Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ remarks from Slovenia, where he will take part in the informal EU Council meeting and the EU – Western Balkans Summit

In this EU – Western Balkans Summit, we will have the opportunity to discuss the EU accesion prospects of our neighbors in the Western Balkans.

Eighteen years after the Thessaloniki Summit, which opened, for the first time, the gateway to EU integration for the Western Balkan countries, it is now time to take on clear commitments regarding the Western Balkans.

Time is pressuring us. Should the EU be absent from this region, there is no doubt that others will rush to fill this gap.

At tonight’s dinner we will have the chance to discuss issues related to foreign policy at the global level. I will have the opportunity to brief our partners on the very important strategic partnership agreement that we signed with France.

Let me reiterate once more the need to accelerate the discussion on Europe’s strategic autonomy. Europe must, finally, be in a position to at least start moving along this path of aligning its economic prowess with its geopolitical power. I hope that tonight we will have the chance to discuss this thoroughly.