President Pahor at 2BS Forum in Budva: "There are 100 reasons for not cooperating with someone, but if there is one that enables the cooperation, then choose that one."
Budva, Montenegro, 8. 10. 2022 | press release
Today, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, attended the political and security conference, the To Be Secure Forum (2BS Forum) in Budva, Montenegro. Prior to the forum, President Pahor met the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović.
Both presidents took part in the central panel on the second day of the To Be Secure Forum. The central theme of the discussion was the current situation in the Western Balkans.
The Slovenian President pointed out that peace and security in the Western Balkans were fragile and certain worrying developments in the region must be detected and addressed in their early stages. He stressed the importance of a faster EU enlargement process, as the Western Balkans is a priority geopolitical issue for the European Union.
He further stated that the European Commission should be more flexible when negotiating with the Western Balkan countries about the reforms necessary for their accession to the European Union. On that note, President Pahor added that he advocates for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be granted the status of a candidate country, although it does not meet all the conditions. In his opinion, the status would give the region a positive signal.
The President explained in the discussion why he was supporting the idea of the Open Balkan, and added that he was aware of being in the minority, as the majority of leaders criticise this idea by saying that it is only a Serbian version of the Berlin Process formula on deepening cooperation. The Slovenian President agrees with this, but believes that it is valuable that the leaders of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania take it as their own and cooperate within this framework. President Pahor assessed it as one of the few constructive ideas on cooperation between the Western Balkan countries, which has at least partly received honest support. Should the Berlin Process be regenerated, the need for such a version will no longer exist.
To the question or reproach from the audience about his friendship with the Serbian President Vučić, President Pahor replied, "There are 100 reasons for not cooperating with someone, but if there is one that enables the cooperation, then choose that one." He further noted that he believed that all leaders are committed to peace and must make an effort to also reduce certain tensions in their respective statements, and that it is necessary to return to the rhetoric of peace and constructivism.
The 2BS Forum is considered one of the leading political and security conferences attended by high-level politicians in South-East Europe. This year’s forum will take place between 6 and 8 October 2022. The panellists will discuss the questions involving the future of the Western Balkans in the light of the current geopolitical situation. They will speak about the new security challenges and new borders within #NATO2030 and the digitalisation in connection with fake news.