Language: Macedonian
Currency: Macedonian denar (MKD)
Calling Code: 389


Description of the Republic of Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia (in Macedonian: Република Македонија, romanization: Makedónija Republic) or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is an independent landlocked country, located on the Balkan peninsula, in southeastern Europe. It limits to the north with Serbia and Kosovo, to the east with Bulgaria, to the south with Greece and to the west with Albania. Its capital is Skopje, with more than 700,000 inhabitants.

In 1991, the former Socialist Republic of Macedonia, one of the constituent parts of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, proclaimed its independence under the official name of the Republic of Macedonia.The use of the term "Macedonia" was rejected by Greece, with the emergence of a dispute over the denomination of this country that lasts today. The country is sometimes referred to simply as Macedonia, while the provisional reference Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Поранешна Југословенска Република Македонија, Poranešna Jugoslovenska Republika Makedonija in Macedonian) is used to designate that state in various international organizations, such as United Nations, following a compromise reached between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia in 1993. The definitive name continues in negotiation between both states. Currently Macedonia is an official candidate for access to the European Union.


Travel Destinations in Macedonia


Skopje (Скопје)
Demir Kapija (Демир Капија)
Kavadarci (Кавадарци)
Negotino (Неготино)
Veles (Велес)
Čaška (Чашка, Chashka)
Stobi (Стоби)


Western North Macedonia

Bitola (Битола)
Debar (Дебар)
Demir Hisar (Демир Хисар)
Gostivar (Гостивар)
Kičevo (Кичево, Kichevo)
Kruševo (Крушево, Krushevo)

Makedonski Brod (Македонски Брод)
Ohrid (Охрид)
Prilep (Прилеп)
Resen (Ресен)
Struga (Струга)
Tetovo (Тетово)
Vevčani (Вевчани, Vevchani)

Galičica National Park
Markovi Kuli
Monastery of Saint Naum
Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery
Samuel's Fortress


Eastern North Macedonia

Strumica (Струмица)
Berovo (Берово)
Bogdanci (Богданци)
Delčevo (Делчево, Delchevo)
Dojran (Дојран)
Gevgelija (Гевгелија)
Kočani (Кочани, Kochani)
Kratovo (Кратово)
Kriva Palanka (Крива Паланка)
Kumanovo (Куманово)

Makedonska Kamenica (Македонска Каменица)
Pehčevo (Пехчево, Pehchevo)
Probištip (Пробиштип, Probishtip)
Radoviš (Радовиш, Radovish)
Sveti Nikole (Свети Николе)
Štip (Штип, Shtip)
Valandovo (Валандово)
Vinica (Виница)
Bosilovo (Босилово)
Novo Selo (Ново Село)

Osogovo Monastery
Strumica Fortress
Viničko Kale
Vardarski Rid


Territory and name

Previously, the country was called Macedonia, which led to ambiguities with the geographical region of Macedonia, the state of Ancient Macedonia, the historical province of Macedonia in neighboring Greece, and Pirin Macedonia in neighboring Bulgaria. North Macedonia occupies about 35.8% of the territory of the Macedonian vilayets of the Ottoman Empire until 1912 (52.4% is on the territory of modern Greece, and 9.6% is on the territory of Bulgaria), and its population is about 40.9% of the population of the latter.

The territory of the Republic of North Macedonia previously formed the southernmost part of Yugoslavia. Its modern borders were established shortly after the Second World War. In August 1947, President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) Josip Tito and Bulgarian Prime Minister Georgi Dimitrov met in Bled and agreed that all of Macedonia (or at least part of Greek and all Bulgarian Macedonia) would eventually , will enter into an alliance with Yugoslav Macedonia, provided that Bulgaria becomes an integral part of the Federation of Balkan States. Thus, the Socialist Republic of Macedonia was formed as part of the SFRY - thereby the Macedonians were recognized as an independent people within the SFRY. After the deterioration of interstate relations between the USSR and the SFRY, Bulgaria annulled the agreements reached in Bled.


Name controversy

In 1991, during the breakup of Yugoslavia into separate states, the territory of North Macedonia did not change. At the same time, the emergence of this separate state led to political disputes with Greece over the use of the names "Macedonia" and "Macedonians".

The official designation used in 1993-2019 at the UN at the insistence of Greece is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The same name was used during this period within the IOC and at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On November 4, 2004, the United States officially recognized the country under its constitutional name - the Republic of Macedonia. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has stated that it will continue to use its former name, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; The European Union also gave Greece guarantees that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would be able to become a full member of this organization only after agreeing on a name.

In April 2011, the Republic of Macedonia filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The Republic of Macedonia has accused Greece of creating obstacles to its accession to the EU and NATO. On December 5, 2011, the International Court of Justice ruled that Greece does not have the right to block the membership of the Republic of Macedonia in the EU, NATO and other international organizations.

On June 12, 2018, the governments of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, after a long dispute, came to a consensus on the name of the country (Prespa Treaty), as a result of which the Macedonian side decided to start the procedure for changing the name to the Republic of North Macedonia (Maced. Republic of North Macedonia) erga omnes (“according to towards all”: both in its legislation and in relations with all countries and organizations). At the same time, the names associated with the relevant Slavic ethnic group (Macedonians), language (Macedonian language) and culture, according to the agreement, are not subject to change.

On September 30 of the same year, a referendum was held in which citizens could express their attitude towards the agreement between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. 91.46% of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia who came to the polls supported the Prespa agreement with Greece, however, due to the fact that the turnout in the referendum did not reach 50%, these results were not recognized as valid. At the same time, since the referendum was of a consultative nature, it did not impose any legal restrictions on the continuation of the process of ratification of the Prespa Agreement.

