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Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Shares His Vision for the Future

May 9, 2023

SAIS hosted the prime minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, for a conversation on his country’s vision for the future. The event took place on May 9, 2023, one day after Prime Minister Kovachevski met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to discuss U.S. support for and the importance of North Macedonia’s European Union (EU) accession — both for the country and for the Western Balkans region as a whole.

In six years, Kovachevski said, North Macedonia went from being what he described as “a captured state,” to becoming a strategically important state with an eye towards the future. Kovachevski noted three key events in his country’s path to progress:
  • In the wake of the breakthrough Prespa Agreement with Greece, North Macedonia became the 30th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on March 27, 2020.
  • Two years later, on July 19, 2022, North Macedonia officially launched negotiations to join the EU.
  • North Macedonia then assumed chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on January 1, 2023, leading the organization through the greatest crisis in the organization's history.

Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia and Edward P. Joseph
“No country has been asked to do more than North Macedonia to achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” said Senior Fellow of SAIS’ Foreign Policy Institute, Edward P. Joseph, as he opened the conversation with Prime Minister Kovachevski. “And no country has delivered more.”

During the Q&A portion of the event, Joseph asked Kovachevski about the role of the United States in supporting North Macedonia’s EU negotiations; the region’s endemic problems; transparency around the massive infrastructure project in North Macedonia, to be built by the Turkish-U.S. consortium Bechtel-ENKA; and the prime minister’s vision for the tranquil resort of Ohrid to become a center for reconciliation.

The Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, in conversation with SAIS Adjunct Lecturer and Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Edward P. Joseph.