Caught in the Middle: An analysis of the role of the European Union in the Macedonian name dispute
Hartog, D.M. den
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Contrary to the assumption that the role of the European Union in the Macedonian name dispute was largely the product of Greek foreign policy, this thesis argues that the role was the result of the expectations of multiple parties. In the period between 2005 and 2009, the Macedonian name dispute became entangled with Macedonia’s European prospects. Role theory predicts that the EU’s role in the dispute resulted from the role expectations held by Macedonia, the European Commission, European Parliament and the member states. These expectations are the views of these actors on the obligations and responsibilities of the EU. They can be found in documents that involve some form of communication between the EU and the respective actor. The expectations of the European Commission and the member states were influential in the forming of the European role. Their passive attitude towards the name dispute nuanced the more outspoken Greek attitude towards Macedonia. The European Parliament and Macedonia had little influence on this process. Therefore, it can be concluded that the role of the European Union was the result of multiple actors.