Political agreement in the Western Balkans should be rewarded, the European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn said on Monday and called on the bloc’s foreign ministers to start accession talks with North Macedonia, the FoNet news agency reported.
Hahn added the move would be an essential signal to the whole region.
“If the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue (on the normalisation of relations) resumes, they have to see if investments into searching for a political compromise will be rewarded. Otherwise, they don’t have a motive. The EU Council should understand the importance of such a signal for the region,” Hahn said, as quoted by Factor website.
Earlier, Frederica Mogherini, the EU High Representative, also called on the bloc’s minister to agree on opening the negotiations with Skopje and Tirana.
Ahead of the EU ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, Hahn reiterated that North Macedonia did everything that was expected from it and warned that any delay in setting the starting date for the talks bore the specific risk.
He stressed that if a country put considerable efforts in its European perspective and its leaders showed courage in reaching a compromise and were left without recognition, the EU would not lose only its credibility, but also its influence in the Western Balkans region.