On January 11, 2019, the decisive vote of the deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia on changing the name of the country took place. 81 deputies (with the minimum required 80) out of 120 supported the relevant amendments to the constitution. For the agreement to enter into force, it had to be ratified by a simple majority of the Greek Parliament. On January 25, the Greek Parliament ratified an agreement to change the name of the Republic of Macedonia, 153 deputies voted for such an agreement (with 151 necessary), and 146 deputies were against the agreement. On February 12, 2019, the agreement to rename the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia officially came into force. On February 14, 2019, the UN officially changed its adopted name from "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" to "Republic of North Macedonia".




The oldest traces of the life of people in Macedonia come from the Neolithic period, that is, from the time when there was primitive agriculture. In addition to agriculture, people at this time knew, made and used ceramics, in the form of vessels for everyday use, or as sculpted idols of deities and human figures. The spear was used as a weapon at this time.

During the Bronze Age, the peculiarity of the settlements in Macedonia is that they were built on high and hard-to-reach places, which led to large migrations of various tribes. The transitional period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age (XII - XI century BC) is marked by large population migrations from the north, known in science as the Aegean migrations, with the aim of conquering rich cities in the South-Eastern Mediterranean. In doing so, Mycenaean culture was destroyed. Part of the migrations took place along the Vardar valley, so many settlements from that period were destroyed, mainly by burning.


Antic Macedonia

Archaeological findings show that civilization existed on the territory of Macedonia since the period between 9000 BC. and 3500 BC. For the first time, the Macedonian Kingdom appears in the period of the 9th century BC, and there is a doubt as to who was the first Macedonian king - Karan, who is considered a mythical ancestor of the Argeads, or Perdika I - the first historical king of the Kingdom of Macedonia.

Approximately from the 5th century BC. The Kingdom of Macedonia became a significant political and economic actor in the wider region, and its main foreign policy activity was focused on relations with the Greek city-states, while it was often allied with other states (such as Persia) against the Greeks, or took sides in some of the mutual disputes of the cities, thus tending to destroy their unity and weaken them. Philip II of Macedon (359 BC - 336 BC), after subduing the Illyrians and the Thracians, managed to conquer all of Greece. His son, Alexander III of Macedon (336 BC - 323 BC) is one of the most significant figures in world history. He first broke the internal resistance in the expanded Macedonian Kingdom, and later in the campaign against Persia, he destroyed the huge Persian Empire and expanded the Macedonian state to three continents — Europe, Asia and Africa, extending to the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor, the Middle East, Egypt and India, and thus the Macedonian Empire was created. After his death, this huge empire, as a result of the disagreements of his generals (diados) about who will be his successor, fell into 3 parts: the Kingdom of the Seleucids, the Kingdom of the Ptolemaids and the Kingdom of the Antigonids. The conquests of Alexander III of Macedonia are essential for the beginning of the Hellenistic period in world history.

The penetration of the Roman Republic to the east led to the so-called Macedonian-Roman Wars (215 BC - 168 BC) in which the Macedonian Kingdom ruled by the Antigonid Dynasty fell completely under Roman rule, and the last Macedonian king Perseus was taken as a slave to Rome. It becomes a Roman province as part of the Roman Empire and is divided into 2 parts — Macedonia Prima and Macedonia Salutaris. The territory of today's Macedonia was divided between the provinces of Macedonia Salutaris and Moesia prima. After the division of the Roman Empire in 395 from n. is. of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, Macedonia becomes part of the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium.


The appearance of the Slavs

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the Slavs immigrated to the Balkans and Macedonia, reaching as far south as Thessaly and even the Peloponnese. They mixed with the found local population, mostly with Thracians and Illyrians, then Old Greeks, Ancient Macedonians, etc. On the Macedonian territory, which was then under Byzantine jurisdiction, the Macedonian Slavs were included in semi-state formations - Macedonian sclavini. The Sclavini undertook several attacks against Byzantium and the fortified Byzantine cities.

In 837, Macedonia began to fall under the rule of the Bulgarian state, and by the middle of the 9th century, most of Macedonia fell under Bulgarian rule, and the rest was included in Byzantium. In the 9th century, the church education activity of Cyril and Methodius of Thessalonica also began, which consisted of several missions to baptize the Slavs, but also in laying the foundations of Slavic literacy, which began with the creation of the Slavic alphabet - the Glagolitic alphabet, in 855 year. Their students, Kliment and Naum, will continue their activity and towards the end of the 9th century, they will create the Ohrid Literary School and the Preslav Literary School, with which Ohrid soon grows into one of the most developed ecclesiastical and cultural centers in the Balkans - the cradle of Slavic literacy. .

In the 10th century, Macedonia will be engulfed by the Bogomil movement and teaching, first created in the Velesko-Prilep Region, as an echo of the subjugating feudal church-economic system. It will soon spread not only in Macedonia, but also throughout Europe.

With the uprisings in Macedonia in the second half of the 10th century, in 969 against the Bulgarian and in 976 against the Byzantine rule, the Macedonian medieval feudal state, also known as Samuil's Kingdom, was created. The Macedonian medieval feudal state existed until 1018, when it was conquered by the Byzantine armies. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Byzantine rule over Macedonia was interrupted by periods of Serbian and Bulgarian rule.

By the end of the 14th century, Macedonia was completely conquered by the Ottomans, which destroyed its economic and social system, and also slowed down its further social and cultural development. In 1767, the Sultan abolished the Ohrid archbishopric.


Awareness and unification of the Macedonian nation in the 19th century

Consolidation of the vernacular
From the 14th century, the influence of the Serbian variant of the Old Slavic language began to increase in Macedonia. The reason for that was the joining of the Macedonian regions to the then Serbian state. That influence refers mainly to spelling. In addition, in the literary monuments of that time, the traces of contemporary living Macedonian speech are increasingly visible.

During the Ottoman Empire, literacy experienced a decline. Its language is moving even further away from the Old Slavic basis, because more distinct changes have already accumulated in the living folk speech. In addition to the church liturgical books, in which the old written Slavic tradition was more taken into account, more and more such texts are appearing that serve to be read by a wider circle of people or are articles for practical use.

In the 16th century, books were also printed in Serbia and Venice. In the 17th century, large quantities of church books printed in Russia in the Russo-Slavic language were already arriving.


