Gender Mainstreaming in the EU Accession Process – Country assessment report

North Macedonia’s path towards the European Union (EU) has been quite long. Identified as a potential candidate for accession twenty years ago, North Macedonia was the first country in the region to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), which has been in force since 2004. The same year, the country applied for EU membership and it was granted a candidate status in 2005. Ever since 2009, the European Commission (EC) has continuously recommended the accession negotiations to be opened with North Macedonia1. The Prespa Agreement2, signed in 2018, arguably took the country one step closer to its EU integration and, in 2020, the European Council endorsed the decision to open accession negotiations. Nonetheless, this process was further challenged when the neighbouring Republic of Bulgaria opposed the beginning of the accession negotiations the same year.

Year of publication: 2024