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Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Macedonia)

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This is a guideline on how to refer to the various geographical and political entities called "Macedonia", and in particular to the independent country of that name whose official name was previously disputed.


A previous version of this guideline was the result of a centralised discussion process instigated by the Arbitration Committee following the "Macedonia 2" case. Its resulting consensus was determined by three administrators named as referees by the Arbitration Committee; Fritzpoll, J.delanoy, and Shell Kinney.

On 12 February 2019, the Republic of Macedonia changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia following the Prespa agreement that ended the long-standing Macedonia naming dispute. In light of these events, editors on Wikipedia conducted a new RFC to adopt a new set of naming conventions and amend the ones in place since 2009. The RfC was held between February and March 2019 and was ultimately closed by BD2412, QEDK, and Neutrality.

According to the arbitration decision, this guideline is meant to be binding and enforceable for the time being. Editors are reminded that all contentious edits touching upon North Macedonia naming practices also continue to be subject to a 1RR restriction. In cases covered by this guideline, editors reinstating the version conforming to it are not subject to this restriction.

Rules of construction[edit]

Throughout this guideline, many references are made to the terms of the Prespa agreement. This agreement, while clearly an important step towards ending the Macedonia naming dispute, does not represent any legal obligation on the Wikipedia community. Any deference made to its provisions comes as a result of consensus to respect a specific convention. Wikipedia's policies still take precedence over the document as a whole.


Main article titles[edit]

In article text[edit]

The country will be referred to by its short name North Macedonia. The official name Republic of North Macedonia will be used in all contexts where other countries would also be called by their full official names (e.g. "Russian Federation", "United Republic of Tanzania", etc.)

In historical contexts referring to events between 1992 and 2019, Wikipedia articles will continue to refer to the country by its then-current official name, i.e. "(Republic of) Macedonia". Where necessary, explanatory notes such as "(now North Macedonia)" may be added to such references (e.g. Kiro Gligorov became the first president of the Republic of Macedonia (now North Macedonia), or: Kiro Gligorov was the first president of the newly independent country (then called Republic of Macedonia)). Adjectival references for these topics should follow the same logic. Historical adjectival references to the state entities should remain "Macedonian". Where the context isn't clearly historical, explanatory notes such as ("now North Macedonian") may be added.

The term former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or any of its abbreviations will not be used.

Specific topics[edit]

Language, identity, and culture[edit]

The Macedonian language, the Macedonians as an ethnic group, and the Macedonian culture continue to be referred to as such (e.g. Macedonian folk song, Macedonian film, etc.). This is in line with both the Prespa agreement and the large majority of reliable sources.


The nationality of citizens of North Macedonia should still be referred to as "Macedonian." In particular, the term "Macedonian" is used for the routine description of people's nationality in the lead sentences of biographical articles (XYZ is a Macedonian football player...). This, too, is in line with the majority of reliable sources (while according to the Prespa agreement, in official documents this nationality will be described by the double formula "Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia").

In contexts where ambiguity with Macedonian ethnicity might be an issue, more explicit forms or explanatory text may be used (e.g. XYZ possesses both Australian and North Macedonian citizenship, or ethnic Macedonians who are not citizens of North Macedonia).

Adjectival form of North Macedonia[edit]

The use of adjectival forms to refer to the country ("Macedonian" or "North Macedonian") has been a matter of some contention. Thus far, reliable sources have treated the matter inconsistently, and the RfC did not lead to a clear consensus for which of these is to be preferred.

According to the official prescriptions of the Prespa agreement, the adjectival form "North Macedonian" is generally to be avoided. Instead, it suggests the plain "Macedonian" is to be used in some contexts; while in other contexts, both adjectives are to be avoided altogether in favor of the alternative of possessive constructions like "of North Macedonia". However, reliable sources have not consistently been following these conventions.

When referring to official state institutions of North Macedonia, the Prespa agreement stipulates that both adjectival forms should be avoided in favor of the possessive form ("of North Macedonia" or "North Macedonia's"). When referring to such state institutions by their official names, the article should respect the newly established forms of these names that follow this convention (e.g. Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia). However, in line with the reliable sources, adjectives may still be used when referring to such institutions in generic terms (e.g. the Greek and North Macedonian prime ministers), especially where the possessive form would be grammatically cumbersome or unnatural. While reliable sources continue to use both plain "Macedonian" and "North Macedonian" in such contexts, the majority opinion in the RfC favored the fuller form, "North Macedonian".

In all other contexts, both "North Macedonian" and "Macedonian" may be used on Wikipedia in reference to the country (e.g. a North Macedonian company, or the Macedonian economy). In the absence of a clearer consensus on which of the two to prefer, it is recommended to use the longer form where ambiguity might be an issue (especially on first introducing the topic). The shorter form can be used where the topic of the country is already established in context. One general example of this may include subsequent and repetitive references to the country in articles that are primarily about topics related to North Macedonia, its culture, and its people.

Article names, categories, and templates should avoid adjectival use altogether. The use of neutral formulations such as "of North Macedonia", "in North Macedonia," etc. is preferred.