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Young Bled Strategic Forum participants on the challenges facing our democracies

Today, on Friday 26 August 2022 we are starting with Young Bled Strategic Forum!

The 11th Young Bled Strategic Forum will take place back-to-back with the Bled Strategic Forum. Young BSF was created with the aim of connecting promising young individuals from the region and beyond to not only bring together young participants but also to provide an opportunity for them to connect with other BSF participants. Young BSF is a platform that gives participants an open and dynamic platform for discussion about the challenges of the present and the future, thus enabling the exchange of opinions between young people and also, through their active participation in the BSF, with established international figures.

This year’s Young BSF will take place between 26 and 28 August 2022 in Ljubljana. Following that, the participants will attend and participate at the BSF in Bled, held on 29 and 30 August. Thirty-six young people will participate in this year’s conference. They come primarily from the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, but there are also participants from a wider geographical area, all from 20 different countries. They will be joined by 20 established speakers, panellists and workshop facilitators.

As every year, the conference has a particular leitmotif – this time it is covered by the title ‘Democracy fit for the new age’. Democracy is not a static term or a form of governance – it evolves to correspond with the transformations of our societies, our understanding of what it means to be democratic, and in response to the changing environments. There has been no shortage of societal disruption in recent years – from the Covid-19 pandemic, the return of war in Europe, and pervasive technological developments to a growing polarisation within our societies.

Are our democracies catching up with these changes? Are we capable of providing answers to the challenges we are facing within our current systems of governance? Are they fit for the new age? These are just some of the questions that the participants will address through the prism of four content pillars, which will focus on 1) the search for joint international solutions to international challenges (transnational cooperation), 2) prosperity through diversity, 3) the advantages and disadvantages of democracies; and 4) the role of the media and disinformation.

On Friday, 26 August, President of the National Assembly, mag. Urška Klakočar Zupančič will open Young BSF 2022 in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. After the opening speeches, she will join the participants in an interactive discussion on the topic of challenges and opportunities of democracies. Young members of the National Assembly will also join the debate.

Then, the participants can expect two more intensive days of discussions and a diverse evening programme.

The project was possible with the contribution of the Interreg ADRION programme and the EUSAIR Facility point, supported by the European Union and cooperating within the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region; Danube Transnational Programme and Priority Area 10 ´Institutional capacity and cooperation´ Supported by the European Union, that are engaged within the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region; Central European Initiative (CEI) and Triglav d.d.

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