At Chatham House, speaking of “our joint place in the world”

At Chatham House, speaking of “our joint place in the world”

It was a pleasure and honour for me to be at Chatham House today, one of the world’s leading think-tanks on foreign affairs. I was asked to address “Foreign Affairs and Security Challenges in the EU’s Neighbourhood”, and speaking to a British audience I tried to focus on the idea that there is no clash between national interests and European interests. The challenges we face today are complex, and none of us has the tools to address them alone. But if we stand together to the challenges, I believe we have the potential to be a real “responsible power” in our neighbourhood. A “superpower”, even. Here are a couple of excerpts from the speech. The full text is here. The situation at our borders has never been more urgent and never more unstable. The threats we face are complex, and need to be addressed with the broadest set of international tools available. And yes, I believe we have them. (…) Let us be frank: none of us, alone, can succeed in this complexity. This is why I believe any narrative of a clash among national interests and European interests is flawed. We hold a “joint place in the world”, and it very much depends on the unity and the effectiveness of the European Union’s international projection. It should be clear to everyone that we, the Europeans, are much better when we are together. (…) Europe needs to be pragmatic and ambitious at once. Sometimes I say that the European Union is a superpower and someone doubts, but we are a superpower indeed if we combine our tools. Most of all, we need to...
Ukraine crisis and counter-terrorism dominates my agenda this week

Ukraine crisis and counter-terrorism dominates my agenda this week

This week marked 100 days in office for me. It also saw my chairing a Foreign Affairs Council which focused on counter-terrorism and the unfolding situation in Ukraine, which was also a key issue at the European Council and during her appearance at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg. I have also facilitated a dialogue meeting between the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, which finalised the agreement on justice and judiciary in ‪‎Kosovo. I also met Palestinian President Mahmoud ‪Abbas and chaired the seventh EU-Lebanon Association Council. Counter-terrorism and crises in Mali, Libya, CAR, Nigeria and Yemen were the main discussion items at Monday’s FAC. The crisis in Ukraine occupied a large part of the Council meeting, which agreed on the addition of 19 individuals and 9 entities to the list of those subject to asset freezes and visa bans. Publication and entry into force of the measures will take place on Monday, 16 February. On the measures to counter terrorism it was decided “to strengthen and increase the cooperation activities with some key countries in the Middle East, the Arab World, Africa and Sahel, and the Gulf”. It was also decided “to work on prevention and information exchange with key countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to prevent terrorism from an external action side.” Addressing the EP plenary, I have voiced urgency in solving Ukraine crisis: “We discussed Ukraine one month ago and since then the situation that was already dramatic at that time, has deteriorated further.” In separate addresses I also spoke about my grave concern for the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo....
My Addresses to European Parliament on Ukraine and other Foreign Policy Priorities

My Addresses to European Parliament on Ukraine and other Foreign Policy Priorities

This week’s plenary in the European parliament was rich in debates on external relations and featured the active engagement of HRVP Mogherini. I have addressed the EP plenary on the situation on Ukraine on the eve of the meeting in Minsk between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France. On Thursday she joined the meeting of Heads of State and Governments to discuss concrete steps to follow up the breakthrough in Minsk. In a separate address, I have stressed my grave concern for the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially the debates over a new electoral law and the violent protests that followed. I stressed the EU’s continued support over the past fifteen years which includes two military operations, a sustained effort to support Security Sector Reform, as well as more traditional areas of co-operation such as health, roads and natural resources management. I also voiced my severe preoccupation for the security situation of 2014 Sakharov Prize Dr. Mukewege. I also spoke on the 2015 Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). I was joined by all political groups in a call to strengthen the NPT, as a means to ensure peace and security for the EU as well as globally. Other plenary debates on external relations at the Strasbourg session included the funding challenges of UNRWA which Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Hahn took on behalf of me. Commissioner Stylianides, responsible for humanitarian aid and crisis management, also spoke on the debate on the situation in Yemen, as well as the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the context of Dae’sh growing influence...
With president Abbas for the two-State solution

With president Abbas for the two-State solution

When I was nominated High Representative for EU foreign policy, I decided that my first trip outside Europe would be in the Middle East. For we cannot be satisfied with the status quo. Actually, there is no status quo: the current situation can only lead to new violence. The peace process has to restart as soon as possible. That is what I said to president Mahmoud Abbas today, as I met him with president Jean-Claude Juncker. Europe keep believing in and working for a two-State solution, with an independent and viable State of Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel and their neighbours, in peace and security. For this reason, we need a new framework for restarting direct negotiations. And for this reason I wanted the the Middle East Quartet – the UN, the US, Russia and the EU – to meet again on February 8th in Munich. Europe holds a unique position towards the peace process. We are a strong economic and political partner of Israel, and one of the main donors to the Palestinian Authority. We shall use this position to promote in any possible way the push towards...