Online Discussion

“What’s Happening in…North Macedonia: Will New Elections Chart a New Path?”

    Speakers

    • Petar Arsovski, Political Analyst and Columnist, Skopje
    • Rita Behadini, President of the Center for Equal Opportunities “Mollëkuqja”, Skopje
    • Simonida Kacarska, Director of the European Policy Institute, Skopje

    Moderation

    Lura Pollozhani, Centre for Southeast European Studies, Graz

    Significant political changes are to be expected for 2024 in North Macedonia. On January 28, 2024, 100 days ahead of the regular parliamentary elections, the Assembly appointed a caretaker government, headed for the first time by an ethnic Albanian Prime Minister, to prepare for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for April 24 and May 8, 2024. Since the defeat of the formerly dominant VMRO-DPMNE in 2016, the successor governments led by the SDSM have faced repeated challenges, some of which were more successfully resolved than others. For instance, under the SDSM the country ended the decades-long name dispute with Greece by signing the Prespa Agreement in 2018, which paved the way for North Macedonia’s NATO accession in 2020. At the same time, other developments have caused considerable setbacks, such as Bulgaria’s veto to North Macedonia’s EU bid in 2020, as well as recent corruption scandals in the country’s health-care sector. Simultaneously, DUI, the SDSM’s partner and strongest ethnic Albanian party, faces the most challenging electoral cycle since 2002. Meanwhile, the largely unreformed VMRO-DPMNE seems to return to its old strength, scoring first place in current public opinion polls. However, the outcome of the elections remains uncertain, as smaller parties, such as Levica, are gaining in popularity and will most likely attract parts of the vote share of the established parties.

    How to interpret the shifts in the political landscape and opinion polls in North Macedonia? What can be expected from the upcoming elections? What do the elections and the potential outcomes mean for North Macedonia’s EU accession and relations within the region? And most importantly, what is at stake for the citizens of North Macedonia?  

    Am 18.04.2024, 17:00 h

    Venue: Online via Zoom

    Northern MacedoniaDemocracy / Rule of Law