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State structure

According to the current constitution (dated 17 November 1991), North Macedonia has a multi-party system.

Legislative power is held by a parliament (Sobranje) consisting of one chamber of 120 members elected for four years. Eighty-five of the members are elected from six single-member constituencies, the remaining thirty-five from party lists on a proportional basis. The right to vote is from the age of 18.

The president is elected for five years (maximum two times in a row!), is commander in chief of the armed forces and president of the Security Council. For the rest, he has few formal powers and is mainly a ceremonial function. He cannot veto bills, only delay their passage. The government, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the president.

Administrative division

North Macedonia is divided into 38 municipalities, including the capital Skopje with five municipalities.

Largest cities by 2002
Skopje 470,000
Kumanovo 103,500
Bitola 87,000
Prilep 74,000
Tetovo 71,000
Veles 58.000
Ohrid 55.000
Gostivar 50.000
Štip 48.000
Strumica 46.000


On 13 August 2001, the Framework Agreement was signed in Ohrid, and it has dominated the domestic political agenda ever since. At the request of the Macedonian government, NATO took charge of the collection of weapons from UCK-M. The mission, Operation Essential Harvest, was successful: the planned numbers of weapons were collected. The mission, Operation Essential Harvest, was successful: the intended numbers of weapons were collected.

However, many in Macedonian society feared that after Operation Essential Harvest had ended, without a guarantee of independent (armed) observers, violence would flare up again. Large quantities of weapons would also be found among the ethnic Albanian population. Slavonic Macedonian (paramilitary) splinter groups that tried to thwart the peace process also continued to make themselves heard on a regular basis.

At the request of the Macedonian government, NATO agreed on 26 September 2001 to the follow-up mission, Amber Fox, which assisted the Macedonian government in guaranteeing the safety of the international observers from the EU and the OSCE. From 26 June 2002, the Netherlands was the lead nation of the Task Force Fox (TFF) force in North-West Macedonia. On 15 December 2002, the mandate of Task Force Fox expired, but was extended for six months by Operation Allied Harmony.

Since 1 April 2003, the EU has taken over from NATO the management of the military operation in Macedonia. Within the framework of this operation, called Concordia, the EU stationed the force EUFOR for a period of six months. EUFOR supported the EU and OSCE observer mission and promoted stability in the former crisis areas.

The current political situation is described in the history section.


Primary education lasts eight years in North Macedonia and pupils receive a certificate on successful completion of their studies. After that, students can choose between general secondary education, technical schools, vocational schools and art schools. In the second part of the fourth year, students write a study project ('Maturska Tema') which they have to defend. There is also a written exam in the mother tongue and an oral exam.

The vocational courses, which last three or four years, elaborate on a certain theme and also pass a practical exam and a written exam in the mother tongue. The certificates obtained at the technical schools give access to the entrance exams to the universities; the certificates of the vocational schools give access to the entrance exams.

Schools for art, ballet and music last four years and can be attended after passing an entrance exam. After passing the final exams, these pupils can possibly go on to university.

The education of ethnic minorities is still not optimally regulated, despite the constitutional right to primary and secondary education in their own language. The Albanian minority in particular complains about the level of Albanian education and the lack of Albanian secondary schools.

There are currently Albanian, Turkish, Serbian and a few schools for Vlach children. For Roma children, there are hardly any possibilities.

In addition to higher vocational education, there are three universities offering four- and six-year courses. The current reforms in higher education are intended to bring it more into line with higher education in Western Europe and to achieve international standards.

There are three universities in North Macedonia:

Saint Clementius of Ohrid University of Bitola, founded in 1979. In addition to faculties in Bitola, there are also faculties in Ohrid and Prilep:

Technical Faculty. - Bitola
Faculty of Economics - Prilep
Faculty of Tourism and Leisure Management - Ohrid
Teacher Training School - Bitola
Faculty of Biotechnology - Bitola
Faculty of Medicine - Bitola
Tobacco Institute - Prilep
Hydro Biological Institute - Ohrid
Slavic Cultural Institute - Prilep

Saint Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje was founded in 1949 and had only three faculties at that time. At present, the university has 23 faculties and ten institutes and institutes.

There are currently about 36,000 Macedonian and about 700 foreign students. Furthermore, there are about 2,300 teachers and academic staff working at the faculties and about 300 at the institutes.

The State University of Tetovo (Universiteti Shtetëror i Tetovës) has existed only since 17 December 1994 and was only recognised as such by the Macedonian authorities in January 2004.

Lectures at the five faculties are mainly taught in Albanian, but also in Macedonian and English.


Detrez, R. / Macedoniƫ : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur, milieu
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

Evans, T. / Macedonia
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Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info