2020 Bled Strategic Forum – Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-COVID–19 World
Neighbours – Regions – Global World: Partners or Rivals?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected societies and economies around the globe and has permanently reshaped the world as we know it. If we wish to create a resilient and sustainable global community capable of responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the reinvention of our societies is inevitable. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed many of the vulnerabilities of the current global system, and its consequences will disrupt just about every area of our lives.
We are entering an unprecedented era of crisis management. In these challenging times, with global response inefficient and inadequate, we are seeing a renewed shift in the international community towards enhanced neighbourly and regional cooperation and a need for new initiatives. The pandemic has clearly revealed the issues and problems that effective multilateralism is facing and brought to the forefront different concepts of international cooperation. Good neighbourly relations and robust regional initiatives will play a significant role in redefining and reinventing the way the global community faces new and asymmetrical threats in the future.
Emerging regional groupings, such as the Three Seas Initiative, open up new opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe to bridge infrastructural gaps in the fields of energy, mobility, and digitalisation, undertake strategic investment projects, and strengthen transatlantic cooperation. In this context, artificial intelligence and digitalisation, in particular, have untapped potential to become a game-changer in helping us reinvent society in a sustainable manner.
The European Union finds itself in the midst of these changes, and our ability to understand, adapt to and mitigate them will determine our future political, security, and economic outreach. In this new reality, the EU needs to lead by example and promote as well as safeguard these values, which have enabled us to prosper and develop as a groundbreaking project, redefining relations between states, regions, and societies.
The 15th Bled Strategic Forum took place on 31 August 2020 in Bled, Slovenia under the title ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-COVID–19 World; Neighbours – Regions – Global World: Partners or Rivals?’.
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The story of BSF
Bled Strategic Forum is a project of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. It is organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective.
In all the years since, we have had the privilege of meeting many new friends and partners and have built new relationships in many different fields. The complex and interdisciplinary challenges of today’s globalised world require comprehensive solutions, which the BSF and its participants have never been afraid of bringing up and discussing. As such, the BSF gives a voice to differing positions, views and understandings of the topics that require the attention of the wider international community.
With the ever-changing global situation, the BSF remains determined to strive towards innovative thinking and forward-looking visions. It is our hope that the Forum will continue to grow, evolve and influence various policy agendas and solutions of tomorrow.