North Macedonia – along with other Western Balkans partners – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in 2003. Its Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the first in the region, is in force since 2004. It applied for EU membership in March 2004 and the Council decided in December 2005 to grant the country candidate status.
Since October 2009, the Commission has continuously recommended to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia. In 2015 and 2016, the recommendation was made conditional on the continued implementation of the Pržino agreement and substantial progress in the implementation of the ‘Urgent Reform Priorities’. In light of the progress achieved, the Commission repeated its unconditional recommendation to open accession negotiations in April 2018. In light of the significant progress achieved and the conditions set unanimously by the Council in June 2018 having been met, the Commission recommended in May 2019 to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia.
In March 2020, the General Affairs Council decided to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and endorsed the Commission Communication on a revised methodology "Enhancing the accession process - A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans" of February 2020. The decision was endorsed by members of the European Council.
In July 2020 the draft negotiating framework was presented to the Member States. In July 2022, the Intergovernmental Conference on accession negotiations was held with North Macedonia. The Commission started the screening process.
Factsheets and Factographs available to download:
- 19 July 2022Intergovernmental Conference on accession negotiations with North Macedonia.
- October 2020Commission proposes Economic & Investment Plan to support and bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU.
- July 2020Presentation of the draft negotiating framework to the Member States.
- 26-03-2020The European Council endorsed the decision to open accession negotiations.
- 25-03-2020The Council decides to open accession negotiations.
- 01-02-2019The EU is notified about the entry into force of the Prespa agreement.
- 01-06-2018The Council sets out the path towards opening accession negotiations.
- 01-04-2018The Commission repeats its unconditional recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 01-11-2015The Commission stated that it was prepared to extend its recommendation to open accession negotiations.
The Commission stated that it was prepared to extend its recommendation to open accession negotiations provided the implementation of the June/July agreement.
- 01-07-2015Pržino agreement, facilitated by Commissioner Hahn and three Members of the European Parliament, reached between the four main political leaders.
- 01-06-2015The Commission presented "Urgent Reform Priorities" to address the underlying rule of law issues.
- 01-10-2014Sixth recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 01-10-2013Fifth recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 01-10-2012Fourth recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 29-03-2012European Commission launches a High Level Accession Dialogue with Skopje.
- 01-10-2011Third recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 01-11-2010Second recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 19-12-2009Citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia travel visa free to the Schengen area.
- 01-10-2009Commission recommends opening of accession negotiations.
- 15-07-2009Commission proposes to grant visa liberalisation to the country.
- 01-03-2008Commission adopts Communication on the Western Balkans identifying benchmarks for next stage in accession process.
- 18-02-2008Council adopts Accession Partnership for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, updating the 2006 European Partnership.
- 01-01-2008Visa facilitation and readmission agreements enter into force.
- 30-01-2006Council adopts European Partnership.
- 16-12-2005Council grants candidate status to the country.
- 09-11-2005Commission gives favourable opinion on the application of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for membership in the European Union.
- 14-02-2005The country replies to EU questionnaire.
- 14-09-20041st meeting of Stabilisation and Association Council between EU and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
- 17-05-2004Council asks Commission to give opinion on application.
- 01-04-2004Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) enters into force.
- 22-03-2004Application for EU membership.
- 01-06-2001Agreement on trade and trade-related matters enters into force.
- 09-04-2001Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) is signed.