Macedonian national movement

During the Ottoman rule, the position of the Macedonians and the creation of a Macedonian state were very difficult. Several movements, whose goals are the creation of an autonomous Macedonia, which covers the entire region of Macedonia, began to appear at the end of the XIX century, and the oldest of them is the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. In 1905 it was renamed the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMORO), and after the Second World War the organization was divided into the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) and the Internal Thracian Revolutionary Organization (VTRO). In the beginning, the organization did not choose nationalities, but was open to "... uniting all dissatisfied elements in Macedonia and Odrina, regardless of their nationality..." Most of the members were Macedonians. In 1903, VMRO organized the Ilinden Uprising against the Ottomans, which after some initial successes, including the establishment of the Kruševo Republic, was suppressed with great human losses. The uprising and formation of the Krushev Republic will later greatly influence the creation of today's Republic.



Macedonia built its path to political independence in several successive steps, adopting certain legal acts. Thus, first of all, on January 25, 1991, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted a Declaration of Sovereignty. Later, on September 8, 1991, a referendum was held for the independence of Macedonia, where the referendum question read:
"Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent state of Macedonia with the right to join a future union of sovereign states of Yugoslavia?"

According to the claim of the then President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Stojan Andov, in August 1991 he had a long and difficult conversation with the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, who was the author of the referendum question, convincing him to delete the second part of the referendum question. . Fearing military involvement by the JNA, Gligorov stuck to his wording of the referendum question. The referendum on the independence of Macedonia was boycotted by the Albanian population because of the second part of the referendum question, which allowed the possibility of re-entering the alliance with the other republics of SFRY. After the successfully conducted referendum, on November 17, 1991, the first Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia was adopted, while the Albanian deputies did not vote for it.

After the adoption of the Constitution, actions for the international recognition of Macedonia were undertaken by the president, Kiro Gligorov. On December 16, 1991, the Council of Ministers of the European Community (now the European Commission) made a decision to recognize the independence of those republics from SFRY that will request recognition, but which meet the conditions set by the European Community. At the same time, the deadline for making the definitive decision was set for January 15, 1992. With the same Declaration on Yugoslavia, the European Community determined the conditions for international recognition of the republics of SFRY:
to seek international recognition,
to accept all the obligations contained in the criteria for the recognition of new states,
to accept the terms of the Hague Conference on Yugoslavia, and especially those of the second chapter, which refer to human rights and the rights of national and ethnic groups,
to support the efforts of the Secretary-General and the Security Council of the United Nations and the continuation of the Conference on Yugoslavia.

The Declaration set a deadline for the submission of applications by the republics of SFRY (December 23, 1991). Then, the applications of those republics that requested recognition, with the help of the chairman of the Conference on Yugoslavia, were forwarded to the Arbitration Commission (headed by the French legal expert Robert Badenter), which was to give an opinion before a final decision on recognition was made. The President of the Republic of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, submitted the application for international recognition on time, and the Arbitration Commission prepared a preliminary text which it sent to the Republic of Macedonia. In the opinion of the Arbitration Commission (point 2a), a certain doubt was expressed regarding Macedonia's desire to gain independence, caused by the second part of the referendum question. Therefore, on December 11, in the newspaper "Nova Makedonija", President Gligorov published a reaction due to the preliminary decision of the Arbitration Commission. In the letter sent to Badenter, Gligorov described the consistent, successive adoption of legal acts for the independence of Macedonia and gave an explanation for the second part of the referendum question — his conviction that the situation in the SFRY would be calmed down through the mediation of the international community and that a new alliance would be created. of the republics.

After this intervention by Gligorov, intensified communication began between the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denko Maleski, and the Arbitration Commission in order to convince the Arbitration Commission that Macedonia has no territorial aspirations towards its neighbors. For this purpose, on the advice of Badenter, two amendments to the Macedonian constitution were adopted: with one, a correction was made to the constitutional provision on the method of changing the state borders, and with the second amendment, an explanation was given that Macedonia will not interfere in the internal affairs of Greece, through its interest in the position of the Macedonian minority. After the two amendments were harmonized with the Arbitration Commission, on January 6, 1992, they were adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. After clearing up these misunderstandings, the Arbitration Commission came to the opinion that Macedonia meets all the necessary conditions for international recognition. However, against this recommendation, the Council of Ministers of the European Community made a decision to recognize only Slovenia and Croatia.


State structure

North Macedonia is a parliamentary republic, with great powers vested in the Legislative Assembly.

Political parties
Rally for Macedonia - Nationalist
Internal Macedonian revolutionary organization - Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity - conservative
Internal Macedonian revolutionary organization - People's Party - conservative
Liberal Democratic Party - liberal
Social Democratic Union of Macedonia - socialist


Political system

In 2016, 58 political parties were registered in Macedonia, i.e. one party per 33,000 inhabitants. Previously, the number of parties was much higher: in 2009 there were 99 parties, and in 2005 as many as 150 parties were registered in the court register.

Relations with the EU
Macedonia currently has the status of a candidate for a member state of the European Union. The chronology of relations between Macedonia and the EU dates back to 1992, when the first representative of the Republic of Macedonia was appointed in Brussels. Currently, Macedonia is waiting to start negotiations for full membership in the EU.

Euro-Atlantic Associations
Also, Macedonia has been promised membership in NATO immediately after the resolution of the dispute over the constitutional name that the country has with the Republic of Greece.

Dispute over the constitutional name of Macedonia
Due to the pressures from the Republic of Greece (political, economic, cultural, ...), in 1993, the country was admitted to the United Nations under the temporary reference Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, although it was recognized under its constitutional name by 133 countries, including permanent members on the Security Council: United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom; EU members: Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, and Bulgaria; all former Yugoslav republics: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia; other countries that recognized Macedonia under the constitutional name are: Turkey, India, Canada, Switzerland, Indonesia, Argentina, Israel, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ukraine, etc. In 2018, the Macedonian government, led by President Zoran Zaev, after negotiations with the Greek government, led by President Alexis Tsipras, agreed that the name of the country for internal and external use would be "North Macedonia". The new name came into official use on February 11, 2019.


