State Secretary Dovžan on the importance of integration and increased resilience at the Conference on the Future of Europe
Today, State Secretary Gašper Dovžan attended the first plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe in the European Parliament in Strasbourg via videoconference. In his address, he emphasised that the Conference must strive to raise awareness of the historical achievements and the importance of the integration process in Europe. "It simply should not be taken for granted. It is the foundation of our coexistence and peace, security, and prosperity. Therefore, we must spread this awareness, especially among young people," stressed State Secretary Dovžan.
The plenary session, attended for the first time by representatives of governments, members of national parliaments and representatives of the European institutions as well as European citizens, is the opening meeting in a series of debates aimed at transforming citizens' ideas into recommendations for European action. In his address, State Secretary Dovžan expressed the hope that this innovative consultation process would "strengthen democracy in the European Union as today many do not seek dialogue, but confrontation".
As a representative of the Slovenian Government, which is to take over the EU Council Presidency on 1 July this year, he expressed two wishes for the Conference. Firstly, to continue, expand and improve the Union's integration process. Secondly, to use all the experience of the crises that the Union has faced in the past decade to improve its resilience and cohesion and stimulate even stronger cooperation between countries. "The Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to discuss the path that the Union should take to develop a higher level of resilience that will allow it to not only react in crises, but to become a real player, including on a global scale," concluded State Secretary Dovžan.
Slovenia will be the only country to coordinate the Conference during the entire period of its Presidency and will work actively towards achieving both goals. Member of the Slovenian National Assembly Nik Prebil also took an active part at the first plenary session, supporting the work of the Conference and, among other things, highlighting the need to listen carefully to young people’s proposals. As a Slovenian citizen, Mark Pleško also attended the meeting, expressing his ardent commitment to the EU integration process and issuing a reminder of its importance in maintaining peace and the conditions for good all-round development of the participating countries.