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European Forum Alpbach 2021 | Ideas to strengthen Europe
Alpbach 6236, Alpbach 246, Österreich
Event report“Facing Europe’s Major Challenges” were the subject of a panel discussion organised at the Alpbach European Forum, attended by the Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga, the Vice-President of the European Forum Alpbach, Florence Gaub, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas. In view of the Covid-19 crisis, it was agreed that the establishment of the EU Recovery Plan in July 2020, with its ‘historical’ sum, proved that the EU had the ability to find solutions quickly, especially in times of crisis. However, a number of issues such as climate change, migration or issues related to the stagnating EU enlargement process still require intensive joint consideration.
On the same day, at the initiative of Austria, several EU Member States agreed on dialogue and broad participation in the EU Future Conference by signing the “Alpbach Declaration” named after the Tyrolean Bergdorf. The document was signed by the Minister of Europe Karoline Edtstadler, the Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga, the Irish Minister of Europe Thomas Byrne and the Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs from Greece, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. Also present were Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Democracy and Demography and the EU Future Conference, as well as Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for promoting our European way of life for migration, equality and diversity.
The “Alpbach Declaration” emphasises the importance of the EU Future Conference, but also the intention to jointly address key challenges such as climate change, migration, terrorism and the impact of Covid-19. The declaration has now also been signed by Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek — as of 10 October 2021, seven EU Member States are already committed to the content of the declaration.
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