“The Republic of North Macedonia deserves the expected green light for opening accession negotiations in October this year in return for everything the country has accomplished in recent years regarding implementation of reforms.
"North Macedonia has, seemingly, a little easier path than Albania toward the accession negotiations in October, after meeting all of the European Union's requirements and reaching a historic deal with their neighbour.”
This was the statement issued today by the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, during a press conference with the Macedonian Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev.
The European official is in Skopje discussing the progress of the reforms being undertaken there.
“North Macedonia worked hard, and it is time for the European Union to deliver on its commitments.
“The rule of law is indispensable for creating confidence in the institutions, but also for ensuring that the country will be stable, both politically and economically,” Hahn said.
He added, however, that the Euro-Atlantic integration process does not end there, and that it is necessary to continue the reforms, especially in the area of securing the rule of law through the adoption of the Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the uncompromising fight against corruption and crime.
“All political actors need to take into account the future and interests of the citizens and the state,” he stressed.
The Head of Government, Zaev, said Hahn's visit to Skopje marks the last phase before the commencement of negotiations.
“Until October, we remain committed to sincerely and honestly wrapping up reform processes, although it is not necessary for us to continue at the same pace, with the same dynamics, especially as we come the end of the reforms of the judicial system.
“In the meantime, we will continue working on the reforms, so as not to give the EU an alibi for a different kind of decision,” Zaev said.
The two officials called on all Macedonian political parties to be open to co-operation for the achievement of mutual objectives.