The negotiation process of the Republic of Macedonia for EU membership will signify completion of the approximation process to the Union, adoption of its benefits and values as well as complete adaptation of Macedonian institutions towards functioning to that of the Union institutions. The negotiations as comprehensive dynamic undertaking require full preparation of the state authorities and institutions as well as of the structures established for coordination and conducting negotiations prior to the commencement of the negotiations themselves.
To apply for membership a candidate country should fully accept the Acquis; however, for certain legal acts it may negotiate for a transitional period. It entails that the Republic of Macedonia will be oblige to fully accept the Acquis with accession date, having transitional periods for certain acts – to be agreed in the course of the negotiations.
Pursuant to decision of the Council of the European Union, the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC – 10C) is established for each candidate country, defining the organisational details: location of meetings, establishment of Secretariat, coverage of meeting costs as well as frequency and level of meetings. The Member State chairing the EU Presidency is at the same time an IGC chairman, while EC is a mediator in the process.
IGC meets on the level of delegation presidents. Usually a candidate country is represented by a member of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia appointed for that purpose, and at least twice a year one intergovernmental conference is held. Crucial negotiations are held on the level of deputy presidents of a delegation. The European Union, on this level, is represented by the permanent representatives Member States in the EC, while the candidate country is represented by the main negotiator and/or other officials of the stated.
The most extensive and the most complex part of the work – harmonisation, i.e. preparation of negotiation positions is accomplished on the level of working groups – the Working group of the EU Council on enlargement and the Working groups for preparing negotiations on individual chapters of the candidate country.
Negotiations are carried out in several phases.