Administrative division

The municipalities of Macedonia are administrative units of the first order. In August 2004 and March 2013, Macedonia was reorganized into 80 municipalities; 10 of them are the City of Skopje, a special unit of local self-government and the capital of the country.

Almost all municipalities are unchanged or just merged from the previous 123 municipalities formed in September 1996; others were joined to each other and their borders changed. Before this, the local administration was organized into 34 administrative units at different levels.

By population, the largest municipality in Macedonia is Kumanovo Municipality with 105,484 inhabitants, and the smallest is Vevcani Municipality with 2,433 inhabitants.

The largest cities of the state
Skopje 467 257
Bitola 80 550
Kumanovo 70 842
Prilep 66 246
Ohrid 55 749
Tetovo 52 915


Armed forces

The main goals of the armed forces are the protection of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state, as well as participation in operations under the auspices of the EU, NATO and the UN. On March 27, 2020, North Macedonia officially became the 30th member of NATO. In the same month, it adopted a new defense strategy with a focus on capacity development and improved planning based, among other things, on NATO and EU standards. The 2019-2028 Defense Capabilities Development Plan set out long-term development goals aimed at developing collective defense, joint security and crisis management capabilities. Currently, work is underway to restructure the Ministry of Defense. The armed forces are fully professional and the country strives to train all units, especially those that can be deployed, to NATO standards. A number of units are intended to participate in NATO-led operations, and in November 2020 troops were deployed as part of KFOR. The armed forces have increased their participation in joint NATO exercises since joining the Alliance. Participation in international peacekeeping missions expanded the possibilities of logistical support. The country has a modest naval and air force and relies on weapons and military equipment (WME) from the Soviet era. Acquisition priorities include indirect fire support, light armored vehicles, cyber defense and multi-role helicopters. The domestic defense industry has practically no capacity for the design and production of modern equipment.




Macedonia has an area of 25,713 km2 and is landlocked. Macedonia borders the Republic of Bulgaria to the east, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo to the north, the Republic of Albania to the west and the Republic of Greece to the south. The length of the state borders is a total of 839 km, namely:
Republic of Greece 262 km
Republic of Kosovo 159 km
Republic of Albania 191 km
Republic of Bulgaria 165 km
Republic of Serbia 62 km

The significance of the geographical position of Macedonia, as a central Balkan country bordering four countries, different in terms of their economic potential and development, is that they are directed to mutual trade and complement their economies, precisely through the territory of Macedonia.

The following table lists the exact geographical position of Macedonia. It also includes the end points of the territory.



Macedonia is a country that is enclosed within its borders and does not open to the sea or ocean. It is geographically defined by the valley formed by the largest river in its territory — Vardar, which is bordered by several mountain ranges. Mainly, the land is uneven and located between Shar Planina and Osogovo, which are the border of the Vardar river valley. The three largest natural lakes in the country are Ohrid Lake, Prespa Lake and Dojran Lake. They lie on the southern border, and are divided between the borders with Albania and Greece. Lake Ohrid is considered one of the oldest lakes and biotopes in the world. The region is seismically active, and many catastrophic earthquakes have occurred in the past, the most recent of which was the Skopje earthquake of 1963, which destroyed 80% of the city of Skopje and killed around 1,000 people. The largest valley is Pelagonia, where many crops specific to this climatic area are grown, such as tobacco, which is mostly grown in the vicinity of Prilep.

44.01% of the total territory of Macedonia is at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 meters, 22.44% is at an altitude of 200 to 500 meters, 22.33% is at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 meters, 6.95 % is at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,000 meters, 2.89% is at an altitude of up to 200 meters and 1.38% is at an altitude of over 2,000 meters.

Macedonia also has "scenic" mountains. They belong to two different mountain ranges: the first one is the mountains of the Shar area that connects with the Western Vardar/Pelagonian group of mountains (Baba Planina, Nidze, Kozhuf and Yakupica) also known as the Dinaric range. The second chain is the Osogovo-Belasica mountain chain, known under the name Rhodope chain. The mountains in the western part are younger and higher than those in the eastern part of the country.



On the territory of the republic there are a number of resorts (ski and balneological): Popova-Shapka, Ponikva, Negorski-Bani, Lagadin, Mavrovo, Kezhovitsa, Banya-Bansko, Debarski-Bagni, etc.



In North Macedonia, the climate changes from temperate to subtropical. The average temperature in January is 11–12 °C, in July +21–23 °C. The annual rainfall is 500-700 mm in the north.



After gaining its independence from the SFRY, Macedonia emerges as its poorest republic. In April 1992, Macedonia declared monetary independence by introducing its own monetary unit - the Macedonian denar. In the first half of the 1990s, the Macedonian economy was in a deep recession, caused by numerous reasons: the collapse of the common market, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, the Greek blockade, the sanctions against FR Yugoslavia, the way of implementing the process of privatization of enterprises, the difficulties in the banking sector and many others. Since 1996, the economy slowly begins to see growth, but this is interrupted again by the Kosovo War of 1999 and the Domestic Ethnic Conflict of 2001. Today, Macedonia has not even reached the level of development since independence in 1991 (the highest level in general has reached in 1987).

According to the classification of the World Bank, Macedonia belongs to the countries with a higher middle income (upper middle income). Macedonia is a post-transition economy, with a large number of still unresolved transitional problems. Unemployment is the biggest problem, 38% (2005). Corruption is a systemic phenomenon. An inefficient judiciary also has a negative impact on the economy. The level of domestic and foreign investment is low. The market economy is disturbed by several monopolies. The shadow economy is widespread and is estimated to represent 20% to 40% of economic activity. On the other hand, macroeconomic indicators have been good for a long time, ie. it has maintained a low, single-digit inflation rate and a low budget deficit since the mid-1990s. Also, Macedonia is a country with relatively little debt. The state has a medium-skilled, but cheap labor force. The infrastructure is in relatively good condition, but still, additional investments are needed in this area (primarily in the east-west transport and communication connection). Macedonia is a member of the World Trade Organization and has an open economy, highly integrated in international trade (in 2005, total foreign trade was 79.5% of GDP).


