Federica Mogherini on the vote on constitutional amendments by the Parliament of Ukraine

The vote today in the Verkhovna Rada on the constitutional amendments related to decentralisation is an important step that paves the way towards a substantial devolution of powers from the central level to regions and communities, increasing in parallel the accountability of territorial self-governments to their constituencies. The amendments will also facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The EU looks forward to adoption of these amendments in final reading later this year, as well as to continued work on the judiciary-related constitutional amendments, taking into account the Venice Commission’s recommendations. This process shouldn’t be jeopardised by violence; today’s events are very worrying. We offer our condolences to the family of the deceased law enforcement officer and our deepest sympathy to those injured in the explosion during the demonstration in front of the Verkhovna Rada. I am sure that Ukraine will stay firmly on its way to further reforms, both institutional and economic, as well as comprehensive reform of police and the law enforcement sector to ensure public order and safety across the...

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini speaks to newly-appointed interim Foreign Minister of Turkey, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator of Turkey, Ali Haydar Konca, and meets with HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, held phone calls with Turkish interim Foreign Minister, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and interim EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator, Ali Haydar Konca. In the morning, the High Representative received HDP Co-Chair, Selahattin Demirtaş. Mogherini congratulated the two ministers on their appointments and stressed that she is ready to cooperate closely with them to reinforce the strategic relationship with Turkey. She looks forward to welcoming Foreign Minister, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, at the upcoming Informal Foreign Affairs Council (“Gymnich”) in Luxembourg, where the refugee crisis and migration will be discussed also with candidate countries. They agreed to meet separately in the margins. The High Representative expressed with all her interlocutors the EU’s readiness to work together with the interim Government in order to further strengthen and broaden the EU-Turkey relationship and to address common international challenges, such as the refugee crisis. She explained how important and relevant latest political and security developments in Turkey are to the EU and to the entire region. At the same time, she underlined the fundamental importance of keeping the Kurdish peace process alive and on track in the run-up to and after the 1 November parliamentary...

Mogherini meeting with Ukrainian President Poroshenko

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko as part of the President’s visit to Brussels on 27 August 2015. President Poroshenko, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, provided an update on the security situation in eastern Ukraine, where the recent escalation of fighting was of particular concern, as well as harassment of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission by separatists. High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini underlined the European Union’s continued support for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, starting with respect for the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. The EU would continue its support notably for the OSCE, the facilitation of ongoing trilateral discussions with Ukraine and Russia on energy security and continuing trilateral talks on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement’s provisions on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The High Representative welcomed President Poroshenko’s update regarding the country’s progress on constitutional reform enabling decentralisation, as well the announcement of an agreement reached between Ukraine and its ad-hoc creditor committee on debt, which should allow for the continued vigorous pursuit of economic and political reforms. Both the President and the High Representative hoped for further rapid progress on the path to visa-free travel between Ukraine and the EU. High Representative Mogherini reiterated her position for the release of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and other Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation and their safe return to Ukraine. The High Representative accepted the President’s invitation to visit again Ukraine in the near...

Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with the Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, at the Western Balkans Summit in Vienna

Thank you very much, first of all, to the Chancellor personally for hosting and organising this meeting. It is for me a pleasure to be back in Vienna; the last time I stayed here was very successful –it was in July for the Iranian talks. And we didn’t have the chance – I didn’t have the chance – to publicly thank you personally, Chancellor, as well as the Austrian Government for the hospitality and support on that occasion. I take this chance to do that, hoping that Vienna can host many successful negotiations – we need that dramatically in these times. So, I am happy to be back in Vienna and I am also glad to bring to bring to Vienna a piece of good news. We also need desperately good news in these difficult times, which is the something that both Chancellor Faymann and Chancellor Merkel referred to, the signing last Tuesday of four very difficult and very important agreements by Prime Minister Vučić and Prime Minister Mustafa, with the facilitation of the European Union. But they were the brave ones, the committed ones, the dedicated ones that showed leadership and courage, delivering for their people and for the people of the region on four difficult issues: on energy, telecommunications, the establishment of an association community of Serb majority municipalities, and on the freedom of movement and the Mitrovica Bridge. Four difficult issues, on which we managed to build understanding and open the way forward, not only to bilateral understanding and cooperation, but also setting, I think, an example to the whole region of what kind of cooperation...

ederica Mogherini, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica on the signature by President Kiir of the peace agreement for South Sudan

Today, President Kiir decided to sign the peace agreement endorsed by other South Sudanese parties in Addis Ababa on 17 August 2015. President Kiir’s commitment to engage in a political process to achieve a lasting peace is a crucial step. This agreement offers a new opportunity, that cannot be squandered, for South Sudan to move towards a future of transparent government that places the interests of the citizen above all else. If properly implemented, it will end the fighting and install  the transitional institutions essential to the rebuilding of the country. To ensure this happens, effective implementation of the agreement will be essential. A ceasefire must come into place and all obstacles to full and unhindered humanitarian access must be removed immediately. A strong monitoring body with regional, international and South Sudanese civil society representation is vital to ensure that the agreement is respected by all stakeholders. Accountability and transparency will be central to the way forward for South Sudan. The EU will continue to stand by the South Sudanese people during the transitional process and appeals to the  political leaders of South Sudan to rise to their responsibilities, end  the suffering of the South Sudanese people, account for the atrocities targeted at civilians and children and prevent an even greater humanitarian tragedy from...