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Macedonia aspires to join the EU, but many challenges remain. These include sky-high youth unemployment, corruption, abuse of power and an unresolved conflict with Greece over the right to the name Macedonia.

Under the current government the democratic development has taken several steps backwards with regards to for example transparency and freedom of speech.

Within the party-oriented democracy support the Swedish Social Democratic Party, through Olof Palme International Center, work with the Macedonian Social Democratic Union (SDSM) in a program called “In the EU’s waiting room”. The program includes sister parties and party-affiliated education organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Serbia. The goal is to contribute to greater internal democracy, decentralisation, equality and more young people in the participating political parties.

One of the organisations we cooperate with is the Macedonian think tank Progres Institute which arrange trainings, debates, workshops and summer camps and runs a social democratic political academy.

The program also involves local and regional associations of the parties. For example SDSM Bitola in Macedonia and the Social Democrats in Upplands-Bro have been cooperating for many years. The cooperation has stimulated closer contact between SDSM Bitola and the citizens in Bitola, which in turn has resulted in a lager membership base with more active members.

Facts Macedonia:

EU candidate country since 2005. The country was one of six republics of Yugoslavia and it proclaimed itself as independent in 1991.

Active member organisations in Macedonia:

The Swedish Social Democratic Party, Social Democrats in Jämtland, southern Älvsborg and Upplands-Bro.

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