European Western Balkans

Hahn: If the violence occurs again, it will endanger Macedonia’s path to the EU

Johannes Hahn; Photo: European Union

meta_maliVIENNA – The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations said in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard that the attack on the Macedonian Parliament would not affect the country’s chances to start negotiations with the EU, but only if they do not repeat again, Meta reports.

“I did not expect such an attack on Parliament, but unfortunately things can get worse. However, if this gives the impression that the country is automatically expelled from accession, the answer is no. In Parliament, those who were attacked are those who advocate for the European process. It would be unfair for us to say now that the whole perspective of accession is over. On the contrary, I hope that these events were a wake-up call. If this were to be repeated, the European perspective would be endangered”, said Hahn.

When asked of the possibility of sanctions against Macedonia, given that the country is not in an open negotiation process, but is only a candidate, Hahn said that if the democratic process if further hampered, they will not maintain their recommendations on accession negotiations either.

“For years there has been a clear recommendation from the Commission for negotiations to start with the country. However, this has failed due to vetoes from two EU member states, Greece and Bulgaria. Ten years ago, Macedonia was a showpiece in the region, but now it has slipped. We have been trying very hard for two years to bring the country back to the European path. This has also worked with the elections, but not in the formation of the government, which is being blocked because the parliamentary majority are not recognized by the party who has been in power for years. But democracy also means change. If the democratic process is further hampered, we can not maintain our recommendation on accession negotiations either”, said Hahn in an interview with Der Standard.

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