The Republic of North Macedonia is on the verge of becoming the newest member state of the European Union.
If all goes according to plan, the country will officially join the bloc in the coming years.
But how will Skopje (& North Macedonia) change once it becomes an EU member?
In this article, we will take a look at both the pros and cons of North Macedonia joining the EU.
The Pros of North Macedonia joining the EU
More Foreign Investment:
As an EU member state, North Macedonia will be able to attract more foreign investment from both businesses and individuals. This will surely lead to economic growth and create new jobs.
Closer ties with the rest of Europe:
As an EU member state, North Macedonia will have closer ties with the rest of Europe. This will include easier travel, more opportunities for trade and cultural exchange, and so on.
The EU has strict standards for infrastructure development. By joining the EU, North Macedonia will be required to upgrade its infrastructure to meet these standards. This will benefit both businesses and individuals in the long run.
North Macedonia will have increased access to the EU market once it becomes a member state. This will lead to more trade and economic growth for the country.
More Airlines Operating to and from Skopje:
As an EU member state, North Macedonia will likely see more airlines operating to and from Skopje, which will make travel easier and more convenient for people.
The Cons of North Macedonia joining the EU:
Loss of Sovereignty:
As a member state of the EU, North Macedonia will have to give up some of its sovereignty. This includes making decisions in accordance with EU law and submitting to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
In order to meet the economic standards of the EU, North Macedonia will need to make some adjustments. This could lead to higher taxes and increased government regulation.
The EU is a very different cultural environment from what North Macedonia is used to. There may be some adjustments required in order to fit in with the rest of the EU. My fear, as I will explain below, is that North Macedonia will lose its unique charm and become just another homogenized member of the EU.
A Higher Cost of Living:
As a member state of the EU, North Macedonia will need to adopt the euro as its official currency. This could lead to a higher cost of living, as prices would be aligned with those in other EU countries.
Many (More) North Macedonians will Leave Their Country:
As an EU member state, North Macedonia will have the same freedom of movement rules as other EU countries. This means that many North Macedonians will likely leave their country in search of better opportunities elsewhere in Europe.
They already do that, and I’m afraid once the door opens and it’s easier, more will actually make the move. Some may say this freedom of movement should be considered a pro, but I disagree. I’m afraid this will decimate the country, draining it of its top talent.
How Will the City of Skopje Change if North Macedonia Joins the EU?
The capital city of Skopje will definitely see some changes if North Macedonia joins the European Union.
Here are some of the most likely changes that will occur:
More tourists: As an EU member state, North Macedonia will be able to attract more tourists from all over Europe. This will boost the economy and create new jobs in the tourism industry.
Improved infrastructure: Skopje will benefit from the improved infrastructure that will come with North Macedonia joining the EU. This includes better roads, public transportation, and communication systems.
Greater cultural diversity: With more tourists and people moving to Skopje from all over Europe, the city will become more culturally diverse.
Adoption of the Euro (likely): As North Macedonia joins the EU, it is likely that the country will adopt the euro as its official currency. This will make trade and travel between North Macedonia and other EU countries easier.
My Opinion About North Macedonia’s Accession into the EU.
Coming from an EU member state, my opinion is that North Macedonia should never become an EU member, but as a non-citizen, I know it’s none of my business.
However, my wife is from North Macedonia, and she too is against joining.
The reason for our views is that we have lived in an EU country and have visited many others in the bloc as well, and we see how a country can lose its identity, culture, and uniqueness within just a few short years of becoming a member.
We love North Macedonia just the way it is. And while that may be a bit selfish of us, we don’t want to see it change.
Skopje is a beautiful city with so much character, and we fear that it will lose most of its charm if it joins the European Union.
Of course, there are also many positive aspects to joining the EU too which can’t be dismissed, such as the economic benefits and improved infrastructure. But for us, the cons outweigh the pros.