142-Application of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia v. Greece)
On November 17th, 2008, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia filed an application instituting proceedings against Greece before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in respect of a dispute concerning the interpretation and implementation of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 (the Interim Accord).
Indeed, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had wished to join and/or participate in various international organisations, including NATO. Its admission was not considered at the Bucharest Summit held on April 2nd and 3rd, 2008. In a press release, the organisation said that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would be invited to join “as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached”.
The article 11 paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord provided that, as a general rule, Greece would not oppose the request for admission or participation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to international, multilateral or regional organisations to which Greece is a member. By exception to this general principle (article 11 paragraph 2), Greece could object to such requests where the applicant State was referred to by any other denomination than the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, pending the settlement of the dispute that arose over its denomination.
In its judgment of December 5th, 2011, the Court began by ensuring that it had jurisdiction to hear the matter and that the case was admissible. After answering in the affirmative to these two questions, the ICJ laid out a two-step analysis of the legal issue. It concluded that Greece had violated the general principle of non-opposition to the request of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to join NATO and that it could not avail itself of the exception contained in Article 11 paragraph 2.
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.