This article has an unclear citation style.July 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)(
|Deputy Vice-President||Aleksandar Nikoloski|
|Founder||Ljubčo Georgievski, Dragan Bogdanovski, Boris Zmejkovski|
|Founded||17 June 1990|
|Youth wing||Youth Force Union|
to right-wing with
|European affiliation||European People's Party (associate member)|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
|Colours||Red, Black, Gold|
36 / 120
5 / 81
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (Macedonian: Внатрешна македонска револуционерна организација – Демократска партија за македонско национално единство), simplified as VMRO-DPMNE (Macedonian: ВМРО–ДПМНЕ) is a political party in North Macedonia and one of the two major parties in the country, the other being the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.
The party has presented itself as Christian-democratic, but it is considered nationalist. VMRO-DPMNE's support is based on ethnic Macedonians with some exceptions. The party claims that their goals and objectives are to express the tradition of the Macedonian people on whose political struggle and concepts it is based. Nevertheless, it has formed multiple coalition governments with ethnic minority parties. Under the leadership of Ljubčo Georgievski in its beginning, the party supported the Macedonian independence from Socialist Yugoslavia, and led a policy of closer relationships with Bulgaria. After accused of being a pro-Bulgarian politician, Georgievski broke off from VMRO-DPMNE in 2003. Under the new leadership of Nikola Gruevski, the party has promoted ultra-nationalist identity politics in the form of antiquization. Its nationalist stances are often perceived also as anti-Albanian. The party, which had pro-European and pro-NATO policy, has subsequently changed sides to a pro-Russian, pro-Serbian and anti-Western one. After the resignation of Gruevski in 2017, the new leader Hristijan Mickoski in practice continues to obstruct membership in NATO and the European Union. The party has opposed fiercely to the Friendship treaty signed with Bulgaria in 2017 and the Prespa agreement signed with Greece in 2018, despite both neighboring states being NATO and European Union members.
The first section of the acronym 'VMRO' which forms the party's name derives from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, a rebel movement formed in 1893. After undergoing various transformations, the original organization was suppressed after the military coup d'état of 1934, in its headquarters in Bulgaria. At that time the territory of the current North Macedonia was a province called Vardar Banovina, part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. As the Bulgarian army entered Yugoslav Macedonia as German satellite during WWII, former IMRO members were active in organizing Bulgarian Action Committees, charged with taking over the local authorities. After Bulgaria switched to the Allied in September 1944, they tried to create an independent Macedonian state. The VMRO–DPMNE claims ideological descent from the old VMRO, although it was as a whole a pro-Bulgarian grouping.
Following the death of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito in 1980, SFR Yugoslavia began to disintegrate and democratic politics were revived in Macedonia. Many exiles returned to then SR Macedonia from abroad, and a new generation of young Macedonian intellectuals rediscovered the history of Macedonian nationalism. Dragan Bogdanovski who was a proclaimed Macedonian rights movement activist had made a blueprint for a Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity. He had also made a statute, book of rules, and an instruction of how the party is going to work. Ljubco Georgievski together with Bogdanovski, Boris Zmejkovski and few other activists had agreed to make a party for a future independent Macedonia. In these circumstances it was not surprising that the name of the famed Macedonian rebels was revived. Under the name VMRO–DPMNE, the party was founded on 17 June 1990 in Skopje.
Rise to power
After the first multi-party elections in 1990, VMRO–DPMNE became the strongest party in the Parliament. It did not form a government because it did not achieve a majority of seats; this forced it to form a coalition with an ethnic Albanian party, but it refused to do so. The party boycotted the second round of the 1994 elections claiming fraud in the first round. After winning the 1998 election, VMRO–DPMNE surprised many people when finally forming a coalition government with an ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Party of Albanians. After their victory in the elections, they formed a new government with Ljubčo Georgievski as Prime Minister. In 1999, VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Boris Trajkovski was elected President, completing VMRO–DPMNE's takeover. Once in office, Trajkovski adopted a more moderate policy than expected.
VMRO–DPMNE's government was defeated at the 2002 legislative elections. In an alliance with the Liberal Party of Macedonia, VMRO–DPMNE won 28 out of 120 seats. In 2004 Trajkovski died in a plane crash and Branko Crvenkovski was elected President, defeating the VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Saško Kedev.
