President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia 2017-2022

President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia 2017-2022

Zoran Zaev

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Zoran Zaev was the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, serving since June 2017 until January 2022.

Zaev is a seasoned politician dedicated to building a better future for North Macedonia and the Western Balkans as part of the EU. He is an avid proponent of the concept One Society for All, leading to prosperity through dialogue, compromise, peace and mutual respect.

After his election as Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia in 2017, he worked vigorously on improving the image of the country in the international arena. Consequently, in July 2018, at the NATO Summit in Brussels, PM Zaev received the invitation for the start of the accession negotiations of the Republic of North Macedonia for NATO membership and on 27 March 2020 North Macedonia became part of the NATO family of thirty nations and almost one billion people. In addition, Prime Minister Zaev is a staunch supporter of the country’s aspirations for Euro- Atlantic integration focusing on good-neighbourly politics and restoring the trust of its strategic partners from the EU and the USA.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Zaev has signed the Agreement for Strategic Partnership, Friendship and Good-Neighbourliness with Bulgaria, and in June 2018, the new Government, led by Zoran Zaev, signed the Prespa Agreement with Greece for the resolution of the name issue, thus creating a new positive dynamic for the region. PM Zaev, together with Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece, is a recipient of the Ewald Fon Kleist award, the International Peace of Westphalia for 2020, the Hessian Peace Prize 2020 and the Emerging Europe award for best practice in promoting cooperation, unity, inclusion, diversity and positive thinking. The two leaders were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Most recently, Prime Minister Zaev received the 2020 Human Rights Award of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Berlin.

From 2003 to 2005, he was a member of Macedonia’s Parliament, after which he ran for Mayor of Strumica, a position he held for three consecutive terms, from 2005 to 2016. In 2008 and 2009 the city won the highest national environmental award, while as Mayor, Mr. Zaev won the Best Practice Award from the Council of Europe for the first Public-Private Partnership in the country. He was elected as leader of the ruling Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) since 2013, after serving as the party’s Vice President between 2006 and 2008. Prime Minister Zaev has been a member of the SDSM since 1996.

Zaev is an economist with a master's degree in monetary economics.