The Greek Parliament voted 153-146 Friday to ratify an agreement to rename Macedonia. The approval renames Greece’s northern neighbor the “Republic of North Macedonia,” and essentially clears a path for the country to join NATO, and possibly the EU.
This agreement comes after months of intense street protests in both countries. Greece has historically held that by using the term “Macedonia” their northern neighbor implied territorial claims on its own province of the same name. However, Article 7 of the agreement distinguishes the two countries respective understanding of the term “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” in terms of language, culture and heritage.
The agreement lays out responsibilities of each country for maintaining diplomatic, societal and economic cooperation. Additionally, it provides for the peaceful settlement of disputes through the International Court of Justice only after failing to resolve such disputes through informal negotiations.