Name change paves way for science cooperation

Science features in a deal that ends almost 30 years of hostilities over a shared name. A political agreement between Greece and its smaller northern neighbour, the Republic of Macedonia, ends a longstanding dispute over the republic’s name and sets the stage for renewed cross-border collaboration in research and higher education, writes Julianna Photopoulos for Nature.

Ratified by the Greek parliament on 25 January, the Prespa Agreement renames the Republic of Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia and is designed to settle the differences and establish strategic partnerships. The two nations have been at loggerheads for decades over the Republic of Macedonia’s name because Greece has a northern region called Macedonia.

Although the accord has faced fierce opposition from nationalists in both countries, it ends the political stand-off and opens up opportunities for cooperation, including in science, which is one of the areas specifically mentioned in the agreement. Scientists in both countries have welcomed the agreement, saying they will now be able to work together more closely, without the political tensions and rigorous bureaucratic procedures that used to hold them back.
Full report on the Nature site