Hahn: It is less likely that Gruevski will be extradited

Brussels, 10 December, 2018 - 10:23 (META) 

The EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn before the start of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council this morning said that he doesn’t believe that Nikola Gruevski will be extradited from Hungary to Macedonia.

When asked whether he supports the amendments of the European Parliament in the report about Macedonia with which it is requested that Hungary should extradite Gruevski into Macedonia, Hahn answered that “I hope that will happen, but it is less likely because these two countries don’t have an agreement, but I understand the position of the European Parliament.”

Hahn has reported that he has spoken with ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Radmila Shekjerinska about the road forward and the Prespa Agreement in the forthcoming weeks, including the reforms that have to be implemented in order for Macedonia to receive a positive report from the European Commission.

Hahn: I expect a sound explanation from Orbán regarding Gruevski’s asylum

Brussels, 21 November, 2018 - 13:54 (META) 

Yesterday, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn responded to Hungary’s decision to grant asylum to Nikola Gruevski, after the former prime minister boasted about it on Facebook. Hahn said that if it were true, he expects a sound explanation from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán regarding the grounds of such a decision.

“I take notes of reports about Hungary’s decision to grant political asylum to Nikola Gruevski. If confirmed, I expect a sound explanation of its grounds by Viktor Orbán.


The EU Commissioner explained that he was surprised that Hungary granted asylum to Gruevski and called Macedonia an insecure country, while at the same time supporting the country’s membership in the EU.

“The rule of law remains a fundamental principle for Member States and candidate countries. It is crucial for Europe’s credibility. I am surprised that Hungary supports Macedonia’s EU memberhsip, but does not consider it safe, “Hahn added.



Hahn: All EU member states should respect the rule of law in Macedonia

Brussels, 16 November, 2018 - 21:22 (META) 

European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn indirectly commented on the escape of former convicted Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on his Twitter account, saying it is a “matter of Europe’s credibility”.

“A strong rule of law is one of the fundamental criteria of EU accession. After years of backsliding, Macedonia is making good progress in this area, including criminal law. All EU member states and West Balkan neighbours should support this process. This is a matter of Europe’s credibility”, wrote Hahn.


Osmani – Hahn: Macedonia will manage to achieve EC 2025 agenda

Brussels, 13 November, 2018 - 13:57 (META) 

Macedonia will successfully become part of the strategy of the enlargement commission with the Western Balkan countries and will achieve the 2025 Agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani told EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn at today’s meeting in Brussels, stated the Secretariat for European Affairs.

“Plan 18 has already been adopted by the Government and its implementation, for now, is going smoothly. I expect to address all key areas in a timely manner and create conditions for confirmation of the decision to start negotiations. Parliament gave the first green light for constitutional changes in accordance with the Prespa Agreement, which not only opened the way for the implementation of the obligations under the Agreement, but also created conditions for accelerating the reform process of the country in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council from June,” Osmani said at the meeting.

He pointed out that relations between Macedonia and Greece are improving at an speedy pace, recalling the renewal of airline flights between Athens and Skopje after a 10-year pause.

Osmani informed Hahn about the progress in the preparation of the negotiating structure for the start of negotiations, stressing that the government is working to include it in the process, both the civil sector and the academic community.

Hahn: If reforms are implemented, 2025 is a realistic date for admission of new members

Brussels, 6 November, 2018 - 13:37 (META) 

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said that 2025 is a realistic date for the admission of new members from the Balkans, but only if the criteria are met.

“The date 2025 is indicative, but if the implementation of reforms is intensified, then it is quite realistic. However, all criteria for membership must be met before, and there is no shortcuts. The motto is “quality before speed,” says Hahn.

In his interview, he once again welcomed the vote on the constitutional changes in the Macedonian Parliament.

“I am grateful to all the MPs who fulfilled the responsibility and put the interests of the state in front of those of the party. This is especially true for MPs from the opposition who voted against the party line and faced the consequences, that is, exclusion from the party,” Hahn said.

He is confident that the Prespa Agreement will be voted in Greece and says this deal will send an important signal of reconciliation to the entire region.

“This could have a dynamic effect in resolving the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo and lead to a breakthrough in the accession of the Western Balkans. For EU member states, accession to the EU makes sense only if all six countries can join and the solution in FYROM makes this scenario entirely more likely,” said Hahn, adding that Macedonia’s progress has created an atmosphere of “positive competition”.