Basic economic indicators

National currency — Macedonian denar (MKD)
Services 63.4% of GDP
Industrial production growth — 3.1% (2014)
Unemployment — 27.3% (2015)
Budget (2014) fiscal year = calendar year
Revenues — $3.272 billion
Expenditures — $3.687 billion
Deficit — 4.1% (2014)

Public debt (% of GDP) — 34% (2014)
External debt — $7.461 billion (2014)
Foreign exchange reserves — $2.265 billion (2007)
Imports — $6.091 billion (2014) Germany 32.7%, Kosovo 12.5%, Greece 4.2%, Serbia 5.6%, Bulgaria 6.1%, Italy 6.3% (2013)
Exports — $3.421 billion (2014) Serbia 9.8%, Germany 12.5%, Greece 16.8%, Italy 10.1%, Bulgaria 7.8%, Britain 11.3%, Belgium 5%, Slovenia 5 % (2013)
Trade deficit — $2.670 billion (2014)

Energy sector
Electricity — production: 5,676 billion kWh (2013)
Electricity — production by resource:
Fossil fuels: 66.4%
Hydropower plants: 33.2%
Other type: 1 % (2006)

Electricity — consumption: 6,869 billion kWh (2013)
Gasoline — consumption: 16,670 bbl/day (2013)
About 80% of the required energy is provided by domestic production, from thermal power plants and hydropower plants.
The Electricity Company of Macedonia (ESM) is an independent public company responsible for the production, transmission and distribution of electricity.
ESM is in the restructuring phase and before privatization.
The total production capacity of ESM (Electricity of Macedonia) consists of about 1500 mW, of which about 1/3 is located in hydropower plants, be it large or small power plants, while the remaining 2/3 of the capacity is in thermal power plants.
REK Bitola with its 3 x 225 MW represents the largest and highly concentrated source of electricity in the country.
The main transmission network consists of 400 kV, 220 kV and 110 kV lines throughout the country.
The distribution of energy is realized through 28 separate entities (subsidiaries), of which "Elektrodistribucija Skopje" has a predominant place with almost 33% of the total consumption of electricity in Macedonia.
Skopje is connected to Thessaloniki by an oil pipeline.




Railway: 699 km of which 233 km are electrified (1,435 m standard)
56 km to Bulgaria are under construction (since 1999)
Roads: 9,573 km (total) (2002)
192 km of highway and another 47 km of highway under construction (2003)
Airports: 17 (2002)
Pipeline: 268 km (2004)
Oil pipeline: 120 km (2004)

Road traffic
The current total length of the road network in Macedonia is 10,600 km:
6,830 km or 64.5% of it are local roads
2,820 km or 26.5% are regional roads, and
950 km or 9% are highways.

The length of modern roads is 5,100 km.

The most important highway is the international highway E-75. It starts in Ostend — Belgium, passes through Brussels — Nuremberg, Vienna — Budapest — Belgrade — Thessaloniki to Athens in Greece. The total length in Macedonia is 201 km. It passes through the central part of the country, along the Vardar River, and is the main artery of the country's road network.

Railway traffic
The length of the existing railway lines is 920 km, with 168 railway stations.
It is connected with its neighbors by railway to Greece and Serbia, while the construction of a railway to Bulgaria is underway since 1999.
The railway traffic in Macedonia is under the full responsibility of Macedonian Railways

Air traffic
There are two international airports in Macedonia, in Ohrid and in Skopje, with several international connections.
There are also domestic and recreational aviation centers in Bitola, Shtip, Kumanovo, Skopje and Prilep.
Skopje International Airport is used by 90% of passengers, and "St. "Apostol Pavle" in Ohrid is used by 10% of passengers.

Telecommunications operators: 3 (98% digitization) Makedonski Telekom, ONE, VIP
Telephone lines in use: 498,910 (2007)
Mobile operators: 3 ("T-Mobile Macedonia", "ONE" and "Vip").
Mobile phones: 1,261 million
Internet users: 392,671
Available internet services:
— Dial-up access via PSTN with a speed of 56 kb/s
— Access via ISDN network with 64 kb/s or 128 kb/s
— Access via pre-paid card
— Access via leased lines
— Broadband access via ADSL and cable internet
— Optical access



The total population of the country as of December 31, 2016 was 2,073,702. According to the 2002 census, the total population in the Republic of Macedonia was 2,022,547 inhabitants, among which:

Macedonians - 1,297,981 (64.18%)
Albanians - 509,083 (25.17%)
Turks - 77,959 (3.85%)
gypsies - 53,879 (2.66%)
Serbs - 35,939 (1.78%)
Bosnians - 17,018 (0.84%)
aromans - 9695 (0.48%)
others - 20,993 (1.04%)



The official state and most widely spoken languages ​​of North Macedonia are Macedonian and Albanian. In addition, Turkish, Romani, Serbian, Bosnian and Aromanian have the status of minority languages. The official sign language is Macedonian Sign Language.

On January 15, 2019, a law came into force in North Macedonia, according to which the Albanian language became the second state language.

According to the 2002 census, there were 2,022,547 people living in North Macedonia. 1,344,815 Macedonian citizens reported Macedonian as their native language, 507,989 Albanian, 71,757 Turkish, 38,528 Romani, 6,884 Aromanian, 24,773 Serbian, 8,560 Bosnian, 19,241 other languages.


Religious composition

Most of the inhabitants of the country (about 67%) belong to the Macedonian Orthodox Church. In 1967, the church declared its independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church, but its autocephaly is not recognized by other Orthodox churches to this day. Muslims make up 30% of the total population, and adherents of other faiths - 3%. In total, there are 1,200 Orthodox churches and monasteries and 425 mosques in the Republic of Macedonia.


