The year 2025 is expected to be the earliest point in time that the European Union will add a new star to their flag. At least this is the opinion of European Union Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn.

In an interview with the German newspaper "Di Velt" he says that Serbia and Montenegro are no longer the leading countries in the process of membership and that Albania is expected to be at the head of the race.

“The Balkan countries have competed with each other to show who can make more progress, and that is positive.

“For a long time, Serbia and Montenegro have been a step forward in the membership process, but now the race is headed by Albania and Macedonia,” said Johannes Hahn.

In his interview, he also assessed the achievement of the name agreement of Macedonia that would bring a positive effect on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

The Austrian politician said that by giving a solution to these two problems, the Western Balkans would show the union that reconciliation is possible and European Union membership would bring sustainability and prosperity to all sides.

Speaking in regards to Turkey, a country that has been in membership negotiations since 2005, Hahn said he is of the opinion that the EU should not continue talks with them.

Hahn said the final decision would depend on the governments of member states, but the parties should only target co-operation in other strategic areas such as energy, the fight against terrorism and trade relations.