Presenting the last week’s Enlargement Package before the FA Committee of the European Parliament EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn described the Package as a roadmap for “stronger and bigger Union.”
Hahn believes that internal institutional reform of the EU and the process of enlargement should be parallel processes.
Commenting on a recent statement made by French President Emanuel Macron, who said that “further enlargement will not be possible unless the EU is reformed from within,” Hahn said that it would not be wise to stop enlargement processes, Belgrade media report.
“We can’t wait for years to reach an agreement within the EU before continuing the pre-accession process,” Hahn said.
He said that the EU would not accept new members with unresolved issues with neighbours and, in that context, stressed the importance of making progress in Serbia-Kosovo dialogue.
He said that Serbian President was doing a formidable task when it comes to talks with Pristina. Hahn added that Belgrade “gives more thought to the process, perhaps more than before.”
European Commissioner, however, warned that progress in the dialogue did not mean that Belgrade should stop the reform process, especially with regard to the rule of law.
He reminded that Belgrade had missed the 2016 deadline to meet some of the rule of law-related criteria.
“It’s 2018 and we are still waiting,” said Hahn and noted that Serbia should make progress in both areas. “I believe it is important for Serbia to understand that both these things have to be dealt with. It does not suffice to make good progress in one, and let the other area backslide,” Hahn said.