The Open Society Foundation, funded by billionaire financier George Soros, a staunch advocate and supporter of FYROM’s NATO and EU accession, made no secret in a 28-page long report on its support of the Prespes Agreement between Greece and FYROM, which resulted in the name change of the latter to “North Macedonia”, adding however, the majority of Greeks were opposed to any compromise on the name issue, while also pointing out the divergence between the public and the ruling SYRIZA party on the deal.
The report points out some of the benefits for leftist party SYRIZA as a result of the deal, which includes a relaxing of harsh fiscal requirements.
In January 2019, Macedonia’s parliament approved, by a two-thirds majority, a constitutional amendment to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. While this represented a major step toward North Macedonia’s ultimate goal of establishing a durable, stable democracy, the name change must still be endorsed by Greece’s parliament before it can go into full effect. But as a new report from the Open Society European Policy Institute shows, a newly-named North Macedonia would still face significant challenges—and opportunities.
North Macedonia: What’s Next? examines the 2018 Prespa Agreement between neighboring Greece and North Macedonia, which laid out agreed upon conditions for resolving the longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name, and what it means for the larger project of integrating the countries in the Western Balkans more fully into the political and economic systems of Europe, the British Isles, and the United States. The report further explores how key players—such as the European Union, NATO, Russia, other Western Balkans states—approach the Prespa Agreement, explains the significance of the name change in larger geopolitical terms, and offers insight into possible scenarios for the final resolution of this fraught and lengthy conflict.
The complete reports can be read here