Hahn-Zaev: EU leaders should demonstrate leadership

“We are prepared, both at political and institutional level. Any delay would be interpreted as a negative decision, producing negative effects and the citizens, all those that supported the implementation of the Prespa Agreement, would be left deeply disappointed,” PM Zoran Zaev told a news conference Wednesday alongside EU’s Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

“It doesn’t stop the leaders from deciding on the negotiations here and now. We need a positive decision here and now. To us, it’s a new process of hard work. After 10 consecutive EU recommendations, optimistic conclusions of the Council of the EU in 2018 and 2019, after all of our results and reforms, after everything we’ve done, we are convinced that we should start negotiating,” stated Zaev.

He underscored that the implementation of the Prespa Agreement is related with the opening of EU negotiations chapters.

Commissioner Hahn once again called on the EU leaders at their meeting on Thursday in Brussels to demonstrate leadership involving the matter.

“You’ve spelled out clearly your expectations to the European leaders, I think the focus should be on the notion leader; we expect leadership. If you look at the track record in the past couple of years, there is almost no country in Europe which has gone such a long way, with so many difficult and sometimes painful reforms and measures,” Hahn told the news conference.

The citizens of the country, according to him, deserve better living conditions and a better perspective for themselves so as to tackle immigration, especially amongst young people.

Also, Hahn welcomed the atmosphere of cooperation in Parliament, acknowledging the role of all stakeholders in North Macedonia’s process to join the Union. He reiterated that an overwhelming majority of EU members ‘ask for nothing more than green light to be given in order to prepare the opening of accession negotiations.’