Hahn: French veto undermined years of work spent by the European Commission

Johannes Hahn at Vienna Economic Talks; Photo: European Union 2019

BRUSSELS – “French veto of the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia, even after reaching an agreement with Greece on a very sensitive issue, undermined the years spent by the European Commission in establishing a political framework for reaching an agreement and sent a bad message to regional leaders”, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in an interview for the Financial Times, reports KoSSev.

The Commissioner said that right now, it is not clear why the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić would be motivated to continue negotiations with Kosovo. Hahn added that President Vučić himself conveyed this position to him after the EU failed to make a decision to open negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania on October 17.

“This happened even though most of the members were in favor of opening accession negotiations, with the exception of France, which blocked this decision”, he pointed out.

During the regular meeting of European Commissioners in Brussels yesterday, it was concluded that the Western Balkans remain one of the European Commission’s priorities, and that greater involvement of Commissioners in the field is needed, N1 reported.

“In line with its strong commitment to the region, EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner for Justice Vera Jurova will participate in the EU and Western Balkans Ministers Forum next week. The Forum will discuss justice and home affairs, where they will discuss cooperation in the areas of migration, border management and the fight against terrorism”, European Commission Spokeswoman Mina Andreeva announced yesterday.

The Western Balkans and Enlargement will be the topic and meeting of the General Affairs Council, scheduled for November 19.