Strong partnerships for difficult times

Strong partnerships for difficult times

I write at the end of a week when the European Union has been at the core of a strong and wide network of global partnerships. In one day only, we welcomed about one hundred ministerial delegations to Brussels, from South-East Asia and Africa: in a difficult moment for the world, the European Union has become a point of reference for the whole world, like never before. Here is what I told journalists at the beginning of all these meetings. On  Monday we hosted the Foreign Ministers of South-East Asia, for a meeting between the European Union and ASEAN. Together we decided that we will transform our cooperation in a “strategic partnership”, for even closer relations with ten countries that are very far from us geographically, but incredibly close in terms of interests and values. Here is the press conference at the end of the meeting. On Monday and Tuesday we also hosted the Foreign Ministers from the African Union’s countries, for the first ministerial meeting between our two continents. One year ago we decided to join forces – Europe and Africa – on the issues we care the most about: not just to manage migration flows, but even more to create opportunities for our young people, and for peace and security in the African continent. Here is my speech that opened the meeting and the final press conference. With the European Foreign Ministers we also discussed other important and delicate issues, starting with the situation in Venezuela (here is what I said during the press conference on Monday). Venezuela needs new elections, and they have to be free, credible and...