Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has resigned after his party lost the second round of mayoral elections in several towns in the country, including the capital Skopje.
While it is a good sign that Zaev is leaving his post after the election results, proving himself as a democratic leader, his party's defeat at local elections gives way to the centre-right nationalist opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.
On the one hand, the defeat is due to stagnating reforms in the country. On the other hand, the European Union, and Bulgaria in particular, is partially responsible for it, writes Florian Bieber on Twitter.
During Zaev's time in office, North Macedonia struck a historic name deal with Greece, unclogging the country’s stalled Euro-Atlantic integration. In 2020, the country became a NATO member and was ready to finally open EU accession negotiations. But a blockade, this time from Bulgaria, over a bilateral history dispute keeps North Macedonia stalled all over again.