North Macedonia has dealt with many crises in recent years, including the plight of migrants crossing the country on their way to northern Europe.
In 2016 Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski – the man behind the 'revamping' of Skopje's centre – stood down as the EU brokered a deal to end months of political crisis; in 2018, Gruevski was sentenced for corruption and money laundering but then escaped to Hungary, where he was granted political asylum. Social Democrat Zoran Zaev formed a ruling coalition with ethnic Albanian groups in 2017.
Greece had blocked North Macedonia from negotiating EU accession since 1991, objecting to its former name 'Macedonia' as it potentially lays claim to the Greek region of Macedonia. After a referendum in September 2018 failed to change the country's constitutional name to North Macedonia, in January 2019 the Macedonian Parliament voted to go ahead with the name change. Soon after, the Greek Parliament also voted to ratify the agreement and in February 2019 North Macedonia – as the country is now officially called – signed the NATO accession agreement.
In the meantime, Turkey has become North Macedonia's best regional ally in recent years – it's revisiting its former Balkan colonies and investing heavily in the region, both financially and culturally.