About the Region
The Balkan Peninsula, peninsula in Southeastern Europe, is bounded on the east by the Black and Aegean seas, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the west by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The Balkan Peninsula generally encompasses the countries that are commonly known as the Balkan states: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria. In addition, the Southeastern part of the peninsula includes Eastern Thrace, the European part of Turkey. May be primarily due to its multiethnic nature, in every historical epoch there has been reverberation in this peninsula, sometimes crisis sometimes peace but never long term stability. Thus, the Balkan Peninsula always was an attractive region to any kind of research.
The Republic of Macedonia, commonly referred to as Macedonia, is a landlocked country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia and Kosovo to the north, Albania to the west, Greece to the south, and Bulgaria to the east. The capital is Skopje, with around 600,000 inhabitants, and there are a number of smaller cities, notably Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid etc. It is a green country with plenty of natural beauties.
The country is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe and a member of La Francophonie, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Since December 2005 it is also a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.
The Republic of Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy with an executive government composed of a coalition of parties from the unicameral legislature (Собрание, Sobranie) and an independent judicial branch with a constitutional court. The Assembly is made up of 120 seats and the members are elected every four years. With the passage of a new law and elections held in 2005, local government functions are divided between 84 municipalities. The capital, Skopje, is governed as a group of ten municipalities collectively referred to as the "City of Skopje". Municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia are units of local self-government.
The political situation in Macedonia is stable and Macedonia is completely safe and peaceful place to travel to.
By air: International airports in Skopje and Ohrid connect Macedonia with several major European cities. Cheaper solution might be flying to the close regional airports in Belgrade, Sofia and Thessaloniki. They are all within a few hours drive from Skopje. There is an airport shuttle bus but also taxi is often used (the one way trip airport – city of Skopje costs approx. 20 EUR).
By train: An international train connects Ljubljana, Slovenia and Thessaloniki, Greece by way of Macedonia.
By car: The international highway E -75 runs north–south from Serbia to Greece, bisecting Macedonia. This is the most common route for overland tourists to take for entering Macedonia. There are also good roads connecting the country with Bulgaria to the east and Albania to the west.
By bus: A number of bus lines connect Macedonia will all neighboring countries and other European cities. Buses are frequent, and offer relatively inexpensive fares and professional services.
Usual price for renting a flat in Skopje (50 – 70 m2) is around 150 – 250 EURO (depends on a location and facilities included).
Skopje is a lively city where one always finds something to do. The historical places, natural beauties, restaurants, cafés, bars, are only some of them. Also, due to the geographical position and cheap transportation, no place in the Balkan Peninsula is far away from Macedonia. Analytica encourages research interns to travel in the region, and meet Analytica's partners and friendly institutes.
Some useful links