26 Jul 2019
North Macedonia needs to reform its judiciary to ensure it can handle high-level crime and corruption cases before the European Union can set a date to start accession talks, top EU official Johannes Hahn said on Thursday.
The former Yugoslav republic changed its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia this year, ending a more than two decade dispute with Greece over its name and removing an obstacle to its membership of the EU and NATO.
It expects the new EU Commission to set a date for accession talks in October.
“I’m confident that the decision (on the start of accession talks) will be taken in October,” Hahn, EU commissioner for enlargement of the bloc, said after meeting Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
“North Macedonia has worked hard for it and now it’s time for EU leaders to deliver.”
Hahn said the government in Skopje should implement reforms to ensure the judiciary is ready to complete cases handled so far by the special prosecutor’s office.
By Kole Casule, Reuters, 25 July 2019
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