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Minister Fajon opens the 17th Bled Strategic Forum

The 17th Bled Strategic Forum, entitled "The Rule of Power or the Power of Rules?", opened today with addresses by its host, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tanja Fajon, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The discussions at this year's Forum will centre on the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the crisis of multilateralism, climate change and the green agenda, and digitisation and the fight against disinformation.

The 17th Bled Strategy Forum takes place amid very challenging times for Europe and the world. The war in Ukraine, the emergence of a new geopolitics, rising inflation, energy prices and the changed world situation require answers to questions about what the future role of the European Union will be, how to redefine the architecture of European security, and how to define relations with strategic partners. The new realities brought about by war on European soil have also influenced the choice of the main topics of this year's Forum: the strategic consequences and the challenges war has created for Europe, the European Union and the world.

In her welcome address, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon stressed that the existing world order no longer works. Dealing with global challenges such as poverty, inequality, polarisation and climate change, demands unity and a more effective multilateral system. "Unity is our shared responsibility and must not be traded for egoism and political point-scoring. We have shown time and again that unity, solidarity and cooperation can overcome all the challenges that lie ahead. While there is solidarity, there is also hope for the future," said the Minister.

The European Union has a major role to play on issues related to the war in Ukraine and to the situation in the Western Balkans. "EU Enlargement to the Western Balkans has become a key geopolitical issue. The EU should make a much greater effort to draw the Western Balkans into its zone of influence and eventually into its membership. I am aware that some are concerned about the political costs of this course of events, but experience has taught us that the price of indecision can be much, much higher and much sadder", said President Pahor in his keynote address.

The title of this year's Forum perfectly sums up the most relevant question of our times. »Will the rule of power replace the power of rule? It all depends on the power of democracy and our capacity tu uphold fundamental principles and protect our friends", said European Commission President von der Leyen.

The Bled Strategic Forum is a strategic project and the key multilateral event of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year's programme also reflects Slovenia's new foreign policy orientation, which is a return to Europe's core countries and the fundamental European values.

The programme is available on the website of the Bled Strategic Forum.

Minister Fajon welcome address.