Macedonia, presented in the contest as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 16 times since its official debut in 1998. The country had attempted to participate in 1996, but failed to qualify from the audio-only qualifying round. Macedonia is one of the most unsuccessful countries in the contest, having failed to crack the Top 10 in the 8 appearances it has made in the final. Macedonia's best result in the contest is Elena Risteska's 12th place finish in 2006. Macedonia has failed to qualify from the semi-final round in eight of the last nine contests (2008–16), the exception being Kaliopi, who finished 13th in the 2012 final.
Macedonia's first appearance in the contest was in 1998. However, the country had already made efforts to enter the contest two years before at the Eurovision Song Contest 1996's pre-selection round, where it submitted its first song entry, "Samo ti" (Само ти) sung by Kaliopi, which failed to qualify to the final thus eliminating the nation from competing for the first time. Macedonia's efforts to enter the contest were again hindered in 1997, when another new system was introduced where countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years were excluded from participating.
The country's best result was in 2006, when Elena Risteska sang "Ninanajna" (Нинанајна) in Athens, Greece and came 12th. Macedonia is the only country to have qualified from every semi-final from 2004 to 2007 (other countries have qualified for every final but due to them finishing in the top 10 the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-final). Despite never finishing in the top 10, their record of qualifying for every final was only broken in 2008, when the jury vote used in the semi-final chose Sweden as a finalist, despite Tamara, Vrčak and Adrian having come 10th in the televote and not saved by the jury. Since then, only in 2012 Macedonia have made the final.
Macedonian Radio-Television (MRT), which broadcasts the event, has used the Skopje Fest festival to select the national entry since the country's debut, although it made several changes in the national final format, so the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012 national finals were organised outside the Skopje Festival.
1. ^ Macedonia unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1996, when there was an audio-only pre-qualifying round for all countries (excluding hosts Norway). The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Macedonia's list of appearances.
2. ^ Whilst 10th place in the televote would have been sufficient to qualify in previous years, in 2008 and 2009 only the top nine places qualified automatically and the tenth place was decided based on the votes of the backup juries. Macedonia did not progress to the final in either year: in 2008 Sweden beat Macedonia to the final, while the same occurred in 2009 with Finland.
3. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. The other reason being that back in 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten with Spain and the United Kingdom finishing after 13th place, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.