Macedonia, which declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 following the dissolution of the federated state, has been a candidate for European Union accession since 2005. But the country still finds itself standing at the starting gate. In spite of many empty promises and rhetorical reassurances, the long path to membership doesn’t appear to be progressing very fast or perhaps at all. The uncertainty regarding European Union accession has an influence on internal politics, generating instability. Two obstacles on the small Balkan country’s path to joining the European Union (and NATO) are Greece and Bulgaria. The countries’ reasons are essentially very different, though identity is at stake in both cases.

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