EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn visited Skopje on Thursday (July 23rd) to discuss the country’s accession bid. He noted Macedonia has two months to meet remaining benchmarks before the next European Commission (EC) progress report is drafted. Based on that document, due in October, Macedonia could receive an official start date for accession talks.
The remaining benchmarks include adopting a law on parliament and amending the laws on public administration and political parties’ financing. “The reforms [already] conducted in the context of visa liberalisation … show that there is political will and also ability to conduct such reforms that are needed for recommendation in the coming autumn,” Rehn said. He also stressed that while the name row with Greece is a bilateral issue and not part of the criteria for opening Macedonia’s EU entry talks, all bloc members — including Greece — must vote to open those negotiations.