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Macedonia vs. Bulgaria

Introduction

MacedoniaBulgaria
BackgroundMacedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greek objection to Macedonia’s name, insisting it implies territorial pretensions to the northern Greek province of the same name, and democratic backsliding have stalled the country’s movement toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Immediately after Macedonia declared independence, Greece sought to block Macedonian efforts to gain UN membership if the name “Macedonia” was used. Macedonia was eventually admitted to the UN in 1993 as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” and at the same time it agreed to UN-sponsored negotiations on the name dispute. In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution are ongoing. Since 2004, the US and over 130 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Ethnic Albanian grievances over perceived political and economic inequities escalated into an insurgency in 2001 that eventually led to the internationally brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA), which ended the fighting and established guidelines for constitutional amendments and the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. Relations between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians remain fragile, however.
Macedonia has been engulfed in a political crisis that began after the 2014 legislative and presidential election, and which escalated in 2015 when the opposition party began releasing wiretap content that it alleged showed widespread government corruption. Although Macedonia became an EU candidate in 2005, the country still faces challenges, including overcoming the political crisis, fully implementing the OFA, resolving the outstanding name dispute with Greece, improving relations with Bulgaria, halting democratic backsliding, and stimulating economic growth and development. At the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest, Romania, the Allies agreed that Macedonia would be invited to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable resolution to the name dispute was reached with Greece.
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Geography

MacedoniaBulgaria
LocationSoutheastern Europe, north of Greece
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates41 50 N, 22 00 E
43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 25,713 sq km
land: 25,433 sq km
water: 280 sq km
total: 110,879 sq km
land: 108,489 sq km
water: 2,390 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Vermont
almost identical in size to Virginia; slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 838 km
border countries (5): Albania 181 km, Bulgaria 162 km, Greece 234 km, Kosovo 160 km, Serbia 101 km
total: 1,806 km
border countries (5): Greece 472 km, Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
354 km
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatewarm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall
temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrainmountainous with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River
mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 741 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vardar River 50 m
highest point: Golem Korab (Maja e Korabit) 2,764 m
mean elevation: 472 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
Natural resourceslow-grade iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, manganese, nickel, tungsten, gold, silver, asbestos, gypsum, timber, arable land
bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 44.3%
arable land 16.4%; permanent crops 1.4%; permanent pasture 26.5%
forest: 39.8%
other: 15.9% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 46.9%
arable land 29.9%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 15.5%
forest: 36.7%
other: 16.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land1,280 sq km (2012)
1,020 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshigh seismic risks
earthquakes; landslides
Environment - current issuesair pollution from metallurgical plants
air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked; major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to Aegean Sea and Southern Europe to Western Europe
strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
Population distributiona fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger populations

Demographics

MacedoniaBulgaria
Population2,100,025 (July 2016 est.)
7,144,653 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.27% (male 187,752/female 174,935)
15-24 years: 13.69% (male 148,340/female 139,195)
25-54 years: 43.65% (male 465,622/female 451,028)
55-64 years: 12.3% (male 126,548/female 131,749)
65 years and over: 13.09% (male 117,787/female 157,069) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 14.54% (male 535,131/female 503,540)
15-24 years: 9.73% (male 362,805/female 332,358)
25-54 years: 43.33% (male 1,589,183/female 1,506,285)
55-64 years: 13.38% (male 447,865/female 507,805)
65 years and over: 19.03% (male 552,217/female 807,464) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 37.5 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 38.6 years (2016 est.)
total: 42.4 years
male: 40.6 years
female: 44.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.18% (2016 est.)
-0.6% (2016 est.)
Birth rate11.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
14.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 8.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.2 years
male: 73.6 years
female: 79 years (2016 est.)
total population: 74.5 years
male: 71.2 years
female: 78 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.46 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.01% (2013 est.)
NA
Nationalitynoun: Macedonian(s)
adjective: Macedonian
noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groupsMacedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.9%, Romani 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.2% (2002 est.)
note: Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 6.5–13% of Macedonia’s population
Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Romani 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)
note: Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 9–11% of Bulgaria's population
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS200 (2013 est.)
NA
ReligionsMacedonian Orthodox 64.8%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.4%, other and unspecified 1.5% (2002 est.)
Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 100 (2013 est.)
NA
LanguagesMacedonian (official) 66.5%, Albanian 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Romani 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other 1.8% (2002 est.)
note: minority languages are co-official with Macedonian in municipalities whre they are spoken by at least 20% of the population; Albanian is co-official in Tetovo, Brvenica, Vrapciste, and other municipalities; Turkish is co-official in Centar Zupa and Plasnica; Romani is co-official in Suto Orizari; Aromanian is co-official in Drusevo; Serbian is co-official in Cucer Sandevo
Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Romani 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.8%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.7%
female: 98.1% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2014)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 57.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 73.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 99.8% of population
rural: 98.9% of population
total: 99.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.2% of population
rural: 1.1% of population
total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 82.6% of population
total: 90.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 17.4% of population
total: 9.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 86.8% of population
rural: 83.7% of population
total: 86% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.2% of population
rural: 16.3% of population
total: 14% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationSKOPJE (capital) 503,000 (2015)
SOFIA (capital) 1.226 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
11 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures6.5% of GDP (2014)
8.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.8 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
4 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density4.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate20.8% (2014)
25.6% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth26.6 years (2013 est.)
26.5 years (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate40.2% (2011)
69.2%
note: percent of women age 20-49 (2007)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 41.4
youth dependency ratio: 24
elderly dependency ratio: 17.4
potential support ratio: 5.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.9
youth dependency ratio: 21.5
elderly dependency ratio: 30.4
potential support ratio: 3.3 (2015 est.)

