EU
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the first country in the region to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement in April 2001 (in force since April 2004). An Interim Agreement covering trade and trade-related aspects of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement applied between 2001 and 2004, providing virtually free access to the EU-market.
As a signatory, the country gradually started assuming the core obligations of membership, aligning its legal and economic framework with that of the EU, strengthening cooperation with its neighbours and cooperating with the EU on a number of issues.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied for EU membership on 22 March 2004. In December 2005, the Council granted candidate status. Negotiations for accession will be opened when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has fulfilled its obligations to a suitable extent under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement provides for a competition regime to be applied in trade relations between the EU and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (based on EU Treaty rules).
Existing antitrust provisions were replaced by the new Law on Protection of Competition (in force since January 2005). It reflects EU law in this area. The Law on State Aid was enacted in March 2003 and implemented from January 2004. The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) is in charge of enforcing these laws.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has aligned much of its legislation with EU competition rules. Relevant implementing legislation must now be adopted and existing antitrust and State aid rules enforced. The Commission will closely monitor developments in these areas and report to the Council on progress achieved.
Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EU. OJ L 84, 20.3.2004
Key documents of the progress of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia towards accession (European Commission enlargement website).