Solution to FYROM Name Dispute in ‘Two Weeks’, EU Commissioner Says



FYROM premier Zoran Zaev (right) accepts the European Commission report from EU commissioner Johannes Hahn, last week. Photograph: Nake Batev/EPA

A solution to the name dispute that might unlock EU accession negotiations for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) could be just a couple of weeks away, European Commissioner for enlargement Johannes Hahn said on Tuesday.

Addressing the European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs, Hahn expressed optimism that “we will have a solution in the next two weeks.”

“At least a solution that will open the way for the start of negotiations with FYROM. I think everyone agrees that this would be useful for the country, the society and all the Western Balkans region,” Hahn said.

On Saturday FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that “we have never had better conditions to achieve a comprehensive solution … which will last forever.”

Last week the European Commission recommended EU membership talks for FYROM.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said “this decision to recommend opening negotiations is an encouragement to these countries to continue on the path of reforms”.

Skopje’s path to NATO and EU membership remains blocked by Greece which is insisting the country change its name and remove irredentist parts of its constitution which could lay claim to part of Greek territory.