The full-fledged membership of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Union is one of the priorities among the strategic interests of the country. In December 1995 Republic of Macedonia established diplomatic relations with EU and thus, the country became a legitimate partner of trust and a true ally to the European Union. This was confirmed upon the execution of the Cooperation Agreement in 1997, the Stabilization and Association Agreement in 2001, and the candidate status which Macedonia received in 2005. By giving the country a status of a candidate, EU acknowledged the progress in the country regarding the reform processes and the creation of an open, democratic society. In fact, the status of a candidate Macedonia’s entrance in a higher phase of the process of European integration.

Although in 2013 the Republic of Macedonia received the fifth positive assessment from the European Commission regarding the country’s progress in the Euro Integration processes, the country is still expecting a date for commencement of membership negotiations. The objective of the Republic of Macedonia is to meet the European benchmarks regarding the obligations arising from the EU membership. The country’s accession agenda is clearly reflected in the National Program for Adoption of the Acquis (legislative amendments and measures for institutional reinforcement on short and mid-term), the Pre-Accession Economic Program (measures for fulfilment of the Copenhagen Criteria), and in the National Development Plan (investing priorities for fulfilment of the national goals for development). These documents are regularly updated (annually) pursuant to the recommendations issued by the European Commission.

The direct and most important priority of the Republic of Macedonia is to commence the pre-accession negotiations as soon as possible. Another important goal, regarding the relations with EU, is receiving an accreditation for decentralized management of the remaining IPA component.