Slovenia – Laurence Boone participating in the Bled Strategic Forum (28-29 August 2023)


Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Slovenia on August 28 and 29 to attend the Bled Strategic Forum. At a round table discussion on the EU’s resilience to strategic shocks, she will address ways to improve the EU’s decision-making capability and the need for institutional reform.

The Minister of State will meet with Marko Štucin, Slovenia’s State Secretary for European Affairs, and will express France’s solidarity in the wake of the severe flooding experienced by Slovenia in early August. France contributed to the European solidarity effort via the European Civil Protection Mechanism by providing vehicles as well as a team of 14 fire and rescue personnel from the military component of the Sécurité civile [Civil Defense Agency].

She will also hold discussions with several representatives of different countries attending the Strategic Forum: Bujar Osmani, North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs; Megi Fino, Albania’s Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs; Elmedin Konaković, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mariya Gabriel, Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Ivica Dačić, Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Boone will speak with them about European and security challenges, particularly the enlargement of the EU to include the Western Balkan countries and the war in Ukraine. She will emphasize France’s support for the Western Balkan countries’ membership prospects and the need for them to implement the necessary reforms without delay.

The Minister of State will also meet with Miroslav Lajčák, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues, to express France’s commitment to supporting the European mediation effort as well as the need for concrete progress toward normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Lastly, she will meet with Moldovan President Maia Sandu to discuss the country’s recent progress toward implementing structural reforms and to reaffirm France’s support for the country’s path toward the EU.