The first President of the VMRO–DPMNE and its founder was Ljubčo Georgievski, and the former president of the party is Nikola Gruevski. Nevertheless, accused of being pro-Bulgarian politician (a stigma in Macedonia), Georgievski broke off with DPMNE and established the VMRO-NP. The party became the largest party in Parliament again after a net gain of over a dozen seats in the 2006 parliamentary elections. With 44 of 120 seats, the party formed a government in coalition with the Democratic Party of Albanians. On 15 May 2007, the party became an observer-member of the European People's Party.
The party won 2008 early parliamentary elections. In the 120 seats Parliament, VMRO–DPMNE won 63 seats, enough to form its own government, and by that, the party won 4 more years of dominance in the Macedonian Parliament (mandate period 2008-2012) and government control. After the Parliament constituted itself on 21 June 2008, the President Branko Crvenkovski on 23 June 2008 gave the then VMRO–DPMNE's leader and future prime minister Nikola Gruevski the mandate to form the new Government of the Republic of Macedonia (mandate period 2008-2012).
In 2009, the party had another two major successes. While the VMRO–DPMNE-led coalition "For a better Macedonia" won in 56 out of 84 municipalities, the party's presidential candidate Gjorge Ivanov also won the presidential election.
The party won again 2011 early parliamentary elections. In the 120 seats Parliament, VMRO–DPMNE won 56 seats of the 120 seats Parliament, the party formed a government in coalition with the Democratic Union for Integration in the Macedonian Parliament (mandate period 2011-2015).
In 2014, early parliamentary elections was call togethers with Macedonian presidential election, VMRO–DPMNE won again 61 seats of the 120 seats Parliament and formed a government in coalition with the Democratic Union for Integration (mandate period 2014-2018).
VMRO–DPMNE has been criticised for its "antiquisation" policy (known locally as "Antikvizacija"), in which the country seeks to claim ancient Macedonian figures like Alexander the Great and Philip II of Macedon. The policy has been pursued since the coming to power in 2006, and especially since Macedonia's non-invitation to NATO in 2008, as a way of putting pressure on Greece as well as in an attempt to construct a new identity on the basis of a presumed link to the world of antiquity. Antiquisation policy is facing criticism by academics as it demonstrates feebleness of archaeology and of other historical disciplines in public discourse, as well as a danger of marginalization. The policy has also attracted criticism domestically, by ethnic Macedonians within the country, who see it as dangerously dividing the country between those who identify with classical antiquity and those who identify with the country's Slavic culture. Ethnic Albanians saw it as an attempt to marginalize them and exclude them from the national narrative. The policy, which also claims as ethnic Macedonians figures considered national heroes in Bulgaria, such as Todor Aleksandrov and Ivan Mihailov, has drawn criticism from Bulgaria, and is regarded to have a negative impact on the international position of the country. Foreign diplomats warned that the policy has reduced international sympathy for Macedonia's position in the naming dispute with Greece. SDSM, was opposed to the project and has alleged that the monuments in the project could have cost six to ten times less than what the government paid, which may already have exceeded 600 million euros.
Anti-Greek and anti-Bulgarian attitudes
Additionally, VMRO-DPMNE has been criticized for its hard-line stance against the Prespa agreement that was reached between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece, which resolved the long-standing Macedonia Naming Dispute by renaming the country as North Macedonia and giving up all claims to ancient Macedonian heritage. On 16 October 2018, US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell sent a letter to VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski, in which he expresses the disappointment of the United States with the positions of the party's leadership, including him personally, regarding its position against the Prespa agreement and asks to "set aside partisan interests" and work to get the name change approved. Mickoski expressed his hope that the Republic of Macedonia will be very soon a part of the NATO and EU families, "but proud and dignified, not humiliated, disfigured and disgraced." In 2019, Mickoski has been criticized by the SDSM Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Žernovski, that Mickoski has insisted, if he becomes a prime minister, after receiving a start date for accession negotiations on the EU membership of North Macedonia, the friendship agreements with the neighboring Greece and Bulgaria, signed by Zoran Zaev's government, would be denounced.