Humanitarian organizations

The Red Cross Society of the Republic of Macedonia was founded on March 17, 1945. Operates independently since May 21, 1992.

On November 1, 1995, the Red Cross of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and on November 27, 1995 became a full member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


EU membership

For a number of years the country has been trying to join the European Union. After the renaming of Macedonia, the main objections of Greece were removed, and these attempts were resumed with renewed vigor. However, not all EU member states support this option. So, in early November 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron opposed the admission of the country to the European Union. Bulgaria, in turn, demands that the multi-ethnic North Macedonia include the Bulgarians in the part of the constitution that lists the nations living in the country. 84% of Bulgarians are against supporting the entry of North Macedonia into the European Union, 45% of those surveyed are against recognizing the existence of the Macedonian language - according to the official position of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the language of North Macedonia is the Macedonian literary norm (Bulgarian).


Culture in Macedonia

Thanks to its geographical position, located in the territory of the central Southern Balkans, Macedonia is a treasury of almost all the most significant cultural and historical eras that mark European civilization.

The ancient, Roman, early Christian, Byzantine, Slavic, and Ottoman eras have left rich cultural traces on the territory of Macedonia.

These cultural-historical traces distinguish Macedonia as a special environment, with rich cultural and spiritual heritage, which in the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, will contribute or be a very significant foundation for the creation of a special art and creativity that has a European context and achievements.



Macedonian literature begins with the Ohrid school of literature from 886. These first written works were mostly with religious themes. The university (one of the oldest in Europe) founded by St. Kliment Ohridski in Ohrid will be the cradle not only of Macedonian literature, but also of the literature of the entire Slavic world.

The editorial office where the first works of this university were written is a type of Old Slavic literary language that was universal for the entire Slavic world. Old Macedonian literature includes the literature of the Church Slavonic language with the Macedonian redaction.

The old Macedonian literature is divided into two major historical periods:
before the Ottoman conquest of Macedonia; and
during the Ottoman rule in the Balkan Peninsula

Ohrid with its Ohrid literary school, Kratovo with its Kratov literary school and Lesnovo with its Lesnovo literary school were the centers where works were created in the Church Slavonic language.

This period is characterized by its religious content, as well as the development and formation of the Macedonian dialects with their linguistic characteristics, which began to separate and differ from the general Slavic language practice.

In addition to this, we should also mention the Bitola copyist school, which produced extremely valuable literary manuscripts such as the Bitola octoich, Radomir's Gospel and others.

Unique written manuscripts have been preserved from this period—manuscripts that are among the most valuable artifacts in the world's museums from Petrograd, Moscow to London. In fact, the manuscripts from the Old Church Macedonian literary school are the most valued works in both an artistic and historical context in the entire civilized European world of that period. Old Macedonian Slavic written literary manuscripts have been taken from Macedonia as the most significant artistic, historical, cultural spoils through almost all the most important museum centers in Europe and the world.

It should be mentioned that, in addition to the Cyrillic base, from which literacy spread throughout the Slavic nations, Macedonia was also the center of the Glagolitic script - the script of the Slavic nations, whose symbolism and meaning is the subject of study by world linguists.

Literature in Macedonia is grouped into several phases and periods:
Old Macedonian literature (IX - XIV century), from the Christianization of Macedonia to the Turkish invasion
From the Turkish invasion to the 18th century
New Macedonian literature (1802 — 1944)
Revival period
Revolutionary period
Interwar period
Contemporary Macedonian literature (since 1944)
New Macedonian literature

Turkish time
The period from the Turkish invasion to the 18th century is mainly a period of literary works created and transcribed in church language, biblical works, erminia, church calendars and others. From this period, in addition to the mentioned copying schools, the Bukovo literary center is worth highlighting, for which Marko Cepenkov writes in his works that he was Macedonian Hilandar in terms of the number of literary works and that in the 19th century, the Greek conquerors took away an enormous amount of literary works measured by loads .

Revival period
One of the main and most significant stages of the development of the Macedonian language is during the revival, that is, throughout the XIX century. This period is known as the revival period, due to the large number of literary and national actors and their efforts to form the Macedonian standard language. Among the more significant revivalists are Krste Petkov Misirkov, Dimitrija Chupovski and Gjorgija Pulevski, who with their works and efforts contributed greatly to the development of the language. Gjorđija Pulevski is known in Macedonian studies for his dictionaries and he also created the first dictionaries of the Macedonian language. Dimitrija Cupovski is notable for his advocacy for the independence of Macedonia and the Macedonian language, similar to the views of Krste Petkov Misirkov. This period in the history of the Macedonian language is known for the frequent presence of the folk Macedonian language, a variety of dialects and different Macedonian languages.

Due to the lack of the standard Macedonian alphabet, a large number of the Macedonian revivalists used foreign adjacent alphabets to write down their thoughts, such as using the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian or Russian alphabet when creating literary works. The need to standardize the Macedonian alphabet was more than necessary and it was one of the main tasks that the Macedonian revivalists dealt with.

The reforms in the Macedonian alphabet, spelling and grammar by Krste Petkov Misirkov were one of the most significant for the Macedonian language and its modern development. They were important because: the standardization of the Macedonian language in the 20th century provided a good basis for the further development of contemporary Macedonian literature — the richest period in the history of literature itself.

The beginning of the codified Macedonian literary language begins at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, especially with the work "On Macedonian Affairs" by Krste Petkov Misirkov.

Misirkov, who was an exceptional polyglot, scientist, European intellectual, marked, emphasized and scientifically established the elements of the uniqueness of the Macedonian language. Later, especially in Vardar Macedonia, these foundations and scientific justifications will be extremely important in the further development of the Macedonian literary language.

