The Author

Pavel Vanev

Pavel Vanev is a researcher at Vocal Europe. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations and History from Loughborough University (UK) and a master degree in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK).


The saga, surrounding the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), finally came to an end this February (2019) with a brand new North Macedonia label stamped over the old contested FYROM insignia. The decade-long sensitive issue has kept audiences on the edge of their seats, wondering what would happen next. For the most part, the storyline has been going in circles, since every positive development has been followed by an anti-climactic regression back to the starting point.

However, the Prespa Agreement constituted a real breakthrough in the otherwise vicious cycle. World news headlines indicated this much, hailing the agreement (and its subsequent ratification) to have “[done a]’ mission impossible’,”[1] “draw[ing] the line”[2] and “end[ing] the bitter dispute.”[3] Though appraised to “pave the way for NATO [and EU] membership,”[4] commentators have been cautious to not overblow its significance (i.e. stopping short of equating it to inevitable membership), wisely preferring to keep the prospects tentative and strictly “on paper.”[5]

 

 

 

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[1] Maltezou, R and Kambas, M. “Greece does ‘mission impossible’, ratifies North Macedonia accord.” Reuters. 25 Jan 2019, available at <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-macedonia-parliament-vote/greece-does-mission-impossible-ratifies-north-macedonia-accord-idUSKCN1PJ1IM>

[2] Halasz, S, Labropoulou, and McKenzie, S. “Macedonia officially changes name to North Macedonia, drawing line under bitter dispute.” CNN. 13 Feb 2019, available at <https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/13/europe/north-macedonia-name-change-intl/index.html>

[3] Smith, H. “Macedonia changes name, ending bitter dispute with Greece.” The Guardian. 17 June 2018, available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/17/macedonia-greece-dispute-name-accord-prespa>

[4] See Halasz

[5] Ibid.

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