Government

MacedoniaBulgaria
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Macedonia
conventional short form: Macedonia
local long form: Republika Makedonija
local short form: Makedonija
note: the provisional designation used by the UN, EU, and NATO is the ""former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"" (FYROM)
former: People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia
etymology: the country name derives from the ancient kingdom of Macedon (7th to 2nd centuries B.C.)
"
conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Bulgaria
local short form: Bulgaria
etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D.
Government typeparliamentary republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Skopje
geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 21 26 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Sofia
geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions70 municipalities (opstini, singular - opstina) and 1 city* (grad); Aracinovo, Berovo, Bitola, Bogdanci, Bogovinje, Bosilovo, Brvenica, Caska, Centar Zupa, Cesinovo-Oblesevo, Cucer Sandevo, Debar, Debarca, Delcevo, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dojran, Dolneni, Gevgelija, Gostivar, Gradsko, Ilinden, Jegunovce, Karbinci, Kavadarci, Kicevo, Kocani, Konce, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Lozovo, Makedonska Kamenica, Makedonski Brod, Mavrovo i Rostusa, Mogila, Negotino, Novaci, Novo Selo, Ohrid, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Skopje*, Sopiste, Staro Nagoricane, Stip, Struga, Strumica, Studenicani, Sveti Nikole, Tearce, Tetovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Veles, Vevcani, Vinica, Vrapciste, Zelenikovo, Zelino, Zrnovci
28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol
Independence8 September 1991 (referendum by registered voters endorsed independence from Yugoslavia)
3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 8 September (1991); also known as National Day
Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by at least 30 members of the Assembly, or by petition of at least 150,000 citizens; draft amendments require approval by majority vote of Assembly members, followed by public debate; final passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
"history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 13 July 1991
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; passage requires three-fourths majority vote of National Assembly members in three ballots; signed by the National Assembly chairperson; note - under special circumstances, a ""Grand National Assembly"" is elected with the authority to write a new constitution and amend certain articles of the constitution, including those affecting basic civil rights and national sovereignty; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in each of several readings; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
"
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
civil law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Gjorge IVANOV (since 12 May 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Zoran ZAEV (since 31 May 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Assembly by simple majority vote; note - the 2014 cabinet formed by the government coalition parties VMRO-DPMNE, DUI, and several small parties; as a result of an agreement reached in July 2015 between the largest parties to resolve a 16-month opposition boycott of the Assembly, several minister and deputy minister positions were also given to the opposition SDSM from November 2015 though May 2016 in preparation for elections originally scheduled for 24 April 2016, and then pushed back to 5 June 2016, and then again from September through December 2016
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 13 and 27 April 2014 (next to be held in 2019); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coaliton is usually elected prime minister by the Assembly
election results: Gjorge IVANOV reelected president in second round; percent of vote - Gjorge IVANOV (independent) 55.3%, Stevo PENDAROVSKI (SDSM) 41.1%, other 3.6%
chief of state: President Rumen RADEV (since 22 January 2017); Vice President Iliana YOTOVA (since 22 January 2017)
head of government: Boyko BORISSOV (since 4 May 2017); note - BORISSOV served two previous terms as prime minister (27 July 2009-13 March 2013 and 7 November 2014-27 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 and 13 November 2016 (next to be held fall 2021); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly
election results: Rumen RADEV elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Rumen RADEV (independent, supported by Bulgarian Socialist Party) 59.4%, Tsetska TSACHEVA (GERB) 36.2%, neither 4.5%; Boyko BORISSOV elected prime minister; National Assembly vote - 133 to 100
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly or Sobranie (123 seats; 120 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 3 directly elected in diaspora constituencies worldwide by simple majority vote, provided candidates meet a specified minimum vote count; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 December 2016, with a second round held in one polling station on 25 December 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - VMRO-DPMNE 38.1%, SDSM coalition 36.7%, BDI 7.3%, Besa Movement 4.9%, Alliance for Albanians 3.1%, PDSh 2.7%, other 7.2%; seats by party - VMRO-DPMNE 51, SDSM coalition 49, BDI 10, Besa Movement 5, Alliance for Albanians 3, PDSh 2
