In August 2017, what was then the Republic of Macedonia signed a friendship agreement with Bulgaria, aiming to end the "anti-Bulgarian ideology" in the country and to solve the historical issues between the two.
The country's main political divergence is between the largely ethnically based political parties representing the country's ethnic Macedonian majority and Albanian minority. The issue of the power balance between the two communities led to a brief war in 2001, following which a power-sharing agreement was reached. In August 2004, parliament passed legislation redrawing local boundaries and giving greater local autonomy to ethnic Albanians in areas where they predominate.
Executive power in North Macedonia is exercised by the Government, whose prime minister is the most politically powerful person in the country. The members of the government are chosen by the prime minister and there are ministers for each branch of the society. There are ministers for economy, finance, information technology, society, internal affairs, foreign affairs and other areas. The members of the Government are elected for a mandate of four years. Judiciary power is exercised by courts, with the court system being headed by the Judicial Supreme court, Constitutional Court and the Republican Judicial Council. The assembly appoints the judges.
North Macedonia became a member state of the UN on 8 April 1993, eighteen months after its independence from Yugoslavia. It was referred to within the UN as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", until the resolution of the long-running dispute with Greece about the country's name.
In 2005, the country was officially recognised as a European Union candidate state.
North Macedonia's statistical regions exist solely for legal and statistical purposes. The regions are:
Most of the current municipalities were unaltered or merely amalgamated from the previous 123 municipalities established in September 1996; others were consolidated and their borders changed. Prior to this, local government was organised into 34 administrative districts, communes, or counties (also opštini).
Other key partners are Germany, Italy, the United States, Slovenia, Austria and Turkey.
North Macedonia is in its position a continental country in the middle of the Balkan peninsula, and the main transport links in the country are those that connect the different parts of the peninsula (transbalkan links). Particularly important is the connection between north–south and Vardar valley, which connects Greece with the rest of Europe.
The total length of the railway network in North Macedonia is 699 km (434 mi). Operated by Makedonski Železnici, the most important railway line is the line on the border with Serbia–Kumanovo–Skopje–Veles–Gevgelija–border with Greece. Since 2001, the railway line Beljakovci has been built—the border with Bulgaria, which will get a direct connection Skopje-Sofia. The most important railway hub in the country is Skopje, while the other two are Veles and Kumanovo.
As far as water transport is concerned, only lake traffic through Ohrid and Prespan Lake has been developed, mostly for tourist purposes.