Varhelyi: Enlargement is our common interest

The new European Commission considers it an absolute priority to increase the EU’s visibility and influence in the western Balkans, Oliver Verhelyi, the European Commission’s member responsible for neighbourhood policy and enlargement told Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap.

According to the Hungarian Commissioner, the EU integration of the western Balkans is of paramount importance. “My main message was that I can credibly represent the cause of the enlargement and ensure that the Commission continues to deem that these two countries are ready to start the accession talks, if they not only don’t give up the reforms and alignment with EU law, but also speed it up,” Varhelyi said about his recent visits to Albania and North Macedonia.

We stand by proposal to open accession talks w North Macedonia. Impressive progress on difficult reforms was made & that’s why I put forward a performance reward of €50m & am in touch w @EP_ForeignAff to get it approved swiftly. Reforms must continue, incl adoption of PPO law.

— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) January 15, 2020

Good progress in reforms: In justice w vetting Albania showed commitment&determination. To recognise achievements, I’m proposing €28m performance reward & in touch w @EP_ForeignAff to get green light. But crucial that reforms & their implementation continue w concrete results.

— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) January 16, 2020

“It’s perfectly clear that minority rights are among the fundamental European values. I think everybody agrees with this, including the Ukrainian authorities. Everyone who wants to cooperate with us should respect these values. I think the new Ukrainian president’s New Year address, and the fact that the new authorities are open for dialogue is encouraging,” he said regarding the concerns over Ukraine’s education and language laws.

Source: Hungary Journal
Photo: EP

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