Hahn: Name deal could have ‘domino effect’ in the region


Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner responsible for relations with countries that aspire to join the bloc,” has expressed the hope that the recent name deal between Greece and North Macedonia, could have a “domino effect” in the Balkan peninsula.

Hahn’s comment about the so-called Prespes accord, which opened the way for the ex-Yugoslav republic to join the EU and NATO, was made in an interview with the Financial Times Tuesday.

In the same interview, the bloc’s enlargement chief said that the EU had “overestimated Russia and underestimated China” in countering influence from rival powers in the Balkans. He warned against countries borrowing heavily from China to carry out infrastructure projects, adding that the EU would instead be a “fairer partner.”

Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia as well as North Macedonia have been told they can join the union if they meet the criteria.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Manfred Weber, the European Peoples Party’s (EPP) lead candidate for the upcoming European elections, said Turkey cannot become a member of the EU, adding that he would end accession talks if he becomes European Commission president.