On 1 July 2021, Portugal will hand over the Presidency of the Council of the EU to Slovenia, which will hold its reigns for the second time since its accession to the EU in 2004. During the next six months, the Slovenian Presidency will have to sail through troubled waters to address some of the most pressing EU issues, such as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the European Green Deal, the digital agenda and EU’s relations with its external partners. To scrutinise the priorities and challenges of the Presidency, TEPSA and its Slovenian member institute, Centre of International Relations (CIR) – University of Ljubljana, will digitally host the Slovenian Pre-Presidency Conference on 17 and 18 June 2021.
TEPSA and CIR will gather high-level panellists to speak in plenary and parallel sessions about current EU affairs, including the European Green Deal, European solidarity, digitalisation, the EU post-pandemic, the Conference on the Future of Europe, Enlargement, and European strategic autonomy. During the two day-event, EU and Slovenian policy-makers, officials, researchers, journalists and civil society members will aim at answering some of the following questions:
- How can the European economy recover from COVID-19 and prioritise the green transition at the same time?
- Has the pandemic promoted European solidarity amongst Member States or rather showed a lack of it? Has the European Union extended its powers in times of crisis?
- How is the EU and its Member States responding to the crisis caused by the pandemic? Is the Recovery and Resilience Facility the right and sufficient answer? How are the Member States addressing the crisis?
- To what extent is the Conference on the Future of Europe a viable scenario for European reform? What do people and governments want?
- To what extent have EU tools to promote democracy and rule of law worked to bring change to the EU neighbourhood?
- What practical applications of the concept of Strategic Autonomy should the EU try to achieve in the fields of trade policy, medical supplies, defence and digitalisation in the next decade?
During the event TEPSA will also present its Recommendations to the Slovenian Presidency. These recommendations are formulated by experts from the TEPSA network, without necessarily representing the views of TEPSA or its Member Institutes.
The conference is supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, and the InDivEU project in the framework of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.