Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia, at yesterday’s opening of the 17th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), called on Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) candidate status for joining the European Union (EU) without any additional conditions until the end of this year.
Pahor, first of all, warned of the danger of a new bloc division in Europe and the world, as a consequence of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Pahor has previously called for the acceleration of the European integration of BiH, and he used the BSF and the presence of von der Layen to once again return to this, for him, very important topic.
”The Western Balkans could be the next issue of peace and security in Europe,” warned Pahor and added:
”In this context, BiH is of key importance. Slovenia is doing everything in its power to convince the EU and the West to accelerate BiH’s path towards the EU and, if possible, towards NATO. If the conflict in BiH escalates, it may have consequences for the security of the country, the region, and Europe. Now is the time to understand and solve this problem. Therefore, my dear friend von der Leyen, I want to convey to you that Slovenia proposes that BiH get candidate status this year, if possible without any conditions.”
At the opening of the BSF, Tanja Fajon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, addressed the audience and emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity within the EU. According to her, they cannot be built on the lowest common denominator but must be based on common European values.
”The new reality dictated the main topics of this year’s forum. These are the strategic challenges brought about by the war in Ukraine,” Fajon said, adding that “we don’t want a new iron curtain in Europe, but unfortunately we can’t do much to prevent it.”
The BSF is being held under the title “The Rule of Power or the Power of Rules?” and it will be especially marked by discussions on the crisis of the multilateral order and the consequences of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Yesterday, on the first day of the BSF, a discussion of leaders and a debate was held under the title “How can be too muchEurope in Europe?”.
Numerous bilateral meetings are expected to take place on the sidelines of the BSF, BHRT writes.