Interwar period
The Macedonian language was not officially recognized until the formation of the Macedonian state within the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946. A huge credit for this will go to the poet, essayist and thinker Kosta Racin who, especially with the poetry published in the thirties - in the collection of poems "White Dawns" and the essays, especially about the Bogomils - will continue the path of independence and the building of the Macedonian literary language. His work was banned by the government of Yugoslavia before World War II. To this should be added the poetic work of Kole Nedelkovski, created a few years later and also published abroad due to political bans and persecutions.

Contemporary Macedonian literature
After the Second World War, Blaže Koneski and others were in charge of compiling the literary Macedonian language. Thanks to the testamentary bequest of Krste Petkov Misirkov and Kosta Racin, Blaže Koneski will publish the fundamental works for the codification of the Macedonian literary language, with which the speaking area from the Veles, Prilep, Bitola, Ohrid, Kicevo speaking areas will take them as a basis in the construction of the literary language — given their equal distance from neighboring countries and the possibility of their linguistic penetration and influence.

New Macedonian literature
Due to the freedom of writing in the Macedonian language, Macedonian literature will experience its flourishing in a very short time. If to this is added the rich tradition left since St. Kliment Ohridski, after the Second World War in Macedonia, a special literary boom will happen in a short time. First of all, the first generation of Macedonian poets will appear: Aco Shopov, Slavko Janevski, Blaže Koneski, Gane Todorovski, Janevski was also a prose writer and the author of the first Macedonian novel, "Village behind the seven ash trees".

To this should be added the founders of Macedonian dramaturgy, who, before the codification of the Macedonian literary language, would write dramatic works in the vernacular Macedonian language, with which they would play a major role in the national awakening of the Macedonian people: Vojdan Chernodrinski, Vasil Iljoski, Risto Krle. After the war, Kole Cashule, Tome Arsovski, Mile Nedelkovski, Goran Stefanovski and Dejan Dukovski will follow them with dignity and serious deeds.

Contemporary Macedonian literature, in addition to its founders, has several phases, which are mainly based on the generational change that always occurs with new energy and creative aesthetics.


Contemporary Macedonian literature

Contemporary Macedonian literature, or the literature of the Macedonian language from the end of the Second World War until today, is one of the richest literary periods in the history of the Macedonian language.

This period is initially characterized by the use of the standard written language, and what is more important, the accelerated enrichment of the Macedonian literary fund. From the first generation of Macedonian writers such as Slavko Janevski, Vlado Maleski, Blaze Koneski, Stale Popov, Aco Shopov, Gane Todorovski, Gjorgi Abadjiev, Ivan Tochko, etc. up to contemporary Georgi Barbarovski, Petre M. Andreevski, Vlada Urosevic, Bogomil Gjuzel, Radovan Pavlovski. In the middle generation, the works of Radovan Pavlovski stand out - "Susha selidba i svadbi", Živko Chingo, with the collections of short stories "Pasquelia" (1962) and "New Pasquelia" (1965), in which he talks about the contrast of tradition and new ideas .

His novel "The Big Water" shows the sadness and greatness of childhood.

Parallel to the enrichment of the Macedonian literary fund, literary criticism was also firmly established, which developed especially with the establishment of higher education institutions in the free Macedonian state.



Architecture has an extremely rich tradition in which a number of significant architectural works have been created.

Archeology of extraordinary quality includes those in Stobi in Gradsko, Heracleia Linkestis in Bitola, Lychnid in Ohrid and Skupi in Skopje.

In addition to the buildings from the Roman Empire: forums, theaters, baths, villas, the oldest Christian basilicas, especially those in: Stobi, Heraclea, Lychnid, are also noted.

Later in the Byzantine era, frescoed churches were built and belong to the world cultural heritage — St. Sofia in Ohrid, Bogorodica Perivleptos, Kurbinovo, Veljusa. Along with other cultural monuments, the medieval churches of the 12th and 13th centuries are known all over the world, characterized by exceptional architecture and unique frescoes and icons.

During the Ottoman Empire, numerous monuments of rich Islamic architecture were erected - mosques, bazaars, baths.

In parallel with this, the architecture in Macedonia was built in the spirit of the Balkan architectural creativity, especially in the town houses, such as those in Ohrid (House of Robevci), Krusevo, Veles. The world famous architect Le Corbusier, while traveling through Macedonia, was inspired by this type of architecture, applying parts of it in his masterpieces and calling them an example of the most appropriate architecture.

The city of Bitola was the first Macedonian city that included Western European building experiences with examples of eclectic baroque, classicism, Jugendstil and Renaissance elements.

Modern architecture in Macedonia, especially after the catastrophic earthquake in Skopje in 1963, is marked by buildings of the international style, with which Macedonia takes a more prominent place in international world architecture, especially with the buildings: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, the Macedonian Academy of sciences and arts, the Culture Center in Bitola and others.



Fine art in Macedonia has a rich tradition with extraordinary works of art.

The mosaics from early Christianity in Heracleia Linkestis, Ohrid, Stobi.

The frescoes in: St. George in Kurbinovo, Virgin Perivleptos in Ohrid, work of the painters Mihajlo and Eutychie, Nerezi, etc.

The first beginnings of profane painting occur at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. They are related to the economic and social changes in Macedonia, and especially to the gradual formation of the civil class and the urban environment in the same period. Undoubtedly, the breakthrough of information, through contacts with neighboring countries and Europe in general, contributed to the conception of efforts for a different understanding of art.

The beginning of this was felt in the works of painters: Dimitrij Andonov-Papradishki (around 1858 - 1954) Gjorgi Zografski (1870 - 1945) who was the second Macedonian painter who tried to be a world painter. Regardless of the mentioned certain connection of our first pre-war generation with the last painters, their actual education and artistic conceptions are quite different from the work that immediately preceded them.

Although for a long time it was thought that the beginnings of contemporary artistic creation in Macedonia began around 1920, the latest studies reveal that it was much earlier — at the end of the 19th century with the work of Aleksandar Gjakonov, Kosta Shkodreanu and Vladimir Becic. The former studied in Vienna and brought painting under the influence of the Austrian Biedermeier style.

