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. Greece is doing its utmost to contribute to this collective effort. I have recently visited all the capitals of the region to convey messages of support for our partners’ European perspective, as well as to highlight the need for reconciliation. However, there are significant positive indications as well. It is such a great pleasure to participate at today’s Forum, engaging in the dialogue which provides an opportunity to discuss the challenges and prospects of Western Balkans. Prospects that are linked to the European future of the region. And challenges we can collectively overcome by focusing our efforts on the stability and prosperity of the region. And since there is pessimism sometimes around, may I say, that we do have success stories in the Balkans. And I am here representing one success story: our relation with North Macedonia. 10 years ago, who would have said that the Greek Foreign Minister would come to a foreign policy Forum, the Prespa Forum, and advocate for the European future of North Macedonia. So, we can be optimists. Thank you so much.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.