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Religion and Political Theory: Secularism, Accommodation and The New Challenges of Religious Diversity, Edited by Jonathan Seglow and Andrew Shorten

The Albanians in Macedonia: The Role of the International Organisations in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in Empowering the Minority of Ethnic Albanians.

Presenter
Christina Griessler
Andrássy Universität Budapest
Authors
Christina Griessler
Andrássy Universität Budapest

Abstract
The paper analyses the activities of the international agencies, i.e., EU, UN, OSCE and NATO during and after the 2001 conflict in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in assisting the inclusion of the Albanian minorities in Macedonia. In spring 2001 a violent conflict erupted between the Macedonian troops and the Albanian paramilitary National Liberation Army (NLA). The international community was quick to bring the most important political parties of Macedonia, including Albanian parties, together to negotiate an agreement and to end the violence, which could have destabilise the entire region. The negotiation of the Ohrid-Framework-Agreement (OFA), with the help of the US and EU, could be successfully concluded in August 2001. The settlement of the conflict was of interest to the UN, the EU, the OSCE and the NATO. This paper identifies the various roles these external agents performed to end the violent conflict and to initiate an inclusive approach towards the Albanian political parties to actively engage with their political counterparts of the Slav Macedonian parties. Apart from the Albanian political elite the paper will also focus on activities by the international organisations to improve the situation of the general Albanian population in Macedonia, the language issue and the legal provisions for the minorities in Macedonia, as agreed in the Ohrid-Framework-Agreement. In 2001 the inclusion and empowerment of the Albanian minority in Macedonia should prevent the dissolution of the state. The paper will attempt to establish if this approach had been successful.
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