Hahn is convinced that all MPs are aware of the great opportunity and responsibility

Brussels, 19 October, 2018 - 12:57 (META) 

The EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn on his tweeter profile expressed his conviction that the MPs from all political parties in the Macedonian Parliament will put aside their party’s interests and will make a decision in the interest of the country and the citizens.

These are decisive days for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. MPs will vote on the historic Prespa agreement which opens the door to the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration. It is a vote about the future of the country and the positive perspectives for its people. I am confident that lawmakers of ALL political forces are aware of the huge opportunity and #responsibility they are facing today. This is the time to put party interests behind and act in the interest of the country and its people! wrote Hahn.

Hahn: VMRO-DPMNE must abandon its destructive approach

Brussells, 9 October, 2018 - 11:47 (META) 

The EU Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, in an interview for the Austrian magazine “Standard”, said that he is acquainted with the threats issued by the opposition against MPs that want to abandon the party’s lines and to support the Agreement with Greece at the Parliament.

He has asked VMRO-DPMNE to abandon, as he said, its destructive approach and to put the country’s interests and those of the citizens above the party’s interests. He also said that the party will bear full responsibility for the closure of the EU’s doors for Macedonia if the Agreement doesn’t pass.

-This is completely unacceptable for a party that says it is pro-European, democratic party – said Hahn.

He reminds that the Euro-Atlantic integration is a declared goal for VMRO-DPMNE, but the party has to prove that in fact and that the Agreement with Greece will open the doors for the EU and NATO accession.

For the EU Commissioner, the referendum was purely consultative and the vast majority of the citizens voted “For.”

-The boycott calls mean a lack of democratic maturity – thinks the EU Commissioner.

Hahn said that the snap elections carry a risk for breaching the set deadlines for the name agreement and expressed his doubts whether Greece will be able to pass that in its own Parliament. He also said that new elections don’t guarantee the necessary two-third majority.

-Now there is a chance that has to be used or otherwise this unique chance for the Agreement to get passed and with it the road towards EU membership can be lost for a long time, maybe forever – said Hahn.

He also said that VMRO will be completely taken as responsible for such scenario and the missed opportunity that is important not only for Macedonia but the whole region.

Hahn: Build a two-thirds majority in Parliament instead of new elections

Vienna, 5 October, 2018 - 19:08 (META) 

New elections in Macedonia will obstruct the path to the start of EU negotiations, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn told the Austrian daily newspaper “Kurier”, saying he advised the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev not to call snap parliamentary elections but to form a two-thirds majority in the Assembly that would support the Agreement with Greece.

“New elections will obstruct the road to the start of negotiations with the EU. The opposition contributed to the low turnout through the boycott. Saying that the referendum was unsuccessful is far from true. It is unusual for a referendum to get support from 94% of voters, but only 37% took part – because the opposition was apparently successful in the boycott. In parliament, a two-thirds majority can be secured. The government needs 8 or 9 votes from the opposition and this must be feasible. Everyone says they want to be part of the EU and NATO, as well as the opposition, so therefore the price must be paid with this agreement,” says Hahn.

Answering a journalist’s question on how to reach the required majority in Parliament, Hahn replied “with a combination of the Balkans and rationality”.

Parliament must implement Prespa Agreement, urge Hahn and Mogherini

Brussels, 1 October, 2018 - 14:08 (META) 

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn in a joint statement have urged Parliament to implement the Prespa Agreement on the name and adopt constitutional changes. Mogherini and Hahn said that this is a historic opportunity not only for reconciliation in the region, but also for decisively moving the country forward on its European Union path.

“On 30 September, citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had the opportunity to vote for the future of their country. In a peaceful and democratic vote an overwhelming majority of those who exercised their right to vote said yes to the Prespa agreement on the name issue and their European path. The Parliament will now be called upon to proceed with the next steps for the implementation of the name agreement by deciding on the adoption of the constitutional changes.This is a historic opportunity not only for reconciliation in the region, but also for decisively moving the country forward on its European Union path. It is for all political and institutional actors now to act within their constitutional responsibilities beyond party political lines. The European Union will continue to fully support and accompany the country, its institutions and all its citizens,” reads the joint statement.

Leaders must respect and carry out the decision of the citizens, stated Hahn

Brussells, 30 September, 2018 - 22:34 (META) 

The European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn wrote on his Twitter account that the votes “For” at the referendum are significant and that it will provide a support for the Prespa Agreement.

“I congratulate those citizens who voted in today’s consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms/ With their significant “yes” vote, there is a broad support to the Prespa Agreement and to the country’s Euro-Atlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country,” wrote Hahn