The second, Shkodreanu, comes from Florence and, like Gjakonov, to Bitola, where as an academic painter, who studied in Rome, he brought painting that contained elements of Venetian baroque painting.

Vladimir Becić graduated from the academy in Munich and worked in Bitola for several years, until 1916.

He created a large number of landscapes with a post-impressionist style and works with early Cézanne elements, and in Bitola he opened the first independent academic art exhibition in Macedonia and beyond.

Between 1920 and 1930, there were solo exhibitions of Dimitar Pandilov Avramovski and Lazar Lichenoski in 1927, of Nikola Martinoski and Lichenoski in 1929.

Starting from 1930, fine art in Skopje gained more intensity. According to the number of independent exhibitions in Skopje and other places of the former Yugoslavia, as well as outside it, the most active were Martinoski and Lichenoski.

In continuity, contemporary Macedonian painting continued in the works of Vangel Kodzoman, Borko Lazeski, Dimitar Kondovski, Rodoljub Anastasov, Vasko Tashkovski, Vangel Naumovski... Several Macedonian post-war generations of painters are in parallel and actuality with the world's artistic currents, as their numerous international awards and exhibitions.

In sculpture, apart from the founder Dimo Todorovski, who is considered the founder of modern Macedonian sculpture, the works of Petar Hadji Boshkov, Boro Mitrićeski, Novak Dimitrovski and Tome Serafimovski are outstanding.

The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery in Daut Pashin Amam are considered the essential gallery institutions. In recent times, influences close to the new figuration, neo-Dadaism, pop art, fantasy, etc. have been slowly accepted. In some realizations there is also an attempt to abolish the boundaries between the traditional division of painting and sculpture, creating composite plastic objects, where the meeting between painting, sculpture, architecture and applied art is felt. These aspirations in the immediate plastic procedure were often manifested by the ambivalence of their first attempts, with the interference of various opposing efforts: especially due to the conscious or spontaneous attempt in the former style.


Film art

The history of filmmaking in Macedonia is about 110 years old. The first film was shot in 1895 by the brothers Janaki and Milton Manaki, in Bitola, which started a rich film tradition in the region, which continues today.

In the past century, the medium of film reflected the history, culture and daily life of the Macedonian people. Over the years, many Macedonian films have been presented at film festivals around the world, and several of these films have received prestigious awards. The most famous Macedonian film director is Milco Manchevski, whose debut film "Before the Rain" was nominated for an Oscar and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The first Macedonian feature film is "Frosina", filmed in 1952. The screenplay was written by Vlado Maleski, who wrote the lyrics for the Macedonian national anthem. One of the most prominent films of that time is the first color feature film, Miss Stone. In addition to Milco Manchevski, other prominent Macedonian filmmakers are Branko Gapo, Kiril Cenevski, Dimitrie Osmanli.



Macedonia has an exceptionally rich musical heritage.

One of the most important composers of the Byzantine musical creation was the composer Jovan Kukuzel, from Debar. The studies of Sotir Gulabovski, "Octoechos" in relation to the tradition of Macedonian spiritual and church choral hymns are a significant contribution to Macedonian and Balkan cultural history.

After the first generation of contemporary Macedonian classical composers: Trajko Prokopiev, Todor Skalovski, Stefan Gajdov, Petre Bogdanov Kochko and Zivko Firfov come the composers Kiril Makedonski, (the first Macedonian opera), Gligor Smokvarski, Vlastimir Nikolovski, Toma Proshev, Tomislav Zografski, Mihajlo Nikolovski, Ljubomir Brangjolica, Stojan Stojkov, Risto Avramovski, Tome Manchev, Dimitrije Buzharovski, Gotse Kolarovski.

The Macedonian Philharmonic was founded in 1944 in the People's Republic of Macedonia, and was the oldest cultural institution in the field of music.

During 1950, the first Macedonian ballet was founded, by Gligor Smokvarski and the opera "Goce" by Kyril Makedonski. The period after them brought a kind of renaissance of Macedonian music, focused on innovations and original creative dreams. The most prominent opera singers from this period were: Danka Firfova, Pavlina Apostolova, Georgi Bozhikov and Zina Krelja. During this period, the pianist Ladislav Palfi also stood out.



There are 13 professional theaters in Macedonia.

In the last thirty years, a traditional festival of Macedonian professional theaters has been held in Prilep in honor of Vojdan Chernodrinski, the founder of the modern Macedonian theater. In addition to them, there are several other international theater festivals: MOT, in Skopje, the comedy festival in Kumanovo, the monodrama festival in Bitola and others. A festival of amateur and experimental theater performances is held every year in Kočani.

In the Macedonian theater, the list of gifted actors, directors, playwrights, scenographers, costume designers, composers is large: Ljubisa Georgievski, Aleksandar Gyurchynov, Blagoja Markovski, Vladimir Milchin, Kiril Qortoshev, Slobodan Unkovski, Vlado Cvetanovski.


Macedonia as a theme in art and popular culture

"Macedonia is our common mother" — a short story by the Macedonian writer Hristina Aslimoska from 2005.
"Earth like a butterfly" — a poem by the Macedonian poet Jozo T. Boskovski since 1981.
"The festering island of Macedonia" — a short story by the Macedonian writer Pandalf Vulkanski.
"Everything is possible (Empire of Macedonia): raw euphoria in five scenes" — dramatic text by the Macedonian writer Dejan Mirceski from 2012.
"Voice from Macedonia" — a poem by the Macedonian poet Kole Nedelkovski.
"Macedonia" — a poem by the Macedonian poet Ante Popovski.
"On the Macedonian markets" — a song by Ante Popovski.
"Traveling with Feng in Macedonia" — a song by Ante Popovski.
"FIROM Requiem" — music album by Aleksandar Pejovski from 2014.
"For Macedonia" — a song by the Macedonian group "PMG Kolectiv" from 2011.
"Macedonia" is a 1973 song by the Yugoslav rock band Time.