Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Enlargement, and the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Dimov said they hoped that the bloc’s leaders would give the green light in the next day or two for the opening of the accession negotiations with Tirana and Skopje, the Beta news agency reported on Wednesday.
Hahn said that it would be “a strong message to the whole region, and if all the efforts North Macedonia made aren’t awarded, there won’t be an incentive for Serbia and Kosovo to start an essential dialogue about common life in the future.”
Also on Wednesday, Zoran Zaev, North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, warned the EU leaders that his Government would be ‘dead’ if they did not set a date for the beginning of the accession talks with Skopje.
On Tuesday, the foreign ministers could not unite in setting a date for Skopje and Tirana mostly because of the opposition from Paris.
Hahn also said he was not asking the EU to start the negotiations quickly, but to send “a clear signal of its commitment to the European perspective of North Macedonia and Albania, with an expectation that all necessary reforms were implemented.
Zaev recalled that the country’s parliamentarians were promised the start of negotiations if they supported the Constitutional changes to enable the name deal that ended the 27-year-old dispute with Greece.
He said he was aware of the necessary reforms but added that “they are possible only with a motivation. Without it, the nationalism, radicalism and populism we will be back.”