It was a pleasure and honour for me to be at Chatham House today, one of the world’s leading think-tanks on foreign affairs. I was asked to address “Foreign Affairs and Security Challenges in the EU’s Neighbourhood”, and speaking to a British audience I tried to focus on the idea that there is no clash between national interests and European interests. The challenges we face today are complex, and none of us has the tools to address them alone. But if we stand together to the challenges, I believe we have the potential to be a real “responsible power” in our neighbourhood. A “superpower”, even.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the speech. The full text is here.
The situation at our borders has never been more urgent and never more unstable. The threats we face are complex, and need to be addressed with the broadest set of international tools available. And yes, I believe we have them. (…) Let us be frank: none of us, alone, can succeed in this complexity. This is why I believe any narrative of a clash among national interests and European interests is flawed. We hold a “joint place in the world”, and it very much depends on the unity and the effectiveness of the European Union’s international projection. It should be clear to everyone that we, the Europeans, are much better when we are together. (…)
Europe needs to be pragmatic and ambitious at once. Sometimes I say that the European Union is a superpower and someone doubts, but we are a superpower indeed if we combine our tools. Most of all, we need to realise unity is our greatest strength. We have to combine our assets and our international expertise, as we all head for the same goal. We can work with our partners and neighbours, to support the forces that are ready to choose dialogue over confrontation, to establish a more cooperative and peaceful world order. I believe that United Kingdom is a crucial pillar in our work towards this. It has helped to create a Europe that is open to the world and not afraid to take on global challenges. I truly hope we will continue along this path. Together.