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Minister Logar at the Dubrovnik Forum on enhancing the EU’s role in a post-pandemic world

At the invitation of the Croatian Foreign Minister, Gordan Grlić-Radman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar attended the traditional Dubrovnik Forum held on 9–10 July 2021. Attended by numerous eminent guests, this year’s Forum focused on the future of geopolitics in a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on the geopolitical situation of the Western Balkans.

Minister Logar participated as one of the introductory speakers during the first panel discussion on the key challenges of geopolitics in today’s world. In his address, he focused on enhancing the role of the European Union in the changed international political setting: “The panel’s title Unmasking the Geopolitics of a Post-Pandemic World indicates how the pandemic revealed our perception of the world. COVID-19 has literally unmasked our reality, confronting us with all dilemmas and questions that we need to solve.” The Minister stressed that today’s situation is completely different from that in the past. The pandemic exposed the unpreparedness of the EU for a crisis of such magnitude, which is why an open dialogue about where we are and what we have to be prepared for is essential. 

While the EU must assert its presence in the global arena, it also needs to be progressive in the regional context, particularly in the Western Balkans. Minister Logar reiterated his call for further Western Balkans’ EU integration, noting that: “Questions regarding the Western Balkans came back to the EU agenda only with COVID-19 because someone has entered our backyard. It is time to react, achieve significant milestones and emerge from the crisis even stronger.”

On the sidelines of the Forum, Minster Logar met with Director of OECD Global Relations Andreas Schaal, discussing cooperation during the Slovenian EU Council Presidency, EU enlargement and geostrategic challenges the OECD is currently facing. 

At the meeting with Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Nasser Kamel, he also emphasised cooperation with Slovenia during the Presidency and the importance of enhancing cooperation in the Mediterranean.