President Charles Michel participates in the Bled Strategic Forum, 1 September 2021.
In his opening speech at the Bled Strategic Forum, organised by Slovenia on 1-2 September, President Michel addressed today’s challenges and opportunities for the EU, from the climate and digital transitions, made more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the security concerns caused by recent events in Afghanistan. He stressed the importance of building a Union of values, prosperity and influence and the need for more strategic autonomy.
We don’t need another Afghanistan to grasp that the EU must strive for greater decision-making autonomy and greater capacity for action in the world. Our strategic autonomy requires working on our economic power, neighbourhood and security capabilities. – President Charles Michel
He also highlighted in his speech the close ties with Western Balkans partners, in view of the upcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit taking place next month.
We know the European Union is important to the Western Balkans. But the Western Balkans are equally important to the European Union. – President Charles Michel
The forum in Bled also gave him the opportunity to meet bilaterally a number of leaders of the region in order to prepare the upcoming EU summit with Western Balkans partners.
- Speech by President Charles Michel at the opening session of the Bled Strategic Forum, 1 September 2021
- EU-Western Balkans summit, 6 October 2021
Bled Strategic Forum, 1-2 September 2021
The Bled Strategic Forum is a leading international conference in central and south-eastern Europe, bringing together a diverse range of participants to debate and exchange views on innovative approaches to tackling current and future challenges facing modern society.
President Michel gave an opening speech at this year’s Forum dedicated to the future of Europe. He also participated in the first discussion panel “Leaders’ Panel – Future of Europe – To Stand and Withstand” together with several EU heads of state and the president of the European Parliament.