I wish to reiterate what the Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis mentioned on June 10. He said: “In accordance with set criteria, let us offer the potential of completing the integration of all of the Western Balkans into the EU by 2033 – an ambitious but absolutely achievable timeline”.In this context, the region’s European integration remains an unfinished business 19 years after the 2003 “Thessaloniki Agenda”. These potentially very risky elements coincide with a set of crises in the wider region linked to economy, energy and food. Crises caused or aggravated by the illegal and unprovoked war in Ukraine. We should all work very closely together, so we can turn the region into a truly European neighborhood. Put this region into the European family where it actually belongs.The war in Ukraine highlighted the strategic importance of the European Union-Western Balkans relationship. The EU remains the biggest trade and investment partner of the Western Balkans. Cooperation on foreign policy with Western Balkans partners has stepped up, also in relation to Ukraine. I would like to conclude with a word of caution regarding the presence of third actors in the region. Actors which promote adversarial political and economic agendas. Such agendas, different to the European agenda, run counter to our collective interests, and they attempt to undermine the EU-Western Balkans relationship.Your Excellencies, Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,As our region tries to endure the impact of war, it is crucial that the EU contributes to this effort. Τhe Economic & Investment Plan is expected to bring tangible benefits to citizens and businesses. It is also expected to reinforce the region’s sustainable growth, including inter-connectivity.