North Macedonia

Macron urges Sofia and Skopje to solve their dispute amid tensions in Europe

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 19, 2022

Pressure on Sofia to lift its veto and allow North Macedonia to start EU accession talks has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine raised fears of destabilisation in the Western Balkans.

Borrell says EU should step up engagement in Western Balkans to counter Russia threat

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2022

EU high commissioner warns decision of most candidate countries to align to the EU sanction policy exposes them to threats from Russia.

EBRD expects 30% GDP contraction in Ukraine in 2022, lowers emerging Europe projections

Clare Nuttall in Marrakesh May 10, 2022

The EBRD has cut its 2022 emerging Europe growth forecasts again, reflecting a sharp downgrade for Ukraine and the regional fallout from the war and sanctions.

Public debt starts to decline in the Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews May 8, 2022

Across the region, the average publicly guaranteed debt to GDP ratio fell from 60.8% of GDP in 2020 to 56.5% in 2021, a World Bank report shows.

Western Balkan countries face new economic challenges with growth set to slow to 3.1% this year

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2022

The war in Ukraine sends shockwaves across the region and the World Bank warns of "daunting" downside risks to the current outlook.

Where the 11 Southeast European states stand on the Ukraine war

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2022

Southeast Europe is split over the issues of sanctions on Russia and military aid to Ukraine, with some states firmly in the western camp, some staying neutral and others internally torn.

Construction of Alexandroupolis LNG terminal launched to help reduce Balkans’ dependence on Russian gas

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 3, 2022

Greece is set to become a major gas supplier for the Balkans region, as investments aimed at achieving independence from Russian gas accelerate across Europe.

Shortages force North Macedonia to change its farm policy

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 3, 2022

North Macedonia is struggling with record-high food prices and shortages of cooking oil, wheat and flour.

Growth of North Macedonia’s industrial production slows to 3.2% y/y in March

bne IntelliNews May 1, 2022

Growth decelerated across all three main industrial sectors.

Emerging Europe growth to fall to an average of 3% this year, says wiiw

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Russian GDP forecast to fall by 9-15% this year, while Ukraine's economy could collapse by 38-45%.

Outcry in North Macedonia over Bulgarian cultural centre named for Nazi collaborator

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 19, 2022

North Macedonia’s opposition and Jewish community call on EU to condemn Bulgaria for naming cultural centre after Nazi collaborator amid efforts by the two countries to resolve differences and unblock Skopje’s EU path.

Serbia’s new Chinese anti-aircraft system fuels fears of Balkan arms race

bne IntelliNews April 14, 2022

Weaponry arrived at a time of concern over the stability of the Western Balkans following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

North Macedonia’s central bank raises key rate by 0.25 pp as inflation rises

bne IntelliNews April 13, 2022

Consumer price inflation accelerated to 8.8% y/y in March, with prices pushed up by rising food and energy import costs.

VISEGRAD BLOG: Are broad coalitions really the best way to overthrow authoritarian populists?

Robert Anderson in Prague April 12, 2022

The Hungarian election has dealt a big blow to the once confident hope that broad opposition pre-electoral coalitions are the best way to remove entrenched authoritarian populists from power.

US sanctions high-profile Western Balkan politicians

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2022

North Macedonia's former PM Nikola Gruevski among seven current and former officials blacklisted over activities that "threaten the stability of the region".

Bulgarian PM says Russian spies created rift with North Macedonia to stall EU enlargement

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2022

EU officials fear the slow enlargement process is leading to democratic backsliding in the Western Balkans, and creating opportunities for Russia and China to increase their influence.

North Macedonia’s census reveals sharp population decline and change in ethnic mix

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 31, 2022

Mass emigration contributed to almost 10% decline in North Macedonia's population since previous census in 2002.

EBRD slashes 2022 growth forecasts but only nations embroiled in war to enter recession

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 31, 2022

Ukraine's economy forecast to contract by 20% and projections worsen across emerging Europe — except for Eurasian oil and gas producers Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Bulgarian PM offers hope of a breakthrough for North Macedonia’s stalled EU accession

bne IntelliNews March 28, 2022

Kiril Petkov says North Macedonia “has a place in the European family”, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warns further enlargement delays lay Western Balkans open to influence from third parties.

COMMENT: Roma civil society can learn from both mistakes and local successes to make inclusion work

Andrew Ryder, Nidhi Trehan, Marius Taba March 22, 2022

There is deep disappointment over the rate of progress of various Roma inclusion policies of the European Union during the last few decades.