On 20 and 21 November 2014, Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, will pay official visits to Serbia and Montenegro. The visits at the very beginning of Mr Hahn's mandate are a clear sign that enlargement negotiations have the same priority as before and it shows a clear commitment to the European perspective of the Western Balkan.
As Commissioner Hahn stressed when taking office on 1 November: "The EU is stronger with close partners." Commissioner Hahn believes that the EU and accession negotiations and structural reforms in our partner countries are not just a technical process. Their progress must have a tangible impact on citizens' daily lives. In this respect, the Commissioner considers that, in addition to the alignment of national legislation of candidate countries with the acquis communautaire, strengthening the rule of law and carrying out deep economic reforms to attract investment are equally important. During his visit to Serbia on 20 November and Montenegro on 21 November, the Commissioner will meet the governments' officials and other key partners to encourage them to speed up their reform processes through the enlargement negotiations. (for more information: Maja Kocijancic - Tel.: +32 229 86570; Anca Paduraru - Tel.: +32 229 66430)