Prime Minister Zaev: We have a historical solution which strengthens the Macedonian identity, let’s say YES for the Macedonian future

The President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, together with the members of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia held a press conference about the agreement for the dispute that the Republic of Greece has with the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia. 

This press release conveys Prime Minister Zaev’s press statement: 

Dear citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, 

Today, like never before, I am filled with an emotion of sincere and firmly grounded hope for our future. For the future of our citizens, and for the present and future generations. Today, like never before, we can see that future on the horizon: In the community with the Member States of the European Union and as an indistinguishable member among the NATO allies. 

I am talking about that hope and that optimism in us that tells us better time is coming for Macedonia, optimism that motivates us to continue to move, to continue to work, to continue to fight. 

Because the chance is here and it must be used – brave and bold, that is the only patriotic way. 

We dared, because it was not all the same for us, because we did not want defeat, we want victories. 

We have oriented towards the future. That is why we have had success and we are here today. 

My respected fellow citizens, 


By solving the dispute between the Republic of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, we are building a friendship between the two countries and both people, a friendship that was never greater before. 

In our hands is the key to opening the European perspective, for economic development and a better life for the citizens. Perspective and place in the community of European people is the best protection of our dignity, identity and the future of the Macedonian citizens. 

We are solving a 2-and a half-century old dispute to pull our country from the trenches of isolation. 
We are solving a 25-years old dispute that was dragging the country down. When everyone thought there was no escape, we showed courage and we are MOVING FORWARD. 


The Macedonian language, Macedonian people, Macedonian men, and women, protected and strengthened, once and for all. We stand honorably in front of our pride – in front of Cyril and Methodius, Kliment and Naum, Krste Petkov Misirkov, in front of Goce Delchev, Blazhe Koneski, Kocho Racin. 

There is no more FYROM. There are no more international agreements in which the Macedonian language is avoided. We are solving a historical issue. We are standing on our own patrimony, and that is finally recognized by all our neighbors, from the Republic of Greece and from the international community. With this agreement, the Macedonian ethnical and cultural identity will be confirmed and strengthened once and for all. 

The gain for us is priceless – strengthened identity and guarantee for safety, stability and prosperous future for our citizens. 

Our input in the compromise is the defining of a precise, Macedonian name for our country. A name that is dignified and geographically precise – Republic of North Macedonia (translatable in all languages).  

The name is envisaged to be for overall use, and will be specified with an amendment in The Constitution. 

The Agreement envisages confirmation of the Macedonian language in the United Nations. 

Македонски, Macedonian, without footnotes. The nationality is Macedonian / Citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia. 

The Agreement will be presented to all political factors in the country, and then signed by the representatives of both governments, after which a ratification in Parliament follows. 

Right after the ratification, the Republic of Greece will send a letter to the NATO Secretary General, informing that there is no dispute between both countries and that there are no obstacles for Macedonia to receive an invitation for NATO membership. 

Also, the Republic of Greece will send a letter to the President of the European Council, informing that there are no disputes and recommending that we get a date for start of the negotiations for EU membership. 

We strongly believe that on the 28th of June, the European Council will take a decision for the start of the negotiations for Macedonia. 

We strongly believe that Macedonia will receive an invitation to become the 30th Member State of the Alliance at the NATO Summit, on the 12th of July in Brussels. 

Respected citizens, this is the right solution. We reached this solution through a dedicated, responsible and patriotic engagement. We created a historic opportunity for success for our citizens. All the details are here, in front of the eyes of the public, and THE VOICE OF THE CITIZENS IS FINAL. 

As we promised, the Agreement guarantees that there will be a referendum in autumn. 

The citizens will decide the future! 

On this referendum, to us, to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, there is a new chapter in the history of our country to be written. The New Ilinden, that calls on everyone: the state leadership, the political leaders of the opposition and the government, the citizens, to be a part of the future. 

Let’s say YES, for the Macedonian future!

After our citizens confirm this historical agreement, the Republic of Greece, in its Parliament, will ratify this Agreement and will ratify the Accession Protocol for our membership in NATO. 

With this, we are putting a stamp on our partnership and friendship. Those are the only options for good-willed neighbors. Partnership and friendship that will be a GUARANTEE FOR NATO AND EU, GUARANTEE FOR PROGRESS. 

Respected citizens, 

With the solution for the name issue, we become a Member State of NATO. The Macedonian flag will stand on the 30th pole in front of the NATO Headquarters. We are putting Macedonia on the map of stable and developing countries once and for all. There is no turning back. 

We will stand arm-to-arm with our western partners. Stable Macedonia, member of NATO means a guarantee for the safety and stability of the country. The guarantee of the safety that NATO membership brings is a guarantee for investments and economic development. 

The membership of Macedonia in the EU guarantees strong institutions, rule of law, increased mobility and equal opportunities for our youth. The youth in Macedonia will be equal to their peers from the EU, there will be no need to get passports from other countries. 

My respected fellow citizens, 

This question is not easy, but in Macedonia, there is leadership that stepped forward, decisively. 

Enough with empty words. In the empty echo of the empty words, 25 years have passed by. 

Generations were born and lost in the hollowness of the empty words, in the indecisiveness and selfish calculations. 

Macedonia has no more generations to lose. 

We have shown that we are prepared to take the lead and the responsibility and that is why I call for citizens’ fortitude.

I call for unification around the top state and national priorities – I call The President of the country, the Opposition and all political factors in the country. Let us give maximum support for the progress of our country and make a strong decision. 

YES, for the Macedonian future!

Join in, take participation, let us lead Macedonia forward together, towards the World and towards a better life for all citizens. That is our responsibility, that is what we serve for to our citizens. 

Thank you.