Defence and development: concrete action for a stronger Europe

Defence and development: concrete action for a stronger Europe

There is much to tell about the last three days. I begin with two issues that might look very different, but in fact are complementary and run in parallel: European defence and development cooperation. Today I presented the European Defence Action Plan, which I prepared together with Jyrki Katainen and Elzbieta Bienkowska for the issues related to industry and research. This is the second “pillar” of a single package on European defence: we want to make Europe more secure through a truly common defence policy, a stronger defence industry, and closer cooperation with NATO. Here is today’s press conference. For the same reason, in the afternoon I took part (it’s a first for a High Representative) in a joint helicopter exercise organised by our European Defence Agency: there is still much to do on European defence, but there are also many concrete things – positive and important things – which we already do. The progress we are doing on defence follows from the Global Strategy I presented last summer: we work together, the Union and its Member States, because together we can do more and better. The same is true for development cooperation. Last Monday I chaired the Foreign Affairs Council in its development format. We talked about the work in progress with our African friends on migration compacts, but also about the package of measures I presented to achieve concretely the Sustainable Development Goals. Here is what I told the journalists after the Council. I’ll conclude with a note on three important meetings. On Monday I welcomed to Brussels the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, for the first meeting of the European Union-Indonesia Joint Committee: it is...