What the Future Holds for the Prespa Agreement After North Macedonia’s Political Turmoil



The recent resignation announcement from the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev and his promise to hold a snap election, has raised questions about the fate of the Prespa Agreement.

Last year’s compromise between Athens and Skopje that led to the latter’s official name change could be under threat if the right-wing opposition VMRO party wins the next general election in North Macedonia.

Greek diplomatic sources have said that Athens holds a firm position not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.

However, it is clear that political uncertainty in North Macedonia could raise concerns over whether the Balkan nation will respect its commitment to the Prespa Agreement or not.

The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Greece, known for his strong opposition to the Prespa Agreement in 2018, has now retracted from its opposition saying it wants to see its full implementation. ”It is a bad agreement but we cannot change it.”

Thus, Greece supports the EU aspirations of North Macedonia, provided that Skopje respects the Agreement fully.

For this reason, the fact that the EU did not begin accession talks with North Macedonia is seen by many as an indirect diplomatic victory for Athens.

France’s, Denmark’s and Netherlands’ stance during the last EU Council, helped Athens, as Greece did not have to play the role of ”the bad guy,” who opposes Tirana’s and Skopje’s European aspirations since Paris, Copenhagen, and the Hague did it for her.

Greece can now present a face to the world that it is not her who hinders North Macedonia from joining the EU due to its bilateral disagreements, but the EU itself.

It now remains to be seen what direction Greece’s neighbor will soon take, and whether the Prespa Agreement will remain in place, as the current administrations in both country’s want.