Creative Industries Macedonia
Population: 2,091,719 (July 2014 est.)
Internet country code: .mk
a yellow sun (the Sun of Liberty) with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field; the red and yellow colors have long been associated with Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia / Република Македонија (Macedonian) / Republika Makedonija
Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece’s objection to the new state’s use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols delayed international recognition, which occurred under the provisional designation of “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution are ongoing. Since 2004, the US and over 130 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Ethnic Albanian grievances over perceived political and economic inequities escalated into an insurgency in 2001 that eventually led to the internationally brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting and established guidelines for constitutional amendments and the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. Although Macedonia became an EU candidate in 2005, the country still faces challenges, including fully implementing the Framework Agreement, resolving the outstanding name dispute with Greece, improving relations with Bulgaria, halting democratic backsliding, bolstering independence of the judiciary and media freedom, and stimulating economic growth and development. Macedonia’s membership in NATO was blocked by Greece at the Alliance’s Summit of Bucharest in 2008.