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On September 8, the Republic of North Macedonia celebrates 31 years since the acquisition of its independence. On this date in 1991, the citizens declared for an independent state that began its path towards establishing itself as a subject in the international community.

At the end of the '80 of the 20th century, the difficulties in political and economic life in Macedonia caused changes that would ensure a faster development of democracy and the economy. In addition to the only party that was in power - the Union of Communists of Macedonia, other political parties began to be created. In the first multi-party elections in Macedonia, which took place in the fall of 1990, 120 members of parliament were elected to our Assembly. After the creation of the first multi-party Assembly, the new Government was elected.

On September 8, 1991, 95 percent of the citizens who went to the referendum responded positively to the referendum question "Are you in favour of an independent Macedonia with the right to join a future union of sovereign states of Yugoslavia." The commission ascertains the mass of citizens with the right to vote in Macedonia, who declared themselves yes of an independent and sovereign Macedonia.

In the evening of September 8, 1991, a celebration was organized in the Square in Skopje, where many people gathered and the successful result of the referendum was celebrated. At this celebration, the first president of independent Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, the first president of the Government, Nikola Kljusev, and the first president of the Parliament, Stojan Andov, had their short speeches.

nezavisnost 700x373 1

Citizens of Macedonia, allow me tonight to congratulate you and all the citizens of Macedonia on a free, sovereign and independent Macedonia",Citizens of Macedonia, allow me tonight to congratulate you and all the citizens of Macedonia on a free, sovereign and independent Macedonia", said then the first president of independent Macedonia Kiro Gligorov, announcing the results of the referendum.

"The referendum, first of all, requires an affirmative approach to the centuries-old struggle of the Macedonian people, which was once resolved with guns and blood. Today, free with our national consciousness and culture, we decided above all to be an independent and sovereign state. We should approach the peaceful isolation of our sovereign state and establish a partnership with all those who will be interested in being with us, and Europe is the home that will integrate and unite us.“ – Nikola Klusev.

With this decision made today by the citizens of Macedonia, an intensive process of building the Macedonian state, of building its relations in Yugoslavia with other sovereign states, as well as with its neighbors and with Europe, opens. From this generation that organizes the referendum, young people receive a bequest to be at that level, even surpassing our achievements.“ – Stojan Andov.

The referendum was preceded by a Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the first multi-party Macedonian parliament on January 25, 1991.

Formally, the will of the people for an independent state was confirmed by the Declaration of acceptance of the referendum results on September 18, 1991 in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia. This was followed by the adoption of the new Constitution on November 17, 1991, which guarantees greater rights and freedoms to citizens and with it, everyone is equal.

In relation to the establishment of international legal subjectivity, and after the failure of the Conference for the Peaceful Resolution of the Crisis in Yugoslavia, a key one adopted by the Council of Ministers of the European Community on December 16, 1991, the Declaration on the Dissolution of Yugoslavia was adopted, which addressed a call to the Yugoslav republics to declare whether they want to become independent and internationally recognized states.

Macedonia, together with three of the six former Yugoslav republics, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, spoke positively about the Declaration. However, although only Macedonia and Slovenia received positive assessments from the specially formed Badenter Commission that they meet the conditions for gaining independence, the European Community in January 1992 recognized only Slovenia and Croatia.

In that period, actually on January 15, 1992, Bulgaria and Turkey were the first countries to recognize the statehood of Macedonia. Then came recognitions from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and many other countries.

The international legal subjectivity of the state was definitively confirmed on April 8, 1993, when by acclamation in the General Assembly of the United Nations, Macedonia was accepted as the 181st full member of the World Organization. However, due to the opposition and pressures of Greece, which did not accept our constitutional name, the membership in the UN was done with the temporary reference - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In the past 31 years of independent living, the Macedonian state went through many trials and challenges, which slowed down its path towards the realization of its strategic goals - consolidation of democracy and integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures. Due to the well-known attitudes of neighbouring Greece related to the use of our constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia signed the so-called Prespa Agreement in the summer of 2018 and officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, in order to realize its full membership in NATO, which happened on February 26, 2020, and to continue the integration into the European Union.

Deklaracija megunarodno priznavanje Predna 1
Declaration for the international recognition of the Republic of Macedonia as a sovereign and independent state

In the State Archives, an institution that is the custodian of the past, there are all the declarations and important documents that have resulted from the work of the Assembly since independence until today, as well as many other documents related to the recent history of our country.

Deklaracija za suverenost 25jan991 1strana
Deklaracija za suverenost 25jan991 2strana
Declaration of sovereignty of the Republic of Macedonia, dated January 25, 1991
Deklaracija za odrzan referendum 17sept1991 1strana Copy
Deklaracija za odrzan referendum 17sept1991 2strana
Deklaracija za odrzan referendum 17sept1991 3strana

Happy September 8, Independence Day!

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