Republic of Macedonia Country Report
Despite a number of initiatives, North Macedonia’s bureaucracy remains complex and inefficient, which has a direct effect on business performance. Corruption in the public administration and judiciary is likely to remain an obstacle for businesses. Labour legislation favours employers and strikes rarely affect private companies. Major cargo disruption due to industrial action in the transport sector is unlikely. Despite increases in large-scale investment programmes, the transport infrastructure is still relatively underdeveloped. International funding has a significant role in financing infrastructural projects. The country is likely to continue receiving EU funds for transport infrastructure projects.
The risk of low-level terrorist attacks by ethnic Albanian militants in northern and western parts of North Macedonia has reduced. Government and police buildings and personnel have previously been key targets. Provided that there were reports that returnee fighters from the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria in Iraq are present around Skopje, the risk of an attack by a lone actor exists. On the other hand, the likelihood of well-planned Jihadist attacks to be conducted in the country is still low. Law enforcement and intelligence capacity to tackle terrorist activities in the case of returnees is still limited, but is likely to see improvements.
North Macedonia, formerly known as FYR Macedonia, is on the Balkan heroin route that moves narcotics from Turkey into Bulgaria, through North Macedonia and onwards into Kosovo, from where it continues by land into Western Europe, or from the Albanian coast to Italy by speedboat. This lucrative business, together with a flourishing trade in human trafficking and smuggling (for illegal immigration and prostitution), stolen cars, and cigarette and weapons smuggling, is a direct threat to the North Macedonian state. Groups such as the Albanian National Army (AKSh), a pan-Albanian radical paramilitary group, are funded from the proceeds of cross-border criminal activity and are often quasi-criminal in nature. This gives such groups a powerful incentive to sustain border instability in order to ease cross-border movement. Violent confrontations between members of rival organisations could occur.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
It should be noted that Macedonia is situated in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. Forest fires frequently occur in the summer. Flooding can also occur.
Driving conditions in Macedonia are relatively precarious as not only is reckless driving common, but roads are frequently uneven and poorly lit, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, the majority of roads in mountainous regions of the country do not have guardrails, despite the presence of sharp drops; in winter, snow and ice exacerbate these hazardous driving conditions.
Travelers are advised against using public transportation, which is aging and overcrowded.
Both adverse weather conditions and high levels of pollution may cause flight delays or cancelations during winter (see HEALTH section).
Macedonia has several different climates, Mediterranean, continental, or mountainous, depending on the region. Temperatures range greatly between winter and summer.
In the mountains, summers and falls are hot and dry while winters are cold (0°C) and snowy. The valley regions enjoy a milder climate.
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