description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the National Assembly was dissolved on 27 January 2017 and Bulgaria will not have a legislative body until after a general election scheduled for 26 March 2017
elections: last held on 26 March 2017 (next to be held spring 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 32.7%, BSP 27.2%, United Patriots 9.1%, DPS 9%, Volya 4.1%, other 17.9%; seats by party - GERB 95, BSP 80, United Patriots 27, DPS 26, Volya 12
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 22 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 7-member body of legal professionals, and appointed by the Assembly; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Assembly for nonrenewable, 9-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Basic Courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and approximately 72 judges organized into penal, civil, and commercial colleges); Supreme Administrative Court (organized in 2 colleges with various panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 justices); note - Constitutional Court resides outside the judiciary
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Cassation and Supreme Administrative judges elected by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC (consists of 25 members with extensive legal experience) and appointed by the president; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court justices elected by the National Assembly and appointed by the president and the SJC; justices appointed for 9-year terms with renewal of 4 justices every 3 years
subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Albanians [Ziadin SELA]
Besa Movement [Bilal KASAMI]
Democratic Party of Albanians or PDSh [Menduh THACI]
Democratic Union for Integration or BDI [Ali AHMETI]
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity or VMRO-DPMNE [Nikola GRUEVSKI]
Social Democratic Union of Macedonia or SDSM [Zoran ZAEV]
note: during the 2016 parliamentary elections VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM each led coalitions
Alternative for Bulgarian Revival or ABV [Konstantin PRODANOV]
Attack (Ataka) [Volen Nikolov SIDEROV]
Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union [Nikolay NENCHEV]
Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Korneliya NINOVA]
Bulgaria of the Citizens or DBG [Meglena KUNEVA]
Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISSOV]
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Radan KANEV]
Democrats for Responsibility, Solidarity, and Tolerance or DOST [Lyutvi MESTAN]
IMRO - Bulgarian National Movement or IMRO-BNM [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]
Movement for Rights and Freedoms or DPS [Mustafa KARADAYA]
National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria or NFSB [Valeri SIMEONOV]
New Republic (alliance of DSB and other center-right parties) [Radan KANEV]
Patriotic Front (alliance of IMRO-BNM, NFSB, and other smaller parties, but not including Attack)
Reformist Bloc or RB (a four-party alliance including DBG and SDS)
United Patriots Front (alliance of IMRO-BNM, NFSB, and Attack)
Union of Democratic Forces or SDS [Bozhidar LUKARSKI]
Yes! Bulgaria [Hristo IVANOV]
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation of Free Trade Unions [Blagoja RALPOVSKI]
Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia or SSM [Zivko MITREVSKI]
Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture or SONK [Jakim NEDELKOV]
Student Plenum
Eco Guerilla [Arianit XHAFERI]
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB
Podkrepa Labor Confederation
other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas
International organization participationBIS, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Vasko NAUMOVSKI (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 2129 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-0501
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2131
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Detroit, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Tihomir Anguelov STOYTCHEV (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Jess L. BAILY (since 12 February 2015)
embassy: Str. Samolilova, Nr. 21, 1000 Skopje
mailing address: American Embassy Skopje, US Department of State, 7120 Skopje Place, Washington, DC 20521-7120 (pouch)
telephone: [389] (2) 310-2000
FAX: [389] (2) 310-2499
chief of mission: Ambassador Eric RUBIN (since February 2016)
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1408
mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320
Flag descriptiona yellow sun (the Sun of Liberty) with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field; the red and yellow colors have long been associated with Macedonia
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue
note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
National anthem"name: ""Denes nad Makedonija"" (Today Over Macedonia)
lyrics/music: Vlado MALESKI/Todor SKALOVSKI
note: written in 1943 and adopted in 1991 , the song previously served as the anthem of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia while part of Yugoslavia
"
"name: ""Mila Rodino"" (Dear Homeland)
lyrics/music: Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV
note: adopted 1964; composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)eight-rayed sun; national colors: red, yellow
lion; national colors: white, green, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Macedonia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Bulgaria
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

