Commissioner Hahn supports FYROM’s accession talks provided the Prespes Agreement is fully implemented

European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn and European Parliament rapporteur Ivo Wegel supported the launch of FYROM’s accession talks in the European Parliament’s plenary session on Wednesday provided that the Prespes Agreement signed with Greece is implemented and reforms to ensure a rule of law in the country continue.

Hahn stressed that FYROM has made significant progress related to the rule of law and a great effort to improve bilateral relations with neighbouring countries. Referring to the name issue, he said that the Agreement is an example for the whole of the EU and shows that through a vision, in a spirit of cooperation and determination, one can overcome the obstacles of the past.

He added that the Commission expects the implementation of the national procedures of the Agreement and noted that FYROM has begun the process of constitutional reform. The Commission now expects to continue it without further delay, he said.

On his side, Wegel said that the road was not easy, but ultimately the democratic will prevailed.

Referring to the Prespes agreement, Wegel said that the FYROM government and parliament have a difficult task now, to implement the deal and the constitutional changes in order to solve the name issue. After that, he argued, reforms to ensure a rule of law are a prerequisite for starting accession negotiations in the EU.

“I hope and I believe that the accession negotiations will start in June 2019,” Wegel said, stressing, however, that the right political environment should be created for this purpose.