1st May Summit, Ljubljana

From the 24th to 26th of April, FES Dialogue SOE joined the 1st May Summit in Ljubljana to the occasion of the establishment of a new political foundation in Slovenia, the 1st May Institute. The event was joined by social-democrats across Europe, from elected representatives to international organizations and political foundations belonging to the social-democratic family.

©1st May Institute

©1st May Institute

©1st May Institute

©1st May Institute

©1st May Institute

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung was delighted to join the event, not only through representatives of the regional office for Southeast Europe but also through the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung office for Croatia and Slovenia. The President of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Martin Schulz, attended the event and several exchanges with Slovenian dignitaries, including a friendly and constructive exchange with the Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Member of the European Parliament, Tanja Fajon.

Martin Schulz and Tanja Fajon hosted a joint press conference, as well, in which they addressed several key points relevant to the politics not only between Slovenia and Germany but also the wider region and the relations between the European Union Member States and the Western Balkans countries aspiring towards EU membership.

On the margins of the summit, the attendees had the opportunity to attend several high-level visits and open exchanges with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia and the Slovenian National Assembly. Party leaders and social-democratic politicians from Slovenia hosted them.

The official program of the summit included two discussions, both focused on the future of the European Union and European values. The first discussion tried to answer the challenging and thought-provoking question on the impetus and potential for changes within the European Union, as well as the responsible role of Social Democrats in these processes. It featured inputs from Member of Parliament  Matjaž Nemec, Tamara Tripić (CEE Gender Network), Mojca Kleva (FEPS), and Knut Fleckenstein (former Member of the European Parliament).

The second session, moderated by Mija Javornik, Vice-President of the Social Democrats of Slovenia (SD), featured inputs from Maria Joao Rodrigues (FEPS), Adis Ahmetović (Member of Parliament, Germany), FES SOE Director, Dr. Ralf Melzer, and Jonas Andersson (Olof Palme Institute). This debate opened a wider perspective and discussed the role that political foundations have in contributing to just, democratic and progressive societies.

We thank our Slovenian colleagues for inviting us and wish them successful work in nurturing progressive forces in Slovenia. We are confident that with them, we will have a strong partner to work on social and democratic values.

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