MacedoniaBulgaria
Economy - overviewSince its independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment. Its low tax rates and free economic zones have helped to attract foreign investment, which is still low relative to the rest of Europe. Corruption and weak rule of law remain significant problems. Some businesses complain of opaque regulations and unequal enforcement of the law.

Macedonia’s economy is closely linked to Europe as a customer for exports and source of investment, and has suffered as a result of prolonged weakness in the euro zone. Unemployment has remained consistently high at about 23%, but may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be between 20% and 45% of GDP, which is not captured by official statistics.

Macedonia is working to build a country-wide natural gas pipeline and distribution network. Currently, Macedonia receives its small natural gas supplies from Russia via Bulgaria. In 2016, Macedonia signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece to build an interconnector that could connect to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline that will traverse the region once complete, or to an LNG import terminal in Greece.

Macedonia maintained macroeconomic stability through the global financial crisis by conducting prudent monetary policy, which keeps the domestic currency pegged to the euro, and inflation at a low level. However, in the last two years, the internal political crisis has hampered economic performance, with GDP slowing in 2016, and both domestic private and public investments declining. Fiscal policies were lax, with unproductive public expenditures, including subsidies and pension increases, and rising guarantees for the debt of state owned enterprises, and fiscal targets were consistently missed. In 2016, public debt reached 50.5% of GDP before being revised down to 47.8% of GDP by year’s end, still relatively low compared to its Western Balkan neighbors and the rest of Europe. In 2016, Macedonia issued a Eurobond worth approximately $495 million to finance 2016 and part of 2017 budget needs.
Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU in 2007, has an open economy that has historically has demonstrated strong growth, but its per-capita income remains one of the lowest among EU members and its reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for its exports makes its growth sensitive to external market conditions.

The government undertook significant structural economic reforms in the 1990s to move the economy from a centralized, planned economy to a more liberal, market-driven economy. These reforms included the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the liberalization of trade, and strengthening of the tax system - changes that initially caused some economic hardships but later helped to attract investment, spur growth, and make gradual improvements to living conditions. From 2000 through 2008, Bulgaria maintained robust, average annual real GDP growth in excess of 6%, which was followed by a deep recession in 2009 as the financial crisis caused domestic demand, exports, capital inflows and industrial production to contract, prompting the government to rein in spending. Real GDP growth remained slow - less than 2% annually - until 2015, when demand from EU countries for Bulgarian exports, plus an inflow of EU development funds, boosted growth to more than 3%. In recent years, low international energy prices have contributed to Bulgaria’s economic growth and helped to ease inflation, but, in 2017, rising international gas prices could dampen Bulgaria’s growth prospects.

Bulgaria is heavily reliant on energy imports from Russia, a potential vulnerability, and is a participant in EU-backed efforts to diversify regional natural gas supplies. In late 2016, the Bulgarian Government provided funding to Bulgaria’s National Electric Company to cover the $695 million compensation owed to Russian nuclear equipment manufacture Atomstroyexport for the cancellation of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project, which the Bulgarian Government terminated in 2012. In 2016 the Bulgarian Government established the State eGovernment Agency. This new agency is responsible for the implementation of projects related to electronic governance as well as coordination of national policies in the area with the EU requirements and practices, as well as to strengthen cybersecurity.

