Europe

Macedonia profile - Timeline

  • 15 April 2016
  • From the section Europe

A chronology of key events:

1913 - Ottoman rule in Europe ends after five centuries. Macedonia is partitioned between Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. What is now FYROM is incorporated into Serbia.

1914 - World War I. Macedonia is occupied by Bulgaria.

1918-19 - End of the war, Macedonia becomes part of Serbia again. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes is founded, and is renamed Yugoslavia in 1929.

1941 - Germany invades Yugoslavia.

1945 - Establishment of Yugoslav socialist federation, comprising six republics, including Macedonia, with Tito as president.

1980 - Death of Tito, rise of nationalism among federation's constituent republics.

1991 - Majority of voters support independence in referendum.

New constitution enacted in the face of opposition by ethnic Albanian deputies. Declaration of independence. International recognition slow because Greece objects to the use of the name Macedonia, the same as one of its own provinces.

1992 - Unofficial referendum among ethnic Albanians shows overwhelming wish for their own territorial autonomy.

Government resigns after mass demonstrations over failure to win recognition for the country's independence. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia acknowledges Macedonia's secession.

UN approves dispatch of troops to monitor inter-ethnic tension.

1993 - Gains UN membership under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

1994 - Greece imposes trade restrictions, causing economic damage.

1995 - President Kiro Gligorov injured in assassination bid.

Greece recognises independence, lifts trade restrictions.

1996 - Sporadic ethnic Albanian protests over curbs on Tetovo's Albanian-language university.

1997 - Constitutional court forbids use of Albanian flag, sparking protests. Parliament adopts law on restricted use of the Albanian flag.

Tensions rise

1998 - Thousands of ethnic Albanians gather in Skopje in support of ethnic Albanians in Serbia.

Elections bring into power a coalition government which is led by Ljubco Georgievski and includes ethnic Albanian representatives.

1999 March - Nato begins bombing campaign against Yugoslavia over its treatment of Kosovo Albanians. Serbian mass expulsion and killings of Kosovo Albanians leads to exodus into neighbouring countries, including Macedonia.

1999 June - Yugoslavia accepts peace plan. Kosovo refugees start leaving Macedonia.

1999 November - Boris Trajkovski elected president.

2001 February/March - Uprising by ethnic Albanians. National Liberation Army emerges demanding equal rights for ethnic Albanians.

Image caption An uprising by ethnic Albanians led to skirmishes and brought the country close to civil war

2001 May - Main Macedonian parties form government of national unity under PM Ljubco Georgievski which pledges to address minority grievances. Further incidents of violence.

Armed protesters besiege parliament in Skopje, angry at what they see as leniency towards ethnic Albanian rebels. President Trajkovski makes a national appeal for peace.

Peace returns

2001 August - Government and rebels sign western-backed Ohrid peace agreement involving greater recognition of ethnic Albanian rights in exchange for rebel pledge to hand over weapons to Nato peace force.

2001 September - Nato carries out month-long Operation Essential Harvest to disarm rebels, exceeding target of collecting 3,300 weapons.

2001 October - Government announces amnesty for former members of the National Liberation Army days after it disbands.

Macedonian police begin entering villages formerly controlled by ethnic Albanian guerrillas.

New constitution

Image copyright AP
Image caption Nato deployed thousands of troops to collect rebels' weapons

2001 November - Parliament approves new constitution incorporating reforms required by August peace deal. It recognises Albanian as an official language and increases access for ethnic Albanians to public-sector jobs, including the police.

2002 January - Parliament cedes more power to local government to improve status of ethnic Albanians.

2002 March - Parliament amnesties former ethnic Albanian rebels who handed in their arms during Nato-supervised weapons collection.

International donors pledge more than $500 million in aid to help recovery from 2001 fighting.

2002 June - Parliament passes new laws making Albanian an official language.

2002 September - Elections: Nationalist PM Ljubco Georgievski is voted out of office. Social Democrats under Branko Crvenkovski become largest party. Most ethnic Albanian voters back Democratic Union for Integration under former rebel fighter Ali Ahmeti.

2003 March - EU takes over peacekeeping duties from Nato.

2004 February - President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash in Bosnia while on his way to a conference in Mostar.

