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Multi-ethnicity or Bi-nationalism? The Framework Agreement and the Future of the Macedonian State

Author(s): Jenny Engström

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: Macecdonia | Republic of Macedonia | Ohrid Agreement | peace agreement | regional security | power-sharing | bi-national state

This article critically evaluates the August 2001 Framework Agreement, the purpose of which was to end the six-month armed confrontation between the Albanian paramilitary force the National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian state. The author argues that there are several deficiencies in the Agreement, along with regional security concerns arising from organized crime and the unresolved status of Kosovo, which taken together pose a considerable obstacle to peace and stability in Macedonia. These deficiencies relate to problems of implementation of the Agreement, as well as to the question of what kind of Macedonian state it promotes. It is argued that the power-sharing provisions laid out in the Agreement push Macedonia closer to the creation of a de facto Macedonian-Albanian bi-national state, rather than promoting a civic-oriented, multiethnic state, and that the envisioned political decentralization undermines state capacity and authority, thus making the prospects for sustainable peace in Macedonia very precarious.
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