The Republic of Macedonia is located in Southeast Europe, in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula and has a position of strategic crossroads and a bridge between Europe and the nearby countries of Asia and North Africa. It belongs to the group of countries of the so-called Western Balkans and is surrounded by the following neighbors - Serbia and Kosovo to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west.
As a state, the Republic of Macedonia has been a part of and an active entity on the contemporary international political arena on both bilateral and multilateral level since it gained independence from the Yugoslav Federation. Yet, when it comes to the conditions and data as recorded by history and culture, it may be said that Macedonia is one of the older European civilizations within the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empire.
The Republic of Macedonia stretches over 25,713 square kilometers, a territory inhabited by a population of almost two million, and the capital is Skopje with about half a million inhabitants. It is a multiethnic and multicultural society hosting different religions. Besides Macedonians, many other ethnic groups also live in the country - Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Vlachs, Roma, and others; two thirds of the population are Orthodox Christians, with the others being Muslims, Catholics and others. The official language is Macedonian, the flag is red with a golden-yellow sun with eight arms crossing along a diagonal, horizontal, and vertical line, and the currency is denar (1 euro – 61.5 denars).
The Republic of Macedonia is a sovereign, independent, democratic, and social state with a Constitution adopted on 17 November 1991. The referendum on independence and autonomy, i.e. separation from the Yugoslav Federation, took place on September 8, 1991. The political system is a parliamentary democracy, with a president who runs and represents the state at home and abroad. Under the Constitution, the President of the state is at the same time Commander-in-chief of the Army and presides over the Security Council. The President of the state is elected at direct general elections for a mandate of five years and cooperates with the executive branch of the government in the foreign policy development and implementation. The government, on the other hand, proposes laws to the Parliament, defines and proposes the budget, runs the country's internal and foreign policy, and determines, organizes, and monitors the work of the state administration.
As a parliamentary democracy, the Republic of Macedonia was built as a unitary republic. The social component, freedom, equality, human rights for all citizens of all ethnic communities, and the rule of law are some of the fundamental and highest values of the constitutional order. The political system of the Republic of Macedonia is based on the principle of division of power into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial. The Macedonian Parliament is unicameral, with 120 MPs elected at direct parliamentary elections for a four-year mandate. The Parliament elects its own Chairperson, who comes in second in the political hierarchy of the state.
The Republic of Macedonia became a member of the United Nations on April 8, 1993. In the years to follow, it actively joined the work of the Council of Europe, OSCE, and almost all significant international organizations and institutions. The main foreign policy goal of the state is that it soon becomes part of the European and Euro-Atlantic family of states, more precisely to be a full-fledged member of NATO and the European Union.