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The New Europe: Foreign Minister Schallenberg at the 2022 European Forum Alpbach

AUSTRIA, August 23 - Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg took part in the European Forum Alpbach in Tyrol from 23 to 25 August 2022. In addition to participating in the virtual summit of the Crimea Platform established by Ukraine, his agenda included a panel discussion on the geopolitics of the European Union as well as work meetings and discussions with entrepreneurs and other foreign ministers.

On 24 August, Ukraine’s Independence Day, Foreign Minister Schallenberg as well as Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and the foreign ministers of Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia participated in the discussion session “The EU’s Geopolitical Awakening?”. The session focussed on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, military and civilian EU support for the country, and the sanctions of the free world against Russia. Other discussion topics included the EU’s energy and enlargement policy as well as European collaboration in the areas of security and defence.

The Russian war of aggression has done more to unite the EU than any other event of the past years. It is up to all of us to turn this geopolitical moment into a geopolitical era. Complacency and division are the greatest threats to our security and prosperity,

emphasised Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

In the afternoon, during one of the Forum’s breakout sessions, Foreign Minister Schallenberg gave a speech on the topic of security and digitisation. He highlighted the effects of disruptive technologies on modern warfare and the global geopolitical situation. Europe, he said, cannot afford to lag behind other world powers such as the US and China in this area; rather, it should position itself as a pioneer in terms of establishing rules and standards. This is the only way to ensure that cyberspace will reflect the rule-based international order in the future, which will require additional efforts at the EU level in particular.

In addition, parallel to the Forum, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with his Czech and Slovak counterparts for a work meeting in the Slavkov format. Their discussions centred on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, migration and energy issues, and the situation in the Western Balkans. With regard to the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia, the Minister emphasised its effectiveness, but also urged patience.

The sanctions are working, a bit more every day. Now we need strong nerves and strategic patience. Putin is counting on democracies being weak and allowing themselves to be divided. Let us not do him that favour,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

In addition to talks with political decision-makers, Foreign Minister Schallenberg also used the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs in Alpbach, including representatives of the financial sector.

For more than 70 years, European Forum Alpbach has provided an interdisciplinary platform for socio-political dialogue and knowledge exchange through its events and its network of stipend holders. Through its work, European Forum Alpbach also functions as an interactive, open think tank and a driving force for Austrian policy.