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, hosted the Slovenian Pre-Presidency Conference virtually on 17 and 18 June 2021.
During the event TEPSA presented Recommendations from members of the TEPSA Network 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. You can read the Recommendations from members of the TEPSA Network to the Slovenian Presidency here, and watch the video below.
TEPSA and CIR gathered 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. You can meet all our speakers here, and read the full conference report here.
During the two day-event, EU and Slovenian policy-makers, officials, researchers, journalists and civil society members aimed 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 also presented 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.
Catch up on the panels you missed from PPC Ljubljana below!
Welcome and Opening Remarks, by Slovenian Minister for Foreign Affairs Anže Logar, TEPSA Secretary-General Jim Cloos, and Prof. Dr. Maja Bučar.
Plenary Session: Priorities of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency and TEPSA Recommendations, where the Recommendations from members of the TEPSA Network to the Slovenian Presidency were presented to Mag. Gašper Dovžan, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia.
Parallel Session: EU Green Deal, where Louise van Schaik from the Clingendael Institute moderated a panel comprising Raffaele Mauro Petriccione (Director General, DG CLIMA), Dr. Janez Potočnik (former European Commissioner for Science and Research and for the Environment), Dr. Simone Borghesi (part-time Professor at the European University Institute), and Ladeja Godina Košir, M.Sc. (Founder & Director of Circular Change).
Parallel Session: Solidarity in Action and the Future of Europe, where Paul Schmidt moderates a discussion between four authors of chapters in the upcoming third edition of the ‘Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals’ series, which focusses on Solidarity in Europe in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. The speakers are: Prof. Dr. Maja Bučar (Centre of International Relations, University of Ljubljana), Dr. Katrin Boettger (Director, Institut für Europäische Politik), Dr. Alice Cunha (Researcher, Portuguese Institute of International Relations), and Dr. Hristo Panchugov (Assistant Professor, New Bulgarian University).
Parallel Session: Digitalisation and Security, where Andrea G. Rodríguez (Researcher and Project Manager, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) moderates a discussion between Dr. Uroš Svete (Director of Information Security Administration of the Republic of Slovenia), Alejandro Cainzos (Member of Cabinet of Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age), and Dr. Vladlena Benson (Professor of Cybersecurity Management, Aston University).
Parallel Session: EU post-COVID-19 Recovery, where we discuss the Next Generation EU package and broader COVID-19 recovery in Europe and beyond. The discussion was moderated by Igor Evgen Bergant (Journalist and TV presenter, RTV Slovenia), and featured contributions from Dr. Peter Wostner (Senior Analyst and Researcher, Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development), Miguel Otero-Iglesias (Senior Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute), and Dr. Olivier Rozenberg (Associate Professor, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po).
Plenary Session: Differentiated Integration and the Future of Europe, organised with support from the Integrating Diversity in the European Union (InDivEU) project, where Prof. Dr. Michael Kaeding (Jean Monnet Professor ad personam, University of Duisburg Essen) moderates a discussion between Dr. Sandra Kröger (Member of the InDivEU project and Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter), Dr. Matteo Bonomi (Assistant Project Coordinator of the EU IDEA project and Research Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali), and Dr. Magdalena Góra (Member of the EU3D project and Project Researcher, Institute of European Studies of the Jagiellonian University).
Parallel Session: The Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood, where Dr. Natasha Wunsch (Assistant Professor, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po) seeks to answer to what extent have EU tools to promote democracy and rule of law worked to bring change to the EU neighbourhood? Panellists include Dr. Irena Rajchinovska Pandeva (Vice-Dean for Science and International Cooperation, Iustinianus Primus Law Faculty at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University), Dr. Yuriy Yakymenko (President, Razumkov Centre), Dr. Florent Marciacq (Senior Fellow at Centre International de Formation Européenne), and Peter Grk (National Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia).
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.
Parallel Session: European Strategic Autonomy, where we enjoyed interventions from Marc Vanheukelen (Ambassador at Large for Climate Diplomacy, European External Action Service), Jim Cloos (TEPSA Secretary-General), Dr. Nathalie Tocci (Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali), and Dr. Niklas Helwig (Leading Researcher, European Strategic Autonomy, Finnish Institute of International Affairs).
Concluding Remarks from Chairperson of the TEPSA Board Lucia Mokrá joined with Prof. Dr. Maja Bučar from the Centre of International Relations, University of Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences.