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The impact of the Euro-Atlantic integrative processes on the inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia

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The impact of the Euro-Atlantic integrative processes on the inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia

Publisher: Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia

Volume: 32 pages, pdf


Macedonia has always been a state with multiethnic character. Well-established inter-ethnic relations are the only way to make progress in the country, and to go ahead with its development as a multiethnic democracy. Referring to its independence, relations between ethnic groups have evolved and developed in various ways and phases. Leading political structures, in most cases, in order to come to power, misused interethnic relations for personal, group or party interests. Such situations have led to the incidents with nationalistic motives, resulting in inter-ethnic conflict in 2001.

However, one of the highlights is the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA). This agreement laid the foundation for further development and progress of the country in this area. It created institutions of multi-ethnic composition providing service to every citizen of this country. Also, the police and army took multiethnic composition. By this huge effort, Macedonia has established its own swift approach for integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures.

Through integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, the OFA will not only get the implementation entirely within the legal and political system, but will be presented as a model of how a multi-ethnic consensual democracy should work. After all, since the declaration of independence and formation of the first independent institutions, Macedonia has multiethnic parliament and multiethnic government on an ongoing basis.

On one hand, it is natural for a country with such an institutional structure to have harmonious inter-ethnic relations, because most of the state policy is implemented in these institutions and by these institutions. On the other hand, the process of the integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, namely NATO and the European Union is a serious medium for Macedonia to express and further promote its cultural and ethnic diversity as a quality and distinctive in itself. Thus, Macedonia's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures is directly related to inter-ethnic relations.

Therefore, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia has initiated a research which main weight of effort was to examine the public stances and the public opinions concerning the indirect and direct effects of the Euro – Atlantic integrations and the potential positive or negative efects on the inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia. On the long haul, the research was implemented in order to attain wider attention and to influence the future policy making with regard to the inter-ethnic community building in the country. The whole project comprised several phases: start – up conference, conducting a research (both qualitative and quantitative), organizing four public forums/workshops, publishing brochure with recommendations, and closing (wrap up) conference.