7 September 2005
"Dear citizens of Macedonia, allow me tonight to you and to all citizens of Macedonia to congratulate the free, sovereign and independent Macedonia," said the former President of the Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov 14 years ago addressing the citizens who spontaneously gathered at Macedonia Square to celebrate the successful referendum at which Macedonian citizens voted for independent and sovereign state.
On September 8, 1991 over 95,5% of the citizens voted for independence of the Republic Macedonia. The results from the referendum preceding the adopted Declaration for Independence at the first multi party Macedonian Parliament on January 25, 1991.
The will of the people for independent state was confirmed with the declaration for acceptance of the results from the referendum on September 18, 1991 at the Macedonian Parliament.
The next important step in strengthening of the state was the adoption of the Constitution on November 17, 1991, which was supplemented after 2001 conflict and signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, 10 years later.
The internationally legal subjectivity of the state was recognised on April 8, 1993 with an acclamation of the UN General Assembly, Macedonia was admitted as 181st full-fledged member in the world organisation. Still due to Greece's opposition and pressures, which does not recognise our constitutional name, we became member of the UN under provisional reference FYROM.
The 14 years of Macedonia's independence did not pass without problems and difficulties. Three-digit inflation at the beginning of the '90s, the Greek embargo, Kosovo refugee crisis and 2001 conflict were real challenges and threats to young Macedonian state which hindered her way in accomplishing the strategic goals - strengthening of democracy and integration in Euro-Atlantic structures.
Process of approximation of Macedonian legislation with EU legislation, power decentralisation and defence reforms marked the last years.
Macedonia today has already established diplomatic relations with 155 states worldwide and is recognised under its constitutional name by 113 countries out of which three are members of the Security Council - China, Russian Federation and the US. Macedonia marks its 14th anniversary of independence in a hope to gain positive answer from the EU on membership application and an invitation for NATO admission at the next Summit of the Alliance.