Europe and Africa, finally at work together

Europe and Africa, finally at work together

I write after a week dedicated to Africa and the Mediterranean – in Ivory Coast first, then in Rome.

I arrived in Abidjan last Monday, for a crucial summit between the European Union and the African Union. The first summit where we truly worked together as equals with our African partners, searching for common answers to our two continent’s problems.

For the first time, the summit centred on young people – with their voice and their proposals (here is my meeting with a group of young Europeans and Africans, together with Didier Drogba).

And for the first time we tackled Africa’s development not only as a humanitarian issue – but as a shared interest of our continents. We, as European Union, went to Abidjan with the largest program ever for private investment in Africa: this money will target the regions and economic sectors that need it the most, and we will define these regions and sectors together with our African partners. Here is my speech at the Business Forum in Abidjan.

We also worked together so that our African partners can take their security into their own hands – and Africa’s security is our own security. Here is my speech opening the ministerial meeting that I chaired at the beginning of the summit.

But we also dealt with migration, taking the decision to create a joint task force – European Union, African Union and United Nations – to protect those who are travelling and fleeing through the African continent, particularly in Libya. Here is the press release on my meeting with the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and of the African Union, Moussa Faki, and on my phone conversation with the International Organisation on Migration’s Director William Lacey Swing.

While in Abidjan I also had the opportunity to meet with many important partners of the European Union: the African Union’s President Alpha Condé; the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, and of Senegal, Maki Sall; the G5 Sahel’s leaders, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Libya’s Fayez al Sarraj.

From Abidjan to Rome, for the Italian Foreign Ministry’s “MED Dialogues”: a strong proof of Italy’s and Europe’s convening power in our region. In Rome I met with the UN’s Libya Envoy, Ghassan Salame, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry, Saudi Arabia’s Adel al Jubeir and Lebanon’s Gebral Bassil. Here is my conversation with Maha Yahya and James Politi on European security, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and the European Union’s role in the Mediterranean.

Finally, one more important thing: on Friday morning I spoke on the phone with the Republic of Korea’s Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, after North Korea’s latest ballistic test. Here is the press release.