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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article14 October 2016Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn on his visit to Skopje

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, visited Skopje on 14 October. He had several meetings with the Prime Minister, the leaders of the four main political parties as well as with civil society on...

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Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, visited Skopje on 14 October. He had several meetings with the Prime Minister, the leaders of the four main political parties as well as with civil society on the current situation in your country. He also met with the Special Prosecutor responsible for establishing legal accountability for the wiretaps and their content.

The Commissioner remains encouraged by the agreement reached this summer by the political leaders to finally set the date of the elections on 11 December. He outlined that this was only the beginning and strongly invited all political forces to work together to ensure a credible electoral process, where all citizens can freely participate.

The Commission continues to monitor closely the preparation and the conduct of these elections. In this regard, Commissioner Hahn encouraged the political parties and state institutions to clearly separate state and party activities and to prevent voter intimidation. He noted some encouraging signs of improvement, but called for balanced media reporting before, during and after the elections. He stressed that there is still a lot of technical work that needs to be done ahead of elections, where the State Election Commission should continue to do their professional work.

Commissioner Hahn outlined that the role of the Special Prosecutor has been agreed by all political party leaders as a key part of the Pržino agreement. All of them committed, on multiple occasions, to support and facilitate the work of the Special Prosecutor's Office. The EU strongly encourages everyone to act in line with these clear commitments and underlines the importance of both legal and, through Parliament’s work, political accountability - in the country's own interest.

The crisis has lasted far too long and affected all sectors of society and economy. That's why it is indispensable to address the reasons for the crisis, by implementing the Urgent Reform Priorities.

The Commission remains committed and available to assist all parties in overcoming the political crisis, but the political leaders themselves have the responsibility to bring the country back onto the EU path.

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