Path to Europe

2004 March - Macedonia submits application to join EU.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army became a political party

2004 April - Branko Crvenkovski elected president.

2004 June - Parliament approves the former interior minister, Hari Kostov, as prime minister.

2004 August - Despite protests by ethnic Macedonians, parliament approves legislation plans to redraw municipal borders and give minority ethnic Albanians more power in certain areas under the 2001 Ohrid peace agreement.

2004 November - Referendum by which Macedonian nationalists seek to force repeal of August legislation on local autonomy for Albanians fails because of low turnout.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The town of Ohrid and its lake are world heritage sites

2004 November - Hari Kostov resigns as prime minister and is succeeded by Defence Minister Vlado Buckovski.

2005 March - First local elections since municipal boundary changes in August 2004 pass off without major incident.

2005 July - Parliament passes a law giving Albanians the right to fly the Albanian flag in districts where they form the majority.

2005 December - Macedonia becomes a candidate for EU membership.

2006 July - Nikola Gruevski, leader of the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE party, forms a governing coalition with the Democratic Party of Albanians and three smaller parties following general elections.

2006 November - Nato offers the prospect of Macedonia being invited to join the military alliance at its next summit in 2008.

2007 April - Former interior minister Ljube Boskovski goes on trial at the international tribunal in the Hague charged with war crimes during the 2001 ethnic Albanian rebellion.

Name dispute resurfaces

2008 April - Greece blocks a Nato invitation for Macedonia over objections to the country's name. Snap elections are called.

2008 June - PM Gruevski's party wins elections, but violence leaves one dead and eight injured. Following criticism of voting irregularities, re-runs are held in ethnic Albanian areas to determine which of the two main ethnic Albanian parties will join the government.

2008 October - Macedonia recognises Kosovo, despite protests from Serbia.

2009 January - Macedonia applies to International Court of Justice in the Hague for a ruling on its dispute with Greece over the country's name.

2009 March - Gjorgje Ivanov, the candidate of the governing VMRO-DPMNE, Gjorgje Ivanov wins presidential run-off, defeating his Social Democrat rival Ljubomir Frckoski.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Macedonia is waiting to join the European Union

2009 December - Visa-free travel within EU's Schengen zone comes into effect for Macedonia's citizens.

2011 January - Opposition Social Democratic party boycotts parliament in protest against government action against the media. Prime Minister Gruevski calls early elections.

2011 June - Parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party wins but with insufficient seats to govern alone.

2011 December - The International Court of Justice in The Hague rules that Greece was wrong to block Macedonia's bid to join Nato in 2008 because of the row over its name.

2012 March - Twenty people are arrested and dozens injured in two weeks of clashes between ethnic Macedonian and Albanian youths.

2012 May - Police arrest 20 suspected Islamists over the lakeside killing of five ethnic Macedonian men near Skopje the previous month.

Political tensions

2012 December - Macedonia's main opposition party, the Social Democrats (SDSM), begin a boycott of parliamentary sessions after a heated debate over the 2013 budget degenerates into a brawl and SDSM MPs are forcibly removed from the chamber.

2013 March - Social Democrats end their boycott of parliament as a result of EU mediation between the government and the opposition.

2013 April - EU report on Macedonia's path towards membership says country has made progress in all areas, despite domestic political tensions. The report also calls on Macedonia to continue efforts to improve relations with Bulgaria and Greece.

2014 April - The governing VMRO-DPMNE wins snap elections called after the government falls over a coalition dispute. Prime Minister Gruevski forms a new government with the ethnic-Albanian Democratic Union for Integration. Social Democrats allege electoral fraud.

President Gjorge Ivanov re-elected, beating a Social Democrat candidate in run-off.

2015 February - The EU voices concern over the worsening feud between Macedonia's two main parties after the Social Democrats accuse the government of illegally telephone-tapping 20,000 people, including opposition politicians.

2015 May - Clashes in the northern town of Kumanovo leave 8 police and 14 gunmen dead. The government blames ethnic Albanian "terrorists" from neighbouring Kosovo for the unrest.

Opposition parties stage large protests calling on Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to resign over alleged corruption, prompting counter-rallies by pro-government supporters.

2015-16 - Macedonia struggles with huge numbers of the migrants making their way from the Middle East to northern Europe.

2016 April - Protesters rampage through President Ivanov's office after he blocked legal proceedings against top politicians involved in a wire-tapping scandal.