EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn has stated that EU will give the green light for the opening accession negotiations this year if reforms are implemented.
Commissioner Hahn salutes the signing of the NATO Accession Protocol and says the name row settlement with Greece is a decisive step towards the Euro-Atlantic integration of “the future Republic of North Macedonia”.
“Given the efforts it took to achieve the signing of the NATO protocol, for which the Prespa Agreement paved the way, I can just applaud all political leaders involved. This is yet another historic decision achieved by the country’s leadership. The NATO integration of the future Republic of North Macedonia will contribute to the security and stability of the Western Balkans and of Europe as a whole,” says Hahn.
NATO and EU accession, he adds, are processes of their own, with specific conditions and procedures, but both contribute in parallel to the stability and peace and are based on same principles such as democracy and rule of law.
“The Prespa Agreement, which paved the way to signing the NATO protocol, is also an important step towards EU integration, as our Western Balkan Strategy published a year ago, defines reconciliation and good neighborly relations as one of the central conditions for EU accession,” notes Hahn.
Hahn expresses confidence that EU member states “will acknowledge this remarkable achievement in June.”
“Of course, there has also to be tangible progress in the implementation of the reform agenda, on which all efforts should be focused now. If the historic success of the Prespa Agreement is accompanied by a solid track record of reforms – and as far as I have seen, the Government is working hard to achieve this – I am confident that member states will give their green light for opening accession negotiations this year. It’s also a question of the EU’s credibility, because if our candidate countries deliver, we have to deliver on our promises too,” said Hahn.