Republic of Macedonia
Population: 2,1 million
Area: 25 713 km2
BDP (PPP): 28,9 billion dollar (estimate 2015)
BDP per capita (PPP): 14 000 dollar (estimate 2015)
Rate of growth: 3,2 percent (estimate 2015)
Head of state: Gjorge Ivanov
Head of government: Emil Dimitriev
During the reign of Tito in Yugoslavia, Macedonia was one of the six republics constituting the Yugoslav federation. Of these six, Macedonia was the poorest. The largest ethnic group is Macedonians, who are closely related to Serbs and Bulgarians. Ethnic Albanians constitute between one fourth and one third of the population, which has given rise to tensions.
The country is today governed by the center-right party VMRO-DPMNE, with which the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has cooperated since 2007. The party has played an important role since the country’s independence and has participated in several governments.
The government’s agenda focuses today on the fight against corruption, organized crime, unemployment and to deal with the economy. Measures are also being taken to prepare future memberships in EU and NATO.
In 2004, the Republic of Macedonia applied for EU-membership and it was granted EU-candidate status in 2005. The country’s continued EU-integration is being hindered by Greece, because of a dispute on the name Macedonia which also happens to be the name of a region in Greece. The conflict also affects the country’s integration into NATO.
The Greek dispute has resulted in domestic frustration and huge tensions between the VMRO-DPMNE-led government, reelected as late as in 2014, and the opposition.
The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation works for an increased participation among youths and women in VMRO-DPMNE, for the party to be a driving force for European integration and for an improved cooperation between the sister-parties in the region.