VMRO-DPMNE official Timco Mucunski welcomed the nomination of Hungarian official Laszlo Trocsanyi as the new EU enlargement commissioner and expressed his hope that Macedonia will begin its accession talks during his mandate. In an interview with the V4 news agency, Mucunski says that Trocsanyi’s appointment will be strategically important for the Balkans, and for Macedonia in particular.
The fact that a V4 country can delegate the leader of one of the most important segments of the European Commission is very significant for the countries aspiring to join the EU. This sends a positive and strong message that the next Commission will have actual plans for the Western Balkans, the international secretary of VMRO-DPMNE told V4.
Mucunski especially praised Trocsanyi’s background in the judiciary, given the challenges which the Balkan region faces in this regard.
A judicial expert has been chosen for the position, who can point out the legal shortcomings of the system. We are delighted with his nomination, Mucunski added.
VMRO-DPMNE vice president Aleksandar Nikoloski also welcomed Trocsanyi’s nomination in an editorial.
The nomination was also praised by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, who called it good news that the new commissioner for neighbourhood policy and enlargement could come from a country which is dedicated to expansion. The Serbian premier told the Belgrade-based Prva television that Hungary is a proponent of EU enlargement, especially when it comes to Serbia. Brnabic said that there have been many sceptical opinions about accession to the European Union, but the Hungarian nominee could now set a new direction in this communication and that the proposed line-up of the European Commission could reinvigorate enlargement efforts.
The new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sent a letter to Trocsanyi in which she said it was of utmost importance that the EU is surrounded by “stable, safe and thriving” countries.
Von der Leyen added that credible integration prospects must be presented to the Western Balkans, and accession talks should be initiated with Albania and Macedonia, while structural and institutional reforms need to be accelerated. In response to a journalist’s question, von der Leyen said at her press conference: Hungary’s goals about the integration of the Western Balkans are clear, and they match those of the Commission. She added that Trocsanyi has very good relationships with the countries in the region. The Hungarian politician reacted to his nomination in a statement.
At my hearing at the European Parliament, I will emphasize that I will do everything in my power to fulfill my duties in this responsible position, Trocsanyi wrote. He added that both enlargement and European neighbourhood policy are areas which should be prioritized, and they have an effect on the everyday lives of European citizens.
Hungary believes the European Union needs to be expanded, which is why Trocsanyi’s position is encouraging for the Western Balkans countries. The EU opened a new chapter of accession talks with Serbia in June. At that time, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called it outrageous that only one chapter was opened, while the Serbs were technically ready for five. Furthermore, the Hungarian minister said that the EU’s delay of the Western Balkan expansion process was detrimental and a security risk, since the integration of the region is of critical importance.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also supports the enlargement of the European Union. In April this year, at a joint press conference with Ana Brnabic, he spoke out in favor of Serbia’s accession to the European Union as soon as possible. In his opinion, the next historic task is the implementation of Serbia’s EU accession, which will be beneficial both for the Serbian and the Hungarian people, and also the EU will need it.