Supporting North Macedonia on its Euro-Atlantic Future

By: Derek Chollet, Counselor, U.S. Department of State

For more than 30 years, the United States and North Macedonia have been unshakable partners.  Our relationship extends beyond simple words of support or encouragement.  We have invested in you, and we will continue to do so for a simple reason: we want you to succeed.  We invest in you because your country’s strength, resilience, and prosperity make all of us better off.  And it is because of our enduring bonds and common interests that we want to see you secure your future as a strong European nation.

This was my message when I visited Skopje earlier this year and again last month when I participated in meetings with Secretary of State Blinken and Prime Minister Kovachevski and Foreign Minister Osmani in Washington.  I heard firsthand about the efforts of your government and citizens to meet your Euro-Atlantic integration goals.  These efforts have our strong support.

Our two nations share many things in common.  The United States and North Macedonia are strong multi-ethnic societies with deep commitments to shared values, including human dignity and prosperity for all citizens.  As vibrant democracies, we elect our representatives to make decisions and to make the tough choices.  While political wrangling and point scoring come with the democratic process, the choices before you must not be at the expense of crucial reforms and the rule of law.  In the end, I have faith that the people’s representatives will act in the best interests of the country and propel it forward.

The United States is proud to stand with North Macedonia as it champions shared goals.  North Macedonia has long been a security partner of the United States, but in a few short years, also already demonstrated itself to be a strong NATO Ally.  The country’s terrific leadership chairing the OSCE at this pivotal moment has been vital in our efforts to counter Russia’s disinformation and to support Ukraine.  Together, we have made important strides strengthening democratic institutions, rule of law, and regional energy security.  This is only the beginning of a strong partnership that stretches beyond our countries to regional security and global challenges.

North Macedonia’s extraordinary achievements and resilience are inspiring — and that’s a testament to its people.  You have achieved so much in your three decades since independence, and you’ve done it despite the frustrations from having one door after another closed before you.  With courage and sacrifice, you opened the door to NATO and we stood by your side as you entered.  Now, another door has opened.  As Ambassador Aggeler recently remarked, at the heart of your choice is your people.  It is up to you to take another step forward, toward the European Union, and know that the United States will always be by your side.