Year Founded: 1991
North Macedonia is located in the Balkans and obtained independence after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The name it used when declaring independence was the “Republic of Macedonia.” However, because the Greeks consider the name “Macedonia” as proprietorially Greek, Greece imposed strict sanctions on the state and intervened in its inclusion in NATO. The country changed its name in 2019 to the “Republic of North Macedonia” through a constitutional amendment to settle the dispute with Greece. Eventually, the state was able to join NATO in 2020 as it wished. However, after many years of sanctions imposed by Greece, on top of a civil war, as well as political instability, North Macedonia faces a stagnant economy. Its unemployment rate was once the highest in Europe at 37.25%. Even though that rate is now below 20%, it is still the second highest in Europe, making it one of the poorest countries in Europe.