Michel to pledge new EU accessions by 2030Reading Time: 2 minutes
European Council President Charles Michel will announce that the EU should be ready to accept new members by 2030, when he opens the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) in Bled, north-western Slovenia, on Monday, 28 August.
Michel will reportedly tell leaders of EU candidate countries at the event that “If we want to be credible, we must talk about timing. We must now address enlargement as one of our major challenges – both for the EU and its future member states,” according to The Financial Times. EU leaders will have their first dedicated talks on the topic in early October, the UK daily added.
Slovenian politicians to open event
Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and European Affairs Minister W. Tanja Fajon will both launch and close the two-day congress. As well as Michel’s, the event’s opening will also feature a keynote address by Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob.
Other participants at the BSF will include leaders of aspirant EU applicants, including Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, North Macedonian Prime Dmitar Kovacevski, Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Bosnia and Herzegovinan Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers Borjana Kristo.
Leaders from current EU member states will also attend, notably Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikola Denkov and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
Digital, sustainability, food security on agenda
Politicians and experts from South Eastern Europe will meanwhile discuss questions of security as well as access to food and energy, especially in less developed regions. Also on the agenda will be conflicts with climate-induced economic motivations, and facing up to climate change while maintaining human rights and fundamental freedoms.
On Monday discussions will include “Digital Transformation in the Region of the Western Balkans” and “European Sustainable, Industrial and Innovation Leadership”.
Day Two, on Tuesday, will feature such themes as “Building up Europe’s Cyber Resilience”; “The Future Nexus of Globalisation”; “How can Digital Transformation be Turned into a Development Transformation for All?”; “Securing European Energy Security”; “From Gas Guzzlers to Green Giants: Decarbonising Transport with a Twist!” and “The Role of Emerging Technologies and Transatlantic Partnership for EU Competitiveness and Economic Growth”.
Established by the Slovenian government in 2006, the BSF intergovernmental conference brings leaders to the Alpine town to examine broader societal perspectives, and the trajectory of society. A BSF statement said it will this year take its audience on “an immersive audio-visual journey with a celebration of the Forum’s creative legacy”. The event can be followed online here.