Monday, November 17, 2008
New ICJ Case Filed Today: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Sues Greece for Blocking Its Application to Join NATO
The International Court of Justice has the busiest docket in its history. It just got a little busier today when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (“FYROM”) brought an action against Greece, alleging “a flagrant violation of its obligations under Article 11” of the Interim Accord signed on 13 September 1995.
From what I can tell, it comes down to this (although it is undoubtedly more complicated): FYROM had sought to join NATO. In April 2008, Greece objected. FYROM now sues Greece.
FYROM seeks “to protect its rights under the Interim Accord and to ensure that it is allowed to exercise its rights as an independent State acting in accordance with international law, including the right to pursue membership of relevant international organizations.” FYROM contends that Greece vetoed its application to join NATO because Greece desires “to resolve the difference between the Parties concerning the constitutional name of the Applicant as an essential precondition” for FYROM’s membership of NATO. FYROM argues that it has “met its obligations under the Interim Accord not to be designated as a member of NATO with any designation other than ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’” and it affirms that “the subject of this dispute does not concern ⎯ either directly or indirectly ⎯ the difference [that has arisen between Greece and itself over its name]”.
FYROM requests the International Court of Justice to order Greece “to cease and desist from objecting in any way, whether directly or indirectly, to the Applicant’s membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and/or of any other ‘international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions’ of which [Greece] is a member . . . .”
Documents relating to the case will be posted on the ICJ’s website.