The European Union and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 

The European Union began funding projects in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) in 1992. European Union assistance has since increased to some €767 million between 1992 and 2005. This includes €91 million in assistance which ECHO distributed to help the government provide shelter, health care and educational facilities for refugees following the 1999 Kosovo crisis.  EC humanitarian assistance (ECHO) was progressively phased out in 2002 due to an overall improvement in the humanitarian situation in the country. ECHO activities were eventually terminated in March 2003.

Assistance has also been disbursed through the PHARE/OBNOVA programmes (€259 million) to support the reform of the economy and improve infrastructure. Within these mainstream assistance programmes, the EU has assisted in training personnel to reform the country’s banking, public administration and judicial sectors, while also supporting such projects as the development of a national environmental policy.

The EU proposed in 1999 a new Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) for five countries of South Eastern Europe. On 16th June 1999, negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were launched and a Stabilisation and Association Agreement was signed with the European Union on 9th April 2001. This made the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the first country from the western Balkans to enter into such an agreement with the European Union. The political significance of the Agreement is very high as it confers on the country the status of potential candidate, thus opening up the possibility of future accession to the European Union. The Agreement has amongst its objectives: the introduction of a free trade regime between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and its neighbours in South Eastern Europe, as well as the EU Member States; the harmonisation of the legislation with the EU’s regulatory framework; and promoting cooperation between its environmental, energy, telecommunications and transport sectors. As a result of this cooperation Agreement, the country now benefits from asymmetric trade preferences with the EU.

Within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Process, political and economic relations between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the European Union are advancing fast. For latest developments, please see the website of the European Commission's Directorate General for Enlargement, based in Brussels, and the website of the Delegation of the European Commission to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, based in Skopje.


Progress of EU – former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia relations


The Commission closely monitors progress on political, economic and other reforms in the country and will present a Report to the Council on the progress achieved by the country no later than at the end of 2006.


17 December 2005


9 November 2005 


1 November 2005 


14 February 2005 


1 October 2004 


14 September 2004 


1 September 2004 


1 April 2004 


30 March 2004 


22 March 2004 


1 February 2004 


June 2003 


31 March 2003 


1 November 2002 


9 October 2002 


29 October 2001 


28 June 2001 


1 June 2001 


9 April 2001


June 2000 


March 2000 




January 1998