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17th Bled Strategic Forum concludes

The 17th Bled Strategic Forum, the main multilateral event organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reached its conclusion today. The Forum brought together 2,000 participants, more than 160 panellists and speakers from around the world, four heads of State and government, 15 foreign ministers, the President of the European Commission and other high-level representatives of European and international institutions, as well as representatives of business, academia and civil society.

Minister Fajon participating in the panel discussion “How many Europes in Europe?"

Minister Fajon participating in the panel discussion “How many Europes in Europe?" | Author STA

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“The 17th Bled Strategic Forum exceeded our expectations. I am extremely proud of the way it was organised, of the fruitful discussions it generated, of the panellists and of the creators of the Forum. We have shown that Slovenia, despite its small size, can successfully build bridges and trust with strong diplomacy,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon.

Minister Fajon took part in a panel entitled “How many Europes in Europe?”, together with the Foreign Ministers of Spain, Turkey, Portugal, Iceland, Poland and Austria, the Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, and the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  The discussion focused on the future role of the EU and its effective responses to key global challenges. “This autumn will be a major test for the Union, especially as we will have to explain to citizens the energy measures that will affect their lives.  This is yet another reason for us to stand united,” the Minister stressed.

On the margins of the Forum, Minister Fajon held a number of bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Croatia, Turkey and Spain, the State Secretary for European Affairs at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, the High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Schmidt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Escobar, Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of Botswana, Malawi, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Egypt and Kiribati, and with her counterparts from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Both state secretaries at the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also played an active part in the Forum. In a panel entitled “Afghanistan, the Sahel, Ukraine: The end of stabilisation as we knew it”, State Secretary Samuel Žbogar stressed the importance of dialogue, engagement and cooperation for lasting solutions. He underlined the active role of ITF – Enhancing Human Security in Slovenia’s development cooperation and humanitarian aid. State Secretary Marko Štucin took part in the panel “How many futures for the EU?”, where he pointed out the importance of strengthening the Union's resilience, upholding European values and ensuring a European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans. Both state secretaries held a number of bilateral meetings on the Forum sidelines.

The Bled Strategic Forum is the leading international conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe and a unique, open and inclusive platform on Europe’s key challenges in the 21st century. In the 16 years since it began, it has hosted more than 10,000 participants from 100 countries, over 30 heads of state and government, more than 300 ministers and more than 100 representatives of international organisations.