Wydanie: Lublin 2011
The current geopolitical location of the Republic of Macedonia does not leave the country any real alternative apart from looking for a strong partner, capa-ble of consolidating and strengthening its democracy and independence. At present only the integration with Euro-Atlantic institutions may usefully and for long discourage the neighbouring states from the attempts to interfere with internal affairs of the republic, which took place in the first half of the 1990s, and to provide the perspective of such economic development as in the states of Central and South Eastern Europe in the second half of the previ-ous decade.Macedonia (using the term “Macedonia,” the author means the Republic of Macedonia, also recognised by some states as Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia; any references to the geographical area also known as Mac-edonia will be clearly highlighted in the text) is comparatively close to the EU, much closer than the other states of the region (except for Croatia, which in the middle of 2013 will most probably become 28th EU member, and Mon-tenegro, which like Macedonia recently – since December 2010 – has had a status of a candidate state in the relations with the EU). Democratisation of the country has facilitated regular elections which currently fulfil the OSCE demands. Free market economy has been introduced although the corrup-tion level and non-transparent connections between the worlds of politics and lobbying groups have remained at an unsatisfactorily high level. Citizen and human rights are obeyed and the Albanian part of the society and the other minorities (e.g. Bosniaks, Serbs, Turks, Vlachs, Roma) are gradually being included in the state structures. The best example for it is election/parliamen-tarian coalitions (both in governments and in opposition) existing for many years and embracing the representatives of all major ethnic groups.Simultaneously, since the announcement of the independence in 1991 the country has been facing problems which endanger not only its stability but also that of the whole region, as well as further integration of the Republic of Macedonia with the EU. These challenges result from Macedonia’s specific geopolitical location, ethnic structure of the society and the neighbouring states’ claims. The major problems connected with the European integration take or took place independently of this process ( as far as it is possible in current international relations in Europe) – here one ought to mention the disagreement with Greece over the name of the Macedonian state as well as the conflict, which has already been quelled, between ethnic Albanians and the Slavs inhabiting Macedonia (the Macedonians in this text mean Orthodox Macedonian Slavs inhabiting the Republic of Macedonia; the Albanians, on the other hand, in this article are understood as an ethnic group which inhab-its the Republic of Macedonia, not the citizens of Albania or Kosovo).