Under the leadership of Nikola Gruevski VMRO-DPMNE would embrace a pro-Serbian policy. In 2015 the former Prime Minister and leader of the VMRO-NP, Ljubčo Georgievski espoused in an interview for Radio Free Europe his opinion, that the then government had a clear goal: to keep the country closer to Serbia, and at some future stage to join the northern neighbor. According to him a classical pro-Yugoslav policy of serbianisation was being conducted, where confrontation with all the other neighbors was taking place, but the border between Macedonian and Serbian national identity had been erased. "Stop the Serbian assimilation of the Macedonian nation" was the motto of the billboards that were placed then on Skopje streets, through which the Party launched a campaign for preserving the Macedonian national identity. The pro-governmental press claimed that the "Bulgarian" Georgievski organised a new provocation. As a result the billboards were removed quickly by the VMRO-DPMNE authorities.
VMRO-DPMNE was widely accused of nepotism and authoritarianism and was involved in a series of wiretapping, corruption and money-laundering scandals, with the Macedonian Special Prosecution ordering in 2017 a series of investigations against the party's former leader and ex-PM Nikola Gruevski, as well as ministers and other high-ranked officials, for involvement in illegal activities. In 2018, and amid ongoing investigations, a Court froze the party's property assets. Gruevski himself was sentenced in 2018 but fled when he was ordered to serve his prison sentence. Nevertheless, Gruevski has remained an honorary chairman of the party till July 2020.
Youth Force Union
Youth Force Union (Macedonian: Унија на млади сили на ВМРО-ДПМНЕ [ˈunija na ˈmladi ˈsili]), also known as UMS (Macedonian: УМС), is the youth wing organization of the VMRO-DPMNE. It considers itself a continuation of historical youth organizations which spread the ideals of VMRO for independent Macedonia.
A number of projects arising from the Youth Force Union were conducted in the past 20 years. Formed in 1991, the most remarkable and influential President of YFU was Filip Petrovski; he was its leader in the period 1997–2000, and member of parliament 1998–2001.
|First round||Second round|
|1994||Ljubco Georgievski||197,109||21.6%||-||-||Lost N|
|2004||Saško Kedev||309,132||34.1%||329,179||37.4%||Lost N|
|2019||Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova||318,341||44.16%||377,713||46.41%||Lost N|
|1990||Ljubčo Georgievski||First round||154,101||14.3%||
38 / 120
0 / 120
49 / 120
33 / 120
45 / 120
63 / 120
56 / 123
61 / 123
51 / 120
44 / 120
- "Мицкоски се обрати кон своите сопартијци од ВМРО-ДПМНЕ: Еве што им порача" [Mickoski addressed his fellow party members from VMRO-DPMNE: Here is what he told them]. 23 December 2017.
- Berglund, Sten, ed. (2013). The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 621–622. ISBN 978-1782545880.
- Daskalovski, Židas (2006). Walking on the Edge: Consolidating Multiethnic Macedonia, 1989-2004. Globic. p. 46. ISBN 978-0977666232.
- Bugajski, Janusz (1995). Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe: A Guide to Nationality Policies, Organizations, and Parties. M. E. Sharpe. p. 463. ISBN 978-0-7656-1911-2.
- Poulton, Hugh (2000). Who Are the Macedonians? (2nd ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-253-21359-2.
- European Yearbook of Minority Issues: 2002-2003. 2. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 2004. p. 233. ISBN 9004138390.
- Dobos, Corina; Stan, Marius (2010). Politics of Memory in Post-Communist Europe (History of Communism in Europe). Zeta Books. p. 197. ISBN 978-9731997858.
- Bakke, Elisabeth (2010). "Central and East European party systems since 1989". In Ramet, Sabrina P. (ed.). Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-521-88810-3.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "North Macedonia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- "Key political Parties in Macedonia". Balkan Insight. 27 September 2012.
- Jebb, Cindy R. (2006). The Fight for Legitimacy: Democracy vs. Terrorism. Praeger Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-0275991890.
- Petkovski, Ljupcho. Authoritarian Populism and Hegemony: Constructing 'the People' in Macedonia's illiberal discourse (PDF). Centre for Southeast European Studies.
