The Commission adopted today a strategy for ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’, as President Jean-Claude Juncker announced in his 2017 State of the Union address confirming the European future of the region as a geostrategic investment in a stable, strong and united Europe based on common values. The Strategy spells out the priorities and areas of joint reinforced cooperation, addressing the specific challenges the Western Balkans face, in particular the need for fundamental reforms and good neighbourly relations. A credible enlargement perspective requires sustained efforts and irreversible reforms. Progress along the European path is an objective and merit-based process which depends on the concrete results achieved by each individual country. The Strategy also underlines the need for the EU to be prepared to welcome new members once they have met the criteria.