The future Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, wants to see progress in Macedonia's European integration. Once he takes over the job from Stefan Fule on 1 November, he plans to pay his first visit to the Republic of Macedonia.
High-ranking sources from the European Commission told MIA that as far as the enlargement negotiations portfolio is concerned, Mr. Hahn was most interested in Macedonia's case. He is said to have been surprised by the fact that the country has been a candidate member state for nine years and that it has been issued recommendations for opening accession talks from the EC for five years in a row but that talks have not yet started due to Greece's objection.
Although, due to the precedence the neighborhood policy is given over the enlargement negotiations, the first country that he is officially expected to visit is Ukraine, as far as his second task is concerned – EU enlargement – he is said to have expressed a wish to visit Macedonia in November.