On October 9, BSF Programme Director, Ambassador Iztok Mirošič addressed the XVI International Forum of Aquilea Region titled “The Past That Does Not Pass”, organized in Videm/Udine, Italy, by the Mitteleuropa Association and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. On the panel “Independence and Interdependence”, he discussed independence in a time of co-dependence and a de-globalizing world. In a polycentric world of global actors, the EU will need to lead the 3 processes in particular: Brexit (independence), managing the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening EU policies and resilience (co-dependence), and strategic autonomy in the new Cold War of global geopolitics (independence in interdependence). He drew attention to the increasingly active regional cooperation of the countries (Central European – V4, C5, 3Seas…) and the coordination of neighbouring countries, which was also discussed at this year’s Bled Strategic Forum.
Slovenia and Italy are good neighbours, at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, who must maintain active dialogue, open borders and mutual sincere goodwill for the European future even in times of the worst trials. The conference also discussed the ports from the Adriatic as a logistics platform for the whole of Central and Eastern Europe.
The conference participants also visited the Italian / Slovenian area of Collio / Brda and got acquainted with border coexistence, the life of the Slovenian minority in Italy and the potential of a possible joint candidacy for the region’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.