The Slovenia Times

Seventh Bled Strategic Forum Gets Under Way


The two-day forum is to examine the role of crisis-plagued Europe in a changing international community and the regional challenges in the southern Mediterranean, especially in Syria, SE Europe, and Afghanistan.

The meeting will start off with a business forum, a novelty at BSF, which will be followed by the official opening and the main panel dedicated to the role Europe should adopt in a new, multi-polar world, where the centres of power and decision making are spreading to new countries and players.

Featuring foreign ministers, leading representatives of international organisations and other high-profile guests, the remaining five panels will bring debates on the time after the crisis, the Arab revolutions, the potential role of China in the resolving the crisis in Europe, Afghanistan after 2014 and the EU's challenges in SE Europe.

The Foreign Ministry and the Slovenia-based Centre for European Perspective, which organise the event, expect more than 300 participants from around the world, including two prime ministers and nine foreign ministers.

President Danilo Türk will be among the Slovenian officials present and will address participants, while the list of guests also includes OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, and EBRD president Suma Chakrabar.

Notable bilateral meetings held on the sidelines will include talks between Slovenian PM Janez Janša and Chakrabarti and his Kosovo counterpart Hasim Thaci.

Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec will meet Croatian counterpart Pusić, while a meeting will also be held in Ljubljana between Janša and his Albanian opposite number Sali Berisha, who will also be on hand in Bled.

In a prelude to the forum, students and young professionals from Europe and the Mediterranean region already gathered at Bled on Saturday for the Young Bled Strategic Forum. They discussed pressing topics such as youth unemployment in the Western Balkans and changes in the Mediterranean after the Arab Spring.


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