- According to the personal evaluation of the founder of the party Ljubco Georgievski, not only he, but also 90 percent of VMRO-DPMNE members in the early 1990s, as well as 50 percent of the government he led from 1998 to 2002, felt themselves as Bulgarophiles. He also accused his successor Gruevski of being a Serboman. For more see: Што се случува во десницата? Утрински весник, број 3294 од 31 мај 2010 година.
- Per the leading VMRO-DPMNE member Aleksandar Lepavcov his grandfather called himself Bulgarian. His father was Bulgarian or, to put it most mildly, a big Bulgarophile. I am also Bulgarophile, but above all I am Macedonian. I know my roots, but today the situation is as it is. For more see: New Faces in Skopje, Lessons from the Macedonian Elections and the Challenges Facing the New Government, International Crisis Group (ICG), UNHCR, 8 January, 1999.
- Friedman, Eben. (2002). Party System, Electoral Systems and Minority Representation in the Republic of Macedonia from 1990 to 2002†. pp= 235-236 in European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online. 2. pp. 227-245. 10.1163/221161103X00111.
- Fontana, Giuditta (2016). Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies: Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Macedonia. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 105. ISBN 978-3319314266.
- Bideleux, Robert; Jeffries, Ian (2007). The Balkans: A Post-Communist History. Taylor & Francis. p. 419. ISBN 978-0-415-22962-3.
- Piano, Aili (30 September 2009). Freedom in the World 2009: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 433. ISBN 978-1-4422-0122-4.
- Fluri, Philipp H.; Gustenau, Gustav E.; Pantev, Plamen I. (19 September 2005). "Macedonian Reform Perspectives". The Evolution of Civil-Military Relations in South East Europe: Continuing Democratic Reform and Adapting to the Needs of Fighting Terrorism. Springer. p. 170. ISBN 978-3-7908-1572-6.
- Atanasov, Petar (2005). "Macedonian Reform Perspectives". In Fluri, Philipp H.; Gustenau, Gustav E.; Pantev, Plamen I. (eds.). The Evolution of Civil–Military Relations in South East Europe: Continuing Democratic Reform and Adapting to the Needs of Fighting Terrorism. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 170. ISBN 978-3-7908-1572-6.
- Bieber, Florian (2019). The Rise of Authoritarianism in the Western Balkans: New Perspectives on South-East Europe. Springer Nature. p. 103. ISBN 978-3030221492.
- Alan John Day, Political parties of the world, 2002
- Hugh Poulton, Who are the Macedonians?, Hurst & Company, 2000
- Danforth, Loring M. (1995). The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Princeton University Press. p. 144.
...the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), an ultranationalist party whose irredentist platform called for the creation of a "United Macedonia".
- "Вмро – Дпмне". Vmro-dpmne.org.mk. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- The party politics in Macedonia, 1993, Skopje, G. Ljubancev
- MKD.MK – Prime Minister Gruevski: Macedonia won with fair and democratic elections (in Macedonian)
- 20 years Macedonian independence (TV documentary film), Macedonian Radio-Television, 2011
- Piacentini A., Make Macedonia Great Again! The New Face of Skopje and the Macedonians’ identity dilemma edited by Evinç Doğan in Reinventing Eastern Europe: Imaginaries, Identities and Transformations; Place and space series; Transnational Press London, 2019; ISBN 1910781878, p. 87.
- Tom Lansford as ed., Political Handbook of the World 2018-2019; (2019) CQ Press, p. 968, ISBN 1544327137.
- Jasmin Mujanovic, Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans, Oxford University Press, 2018, ISBN 0190877391, pp. 115; 162.
- Sarantis Michalopoulos, Tensions grow before biggest secret is revealed: FYROM's new name, EURACTIV Jan 18, 2018.
- Vassilis Petsinis, From pro-American to pro-Russian? Nikola Gruevski as a political chameleon. 22 May 2015. openDemocracy.
- Aubrey Belford et al., Leaked Documents Show Russian, Serbian Attempts to Meddle in Macedonia. 04 June 2017, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
- Erol Rizaov, Mickoski’s offer no longer stands. By Nezavisen Vesnik, 7 July 2019, IBNA — Independent Balkan News Agency.
