EU enlargement commissioner arrives in Macedonia

July 17, 2018 - 5:25 am

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The European Union's enlargement commissioner has arrived in Macedonia to formally announce the start of preparations for the Balkan country to open accession talks with the bloc next year.

Johannes Hahn on Tuesday congratulated Macedonia for recently signing a deal with Greece resolving a decades-old dispute over the country's name. He urged the public to vote in favor of the deal, which changes the name to North Macedonia, in a referendum this fall.

The deal was key to allowing Macedonia to start the accession process. The bloc's member states agreed last month to open membership talks with Albania and Macedonia next year if the two nations continue with reform progress. Macedonia must deliver results in overhauling its judiciary, fighting corruption and media freedom.

Hahn will visit Albania later Tuesday.