Maribor – A debate on future development of Slovenia and the EU as part of the Youth Strategic Forum in Maribor on Saturday heard Defence Minister and coalition New Slovenia (NSi) president Matej Tonin noting that it was right that young people were interested in the future, as it depended on them.
Events such as this are an opportunity for them to exchange views, Tonin said at the conference organised by the youth wings of the NSi and the ruling Democrats (SDS) and in conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs Organisation EU JEUNE and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
Katja Berk Bevc and Dominik Štrakl, the presidents of the NSi and SDS youth wings, respectively, said such events enabled young people from entire Europe to debate the current situation in Slovenia, Europe and the world, and the direction of future development.
The main topics were economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, freedom of speech and the future of the EU and world. “We want to hear what young entrepreneurs have to say about this. We want to give them a voice,” said Youth Strategic Forum secretary general Žiga Korsika.
Minister Tonin as the keynote speaker said that such debates were very useful, as young people of various beliefs and ideas could meet, have a debate and create future together. “If these opinions are exchanged, we don’t need to worry about our future.”
He said that young people should definitely debate the future of the EU. “If someone wants to be an important player on the global scene, they must have a strong economy, effective diplomacy and credibly army.”
The Slovenian defence minister added that “for better future of Europe we need to improve the decision-making process, strengthen our military capabilities and preserve our economic power.”
The event was also briefly addressed via videolink by Foreign Minister Anže Logar, who said that the Youth Strategic Forum was an opportunity for networking of members of various political organisations and representatives of other fields.
Minister of Digital Transformation Mark Boris Andrijanič meanwhile said in his videolink address that digital transformation was an important topic, as both Slovenia and the EU were in for numerous challenges in this field..
“Digitalisation is a key term now and it is time for Europe to take over a leading place, before it is too late. This is why this is one of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council.”
Prime Minister Janez Janša had been announced as one of the keynote speakers at the event, but he excused himself due to other obligations.