Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated to be the next President of the European Commission, made no mention of Macedonia or EU enlargement in her remarks before the European Parliament today.
It was widely reported that the PES social-democratic group in the Parliament demands commitment from Von der Leyen that she will work to open accession talks with Macedonia and Albania, as a condition to support her nomination. Both Albania and Macedonia are led by PES aligned parties and the social-democratic wing has pushed to get the EU to reward the leaders of the two countries. Zaev is also hoping that the Commission will continue to acknowledge the name change he imposed on Macedonia.
The outgoing commission strongly supported opening accession talks, but opposition from France and the Netherlands torpedoed hopes for a summer date to open accession talks, and the decision is now postponed for October.
The German Defense Minister needs to get the votes of 374 members of the European Parliament, but many members from the nominal coalition, that includes the EPP conservatives, PES and the liberal-democrats, have voice opposition to her nomination.