An interview outgoing European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn gave with an Austrian news agency raised concerns that the Balkans will remain outside of the EU indefinitely.

Hahn, who was a strong supporter of renaming Macedonia, by any means necessary, was desolate after France blocked the opening of EU accession talks. He warned that the French strategy risks “turning the EU perspective of the Balkans into reality in as long as 30 years”.

“North” Macedonia and Albania are not to blame for this situation. Both countries did what they were asked to do and our reports on the countries acknowledge this. The enlargement policy is enshrined in the Treaty and it is not about being nice with our neighbours. It is about our rendezvous with history, completing the unification process that begun long ago. It is above all in our geostrategic interests, Hahn said in fierce criticism of the French position.