Introduced by Vassilis P Tzevelekos*

Article 1(3)(a) of the Prespa Agreement of 17 June 2018 between Greece and North Macedonia provides as follows: ‘The official name of the Second Party [i.e. the state nowadays named North Macedonia] shall be the “Republic of North Macedonia”, which shall be the constitutional name of the Second Party and shall be used erga omnes, as provided for in this Agreement. The short name of the Second Party shall be “North Macedonia”.’ As I explain in this introductory note, the meaning of the term ‘erga omnes’ within the Prespa Agreement and the answer to the question of who is bound to employ the new terminologies under this Agreement depend upon how its terms will be practiced and, more generally, interpreted in the future. With this in mind, I invited my colleagues, Dr Ioannis Prezas and Dr Vassilis Pergantis, to contribute to this issue of Questions of International Law by treating the Prespa Agreement as a case study that asks scholars to explore the meaning and the effects of the term ‘erga omnes’ within this particular context, and to opine as to the obligations and rights this treaty potentially establishes for non-parties. Prezas and Pergantis partially concur and partially diverge in their reading of the PA.


* Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice.