Only a stronger Europe can make us strong

Only a stronger Europe can make us strong

Best wishes everyone! Just before the holidays I talked to the French daily L’Opinion, that is publishing a series of interviews on how to “reinvent” Europe. The interview is out today. I told them the pro-Europe camp must dare say that the only way for our States to regain their sovereignty is to share it. Our partners cannot believe that Europe is going through such a strong identity crisis. They look at us as a model of regional integration and peaceful coexistence. Europeans need to regain confidence in our own means. We are getting so used to a negative message on the European Union, we don’t see we are destroying our Union from within. Reversing this trend is everyone’s responsibility. At the same time, we cannot underestimate the risk of self-destruction. The enemies of our Union are being nihilist: they do not suggest any alternative. We only have two options: we either use this crisis to reinforce our Union, or we head towards its suicide. The full text of the interview, in French, is...

«La seule façon de regagner de la souveraineté est de la partager». Interview avec “L’Opinion”

Interview par Isabelle Marchais La Haute Représentante de l’Union Européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité dénonce le discours nihiliste des adversaires du projet européen et propose au contraire d’aller vers plus d’intégration pour apporter del réponses concrètes aux problèmes des citoyens. Selon elle, l’alternative est simple: soit l’Europe sort renforcée de la crise, soit elle court au suicide. Comment protéger l’héritage des Pères fondateurs ? La meilleure façon de protéger notre Union est de la changer. Nous devons être aussi visionnaires et courageux que nos Pères et Mères fondateurs. Je crois qu’il faut en finir avec le débat idéologique entre européisme et euroscepticisme. Comme s’il y avait d’un côté ceux qui voulaient à tout prix préserver ce qui existe, au risque de tomber dans une sorte de conservatisme, et de l’autre ceux qui veulent détruire le projet européen, au nom de la souveraineté nationale. Osons dire que la seule façon de regagner de la souveraineté est de la partager. Ce qu’il faut, c’est préserver les raisons pour lesquelles nous avons construit notre l’Union tout en changeant la manière dont on la construit. Contrairement à celle des Pères fondateurs, ma génération n’a pas vécu la guerre et considère la paix comme quelque chose d’acquis, sans voir que sur d’autres continents l’absence d’intégration régionale est une cause de conflit. Plus il y a d’intégration, moins il y a de guerre. Mais il nous faut trouver un nouvel élan car l’intégration économique, seule, ne marche pas.   Peut-on encore parler d’idéal européen ? Ce n’est pas seulement une question d’idéal, c’est aussi une question d’intérêt pour les citoyens. Il faut...
In Central Asia, crossroad between Europe, Russia and China

In Central Asia, crossroad between Europe, Russia and China

I just got back from Astana, where we held the annual meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Central Asia’s five countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). I received a warm welcome, despite the temperature of 20 degrees below zero… The region is strategically crucial for Europe: this is true in security terms – we are affected by the dramatic phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and we share the concern for Afghanistan, that is still seeking peace and stability – but also for the economy and trade. This part of the world looks at China, at Russia and at Europe at the same time, it can be a connection along the silk road. We agreed to reinforce our cooperation on security, energy, education, human rights, investments and on the environment – in particular on climate change and water security. The trip was also the opportunity to sign a partnership agreement with Kazakhstan: this will allow us to improve our coordination on 29 fields of shared...

«Su Assad opinioni diverse. La decisione al popolo». Intervista al Corriere della Sera

Intervista di Paolo Valentino «La risoluzione approvata dal Consiglio di Sicurezza riconosce che è questo il formato della trattativa sulla Siria. Ne traccia la road map e dà all’inviato dell’Onu Staffan De Mistura l’incarico di convocare la prima riunione tra opposizione e regime per gennaio. Le tappe previste sono l’avvio della transizione politica, il cessate il fuoco in parallelo, una modifica della governance che potrebbe essere o un governo di unità nazionale o un’altra forma di condivisione del potere, la riforma costituzionale, le elezioni. Ma l’essenziale è che il processo parta a gennaio, insieme alla tregua, il che permetterà operazioni umanitarie su larga scala, come le vaccinazioni di cui c’è immediato bisogno e questo consente di mandare un messaggio ai siriani, una speranza per il futuro». Federica Mogherini è appena uscita dal vertice newyorkese sulla Siria. L’Alto rappresentante per la politica estera parla di «via europea alla soluzione delle crisi» e sottolinea «il successo dei formati multilaterali, dove si connette il lavoro delle Nazione Unite, dei partner regionali e della Ue». Come già dimostrato sul nucleare iraniano, «è un modello che potrebbe in futuro aiutarci a prevenire nuove crisi e a gestirne delle altre». Che ne sarà di Assad? «Restano opinioni diverse. Ma siamo tutti d’accordo che ci sarà una transizione e che spetterà ai siriani, tutti i siriani, decidere». L’altra grande questione aperta è la lista condivisa delle organizzazioni terroristiche. A che punto siamo? «Se n’è parlato e il lavoro va avanti, guidato dai giordani. Si incrociano le informazioni tra le intelligence per identificare chi non è terrorista e chi è considerato tale, con l’accordo di tutti. Man...
In New York for Syria: geopolitics and human lives

In New York for Syria: geopolitics and human lives

I am in New York today for the International Syria Support Group’s meeting, together with John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov, Ban Ki-moon and the Foreign Ministers of the countries who have been involved over the past couple of months in the negotiations in Vienna to end the Syrian crisis. Today we agreed on the beginning of a dialogue between government and opposition representatives, starting next January. In parallel we will keep working on a ceasefire that would allow us to join forces against Daesh and to guarantee humanitarian access in the country. As we talk geopolitics, our priority still is to save the life of hundreds of thousands. The aim is to start off a political transition in Damascus, supported by today’s Security Council vote on a Resolution to underpin this process. The road won’t be easy: the positions – both inside and outside Syria – are still diverse. But this is a good step in the right direction: only diplomacy and multilateralism will lead to peace in Syria, and to security for the whole...