In September 2007, Canada decided to recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia, but continues to respect established practices within the UN and other international bodies, where the term used to designate Macedonia is "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," often abbreviated as “FYROM.”
Canada is represented in Macedonia by the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade, Serbia, but maintains a Consulate in Skopje, run by an Honorary Consul.
Macedonia opened an Embassy in Ottawa in 1996.
The Republic of Macedonia gained its independence in 1991, and since then Canada and Macedonia have enjoyed positive bilateral relations. Macedonia’s primary foreign policy goal is Euro-Atlantic integration. In December 2005, Macedonia received formal candidate status from the European Union.
Due to an ongoing dispute over the country’s official name, Canada supports the decision made by NATO Allies at the 2008 Bucharest Summit to extend ‘an invitation (for NATO membership) to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia…as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached.’ Canada also encourages further dialogue and negotiations on the subject so that the issue may be settled as soon as possible.
Working with both the government and civil society Canada has encouraged political and economic reform in Macedonia through supporting initiatives that promote human and minority rights, democratic development, good governance, respect for the rule of law, public sector capacity building, conflict prevention, peace-building, and security sector reform.
Macedonia is an active participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme and currently provides troops to multilateral peacekeeping operations. The country currently contributes 240 personnel to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Macedonia joined the Department of National Defence’s Military Training Co-operation Programme (MTCP) in 1998. MTCP is a program that provides military co-operation with troop and language training to develop and enhance bilateral defence relations.
In 2009, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) officially closed its office in the Western Balkans. While CIDA maintained a minimal presence in Macedonia, it still disbursed $950,000 in funding during its final year of operations in the country (2007-2008).
With a population of approximately 2 million, Macedonia presents a market of modest commercial opportunities. A number of Canadian companies and investors are looking for trade and investment opportunities in Macedonia in areas such as transportation, information and communication technology, agri-food, tourism, mining and environmental technologies, construction, as well as real estate.
In 2009, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski made an official visit to Canada, meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of the Macedonian diaspora. In May 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was presented with the Goce Delcev Award by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) for his act of statesmanship in fully recognizing Macedonia.