The political crisis caused by the spectacular collapse of the Special Prosecutor’s Office enters its international stage tomorrow, as outgoing European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn visits Skopje, to be followed by acting US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker the next day.
Hahn and Reeker are expected to meet representatives of the Zaev Government coalition, and the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party. Not on the list, unlike before, is Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva who is being investigated after revelations that she was abusing her office, created with major US and EU support, to extort millins from businessmen she was pushing charges against.
Macedonia was hoping to be allowed to open EU accession talks in October, and this was largely conditioned by sufficient progress in the rule of law. One specific demand was to make Janeva’s office permanent, made a time when she was still considered a courageous crime fighter. International representatives still haven’t made clear comments on Janeva’s scandal and Zoran Zaev’s attempt to appoint another loyalist, Vilma Ruskoska, to her place, and Hahn’s and Reeker’s visits will likely be crucial in this regard.