After two days of online MRS stakeholders session, on April 26th, the opening session in hybrid format, enjoyed the presence of the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and high representatives of countries presiding over the four macro-regional strategies.
The officials expressed their points of view answering the main question from the moderator: What can be achieved from macroregional cooperation?
State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Marko Štucin, participated in the opening panel on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the EUSDR. He presented Slovenia’s view on the role of macroregional strategies in times of challenges that Europe is currently facing.
The panel, moderated by Diana Madill, opened with a discussion on the war in Ukraine and its effect on energy security and the role of MRS in the enlargement process. The speakers agreed on the role of macro-regional cooperation for greater energy independence and energy security, while also emphasising that macro-regional cooperation enables easier institutional coordination and capacity building in thematic areas, which are key in the enlargement process. Regarding the question on the Eu enlargement and candidate countries, State Secretary Štucin appreciated the successful presidencies of two candidate countries – Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina – over EUSDR and EUSAIR in 2022, mentioning the importance of capacity building and experience exchange with the EU Member States.
The importance of empowerment of youth was also pointed out in connection with brain drain in the EUSDR and the next topic of the discussion was focused on the European Year of Skills, where the panelists pointed out that the development of regions depends on the ability of current and future generations to face challenges and respond to them by mutual learning and skills building. To this end, the Slovenian Presidency of the EUSDR All Europe should be developed equally, avoiding brain drain and using the potential of all EU countries. MRS should provide the context for all stakeholders interested in development based on knowledge-driven societies, mentioning the conference that #EUSDR Slovenian Presidency organises in Brdo pre Kranju, Slovenia, 17 -19 May, 2023.