Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov used a news conference at the close of the EU - Western Balkans summit in Sofia to seek to counter what he called "big fears" about the eventual accession of the region to the bloc.
"Today marks another milestone in the EU-Western Balkans relations and the future of the entire region".
European Union leaders met their counterparts from the six - Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo - at a summit, agreeing to build more energy links and work more closely on issues from countering radicalism to controlling migration.
According to Ratas, the European Commission supports efforts to agree on a permanent exception from the USA import tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on Thursday wasn't supposed to talk about the enlargement but should have given a clear stance for the countries of the Western Balkans that the European Union counts on them and that it sees their future in EU membership, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said after the end of the informal summit in Bulgaria, in the country now chairing the EU Council.
Tusk again sharply criticised the Trump administration, a day after he said in regard to it that "some might say, with friends like that, who needs enemies".
In return, Brussels wants reforms and a crackdown on corruption in the region.
In the summit declaration, a draft of which was obtained by AFP, the Europeans outlined the theme of "connectivity" with investments in transport and infrastructure.
Assuring the states of the former Yugoslavia that a path to membership was still open, the European Union leaders said the pro-Western alignment was a priority.
"We reaffirmed our mutual commitment to the European perspective for the whole region".
"If there is no European perspective in the Balkans, then the Turkish influence and other influence becomes stronger and stronger".
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is staying away from the summit in protest because of his country's opposition to Kosovo's independence.
A dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the Greek province of Macedonia - whether the country's name implies a claim to the Greek province - has been enough to see Greece block Macedonia's membership of the European Union in recent years.
The EU is also wary of admitting new members before they settle their differences, particularly in a region still bedevilled by the aftermath of the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Representatives from Greece and Macedonia met on the fringes of the Sofia summit in an attempt to finally come to an agreement.