Despite a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, low productivity, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$29.52 billion (2016 est.)
$28.82 billion (2015 est.)
$27.77 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars; Macedonia has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data
$143.1 billion (2016 est.)
$138.9 billion (2015 est.)
$134.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.4% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2015 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)
3% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
1.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$14,500 (2016 est.)
$14,000 (2015 est.)
$13,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$20,100 (2016 est.)
$19,400 (2015 est.)
$18,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.4%
industry: 25.2%
services: 66.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 5.1%
industry: 27.5%
services: 67.5% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line21.5% (2015 est.)
22% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 34.5% (2009 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2015)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.2% (2016 est.)
-0.3% (2015 est.)
-0.8% (2016 est.)
-0.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force950,300 (2016 est.)
3.017 million
note: number of employed persons (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 16.6%
industry: 29.6%
services: 53.8% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 6.8%
industry: 26.6%
services: 66.6% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate23.1% (2016 est.)
24.6% (2015 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
10% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index33.7 (2015)
35.2 (2014)
37 (2015)
35.4 (2014)
Budgetrevenues: $3.041 billion
expenditures: $3.33 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $18.25 billion
expenditures: $17.46 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfood processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, iron, steel, cement, energy, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts
electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, automotive parts, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel; outsourcing centers
Industrial production growth rate3.4% (2016 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrapes, tobacco, vegetables, fruits; milk, eggs
vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock
Exports$4.787 billion (2016 est.)
$4.49 billion (2015 est.)
$23.72 billion (2016 est.)
$23.95 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, beverages, tobacco; textiles, miscellaneous manufactures, iron, steel; automotive parts
clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels, agriculture, tobacco, IT components
Exports - partnersGermany 33.2%, Kosovo 11.5%, Bulgaria 5.1%, Greece 4.5% (2015)
Germany 12.5%, Italy 9.2%, Turkey 8.5%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 6.5%, France 4.2% (2015)
Imports$6.757 billion (2016 est.)
$6.4 billion (2015 est.)
$25.66 billion (2016 est.)
$26.81 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, automobiles, chemicals, fuels, food products
machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
Imports - partnersGermany 15.9%, UK 13.6%, Greece 10.9%, Serbia 8.7%, Bulgaria 6.7%, Turkey 5.5%, Italy 4.7% (2015)
Germany 12.9%, Russia 12%, Italy 7.6%, Romania 6.8%, Turkey 5.7%, Greece 4.8%, Spain 4.8% (2015)
Debt - external$7.646 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.873 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$36.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesMacedonian denars (MKD) per US dollar -
56.82 (2016 est.)
55.537 (2015 est.)
55.537 (2014 est.)
46.437 (31 December 2013 est.)
47.89 (2012 est.)
leva (BGN) per US dollar -
1.802 (2016 est.)
1.7644 (2015 est.)
1.7644 (2014 est.)
1.4742 (2013 est.)
1.52 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt47.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
46.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: official data from Ministry of Finance; data cover central government debt; this data excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; includes treasury debt held by foreign entitites; excludes debt issued by sub-national entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; there are no debt instruments sold for social funds
26.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note:: defined by the EU's Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives, and loans; general government sector comprises the subsectors: central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.732 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.471 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$25.13 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$22.16 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$336 million (2016 est.)
-$207 million (2015 est.)
$2.201 billion (2016 est.)
-$67 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$10.49 billion (2016 est.)
$50.45 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$5.628 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.232 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$42.21 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$41.47 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$749.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$599.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.033 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.925 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$2.078 billion (31 December 2016)
$1.853 billion (31 December 2015)
$2.269 billion (31 December 2014)
$5.205 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.797 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.45 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate3.25% (31 March 2017)
3.75% (31 December 2016)
note: series discontinued in January 2010; the discount rate has been replaced by a referent rate for calculating the penalty rate
0% (31 December 2016)
0.01% (31 December 2015)
note: Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has had no independent monetary policy since the introduction of the Currency Board regime in 1997; this is BNB's base interest rate
Commercial bank prime lending rate4% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
6.58% (31 December 2016 est.)
6.59% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.073 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.043 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$27.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$29.72 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.825 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$21.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$20.09 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$6.308 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.964 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$42.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$41.32 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 53.1%
male: 52%
female: 55% (2014 est.)
total: 23.8%
male: 23.8%
female: 23.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 68%
government consumption: 15.7%
investment in fixed capital: 18%
investment in inventories: 12.8%
exports of goods and services: 49.3%
imports of goods and services: -63.8% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 60.8%
government consumption: 15.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 69.1%
imports of goods and services: -66.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving30.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
29.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
22.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