- "Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question," Victor Roudometof, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0275976483, p. 99.
- Alan John Day; Roger East; Richard Thomas (2002). A Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe: Alan J. Day, Roger East and Richard Thomas [ed.]. Routledge. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-85743-063-9.
- "A more modern national hero is Gotse Delchev, leader of the turn-of-the-century Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), which was actually a largely pro-Bulgarian organization but is claimed as the founding Macedonian national movement." Kaufman, Stuart J. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Cornell University Press, 2001, ISBN 0801487366, p. 193.
- The first name of the IMRO was "Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees", which was later changed several times. Initially its membership was restricted only for Bulgarians. It was active not only in Macedonia but also in Thrace (the Vilayet of Adrianople). Since its early name emphasized the Bulgarian nature of the organization by linking the inhabitants of Thrace and Macedonia to Bulgaria, these facts are still difficult to be explained from the Macedonian historiography. They suggest that IMRO revolutionaries in the Ottoman period did not differentiate between ‘Macedonians’ and ‘Bulgarians’. Moreover, as their own writings attest, they often saw themselves and their compatriots as ‘Bulgarians’ and wrote in Bulgarian standard language. For more see: Brunnbauer, Ulf (2004) Historiography, Myths and the Nation in the Republic of Macedonia. In: Brunnbauer, Ulf, (ed.) (Re)Writing History. Historiography in Southeast Europe after Socialism. Studies on South East Europe, vol. 4. LIT, Münster, pp. 165-200 ISBN 382587365X.
- The most controversial revisionist effort concerned the attempt to include the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (VMRO) of the interwar period within the Macedonian national narrative. Previous scholarship had regarded this organization as a reactionary force of Bulgarian expansionism, pointing to its support for conservative circles in Bulgaria, its contacts with the fascist Croatian Ustashe and Nazi Germany, and its display of Bulgarian national identity. The attempt to rehabilitate it was directly linked to efforts by the VMRO-DPMNE party, to declare itself the legitimate successor of the historical VMRO. For more see: Serving the Nation: Ulf Brunnbauer, Historiography in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) After Socialism, Historein, Vol 4 (2003).
- Walking on the Edge: Consolidating Multiethnic Macedonia, 1989-2004, Židas Daskalovski, Globic Press, 2006 (page 46)
- Večer Online Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Macedonian)
- Macedonia profile, BBC News Europe, 23 October 2012
- Ghosts of the past endanger Macedonia's future. Boris Georgievski, BalkanInsight, 27 October 2009 .
- Langer, Benjamin; Julia Lechler (2010). Reading the City: Urban Space and Memory in Skopje. Univerlagtuberlin. p. 43. ISBN 978-3-7983-2129-8.
- Ludomir R. Lozny (1 January 2011). Comparative Archaeologies: A Sociological View of the Science of the Past. Springer. p. 427. ISBN 978-1-4419-8225-4.
- Academic G. Stardelov and first President of the Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov against antiquisation, on youtube
- Vangeli Anastas (2011). "Nation-building ancient Macedonian style: the origins and the effects of the so-called antiquization in Macedonia". Nationalities Papers. 39: 13–32. doi:10.1080/00905992.2010.532775. S2CID 154923343.
- "SDSM Allegations at Government on Skopje 2014 Project". Skopje: SkopjeDiem. 30 March 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Macedonian Culture Strategy: Milestone or Wish List?, BalkanInsight, 15 Nov 12
- "Wess Mitchell to VMRO-DPMNE leader Mickoski: We are disappointed with you!". www.balkaneu.com. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "US ups pressure on FYROM opposition to ratify constitutional changes | Kathimerini". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Greek Foreign Minister Resigns Over Macedonia Deal Dispute". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- Македонски заместник-министър за ВМРО-ДПМНЕ: Патриоти у дома, „европейци и американци“ пред Борисов. 22 Ноември 2019, Агенция "Фокус".
- Радио Слободна Европа, јануари 23, 2015, Марија Митевска, Србизација на Македонија?
- "Court Freezes Macedonian Opposition's Property Assets". 1 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- EWB (22 July 2020). "Gruevski no longer honorary president of VMRO-DPMNE". European Western Balkans. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- Official website (in Macedonian)