“The European Commission has said it would restore full-throated support for Macedonia to start accession talks if it kept up reform.

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn delivered the message after meeting Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Brussels on Wednesday (6 December).

Hahn said if Zaev delivered reforms, the Commission could ‘enter the next phase’ and ‘issue an unconditional recommendation to start accession negotiations and open chapters.’

Juncker said ‘the progress made [by Zaev] in the last months is remarkable.’

‘This is the beginning of a great friendship,’ he said after his first meeting with the 37-year old Macedonian leader.”