MacedoniaBulgaria
Electricity - production5.303 billion kWh (2016 est.)
44.35 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption6.455 billion kWh (2016 est.)
33.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports58.5 million kWh (2016 est.)
10.94 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports2.191 billion kWh (2016 est.)
4.566 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
129,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016)
Oil - proved reserves2,551 bbl (31 December 2016 )
15 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (31 December 2016 )
5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2016)
94 million cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - consumption213.4 million cu m (2016 est.)
3.209 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2016)
0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports213.4 million cu m (2016 est.)
3.093 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity2.057 million kW (2016 est.)
12.13 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels64.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
36.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants32.8% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
30% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
17.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources2.9% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
16.4% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
139,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption20,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
84,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports3,900 bbl/day (2016 est.)
92,350 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports23,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
41,320 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy7.9 million Mt (2013 est.)
49.92 million Mt (2016 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

MacedoniaBulgaria
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 372,557
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,654,535
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 2.223 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (July 2015 est.)
total: 9.195 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 128 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: competition from the mobile-cellular segment of the telecommunications market has led to a drop in fixed-line telephone subscriptions
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership about 120 per 100 persons
international: country code - 389 (2017)
general assessment: inherited an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network from the Soviet era; quality has improved with a modern digital trunk line now connecting switching centers in most of the regions; remaining areas are connected by digital microwave radio relay
domestic: the Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 in an effort to upgrade fixed-line services; mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, is over 125 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2015)
Internet country code.mk
.bg
Internet users1.475 million
70.4% (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.072 million
percent of population: 56.7% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediapublic service TV broadcaster Macedonian Radio and Television operates 3 national terrestrial TV channels and 2 satellite TV channels; additionally, there are 5 privately owned TV channels that broadcast nationally using terrestrial transmitters, 4 TV channels with concession for cable TV, 5 satellite TV channels broadcasting on a national level, 47 local commercial TV channels, and a large number of cable operators that offer domestic and international programming; the public radio broadcaster operates over multiple stations; there are 3 privately owned radio stations that broadcast nationally and about 75 local commercial radio stations (2017)
4 national terrestrial TV stations with 1 state-owned and 3 privately owned; a vast array of TV stations are available from cable and satellite TV providers; state-owned national radio broadcasts over 3 networks; large number of private radio stations broadcasting, especially in urban areas (2010)

Transportation

MacedoniaBulgaria
Railwaystotal: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (223 km electrified) (2017)
total: 5,114 km
standard gauge: 4,989 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 125 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 14,182 km (includes 242 km of expressways)
paved: 9,633 km
unpaved: 4,549 km (2014)
total: 19,512 km
paved: 19,235 km (includes 458 km of expressways)
unpaved: 277 km
note: does not include Category IV local roads (2011)
Pipelinesgas 262 km; oil 120 km (2017)
gas 2,765 km; oil 346 km; refined products 378 km (2017)
Airports10 (2013)
68 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
total: 57
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 17
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 9 (2013)

Military

MacedoniaBulgaria
Military branchesArmy of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM; includes General Staff and subordinate Joint Operational Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Special Operations Regiment) (2012)
Bulgarian Armed Forces: Land Forces (aka Army), Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Voennovazdyshni Sily, VVS) (2017)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2013)
18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.07% of GDP (2015)
1.09% of GDP (2014)
1.17% of GDP (2013)
1.23% of GDP (2012)
1.26% of GDP (2011)
1.35% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.29% of GDP (2015)
1.32% of GDP (2014)
1.46% of GDP (2013)
1.35% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

MacedoniaBulgaria
Disputes - internationalKosovo and Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008; Greece continues to reject the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia
none
Illicit drugsmajor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement
major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals; vulnerable to money laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions (2008)
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 600 (2016)
note: 478,090 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015 - July 2017)
refugees (country of origin): 15,027 (Syria) (2016)
stateless persons: 67 (2016)
note: 47,509 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015 - July 2017)

Source: CIA Factbook