At the Asia-Europe meeting: two continents, same challenges

At the Asia-Europe meeting: two continents, same challenges

Future, development, security – these are the main topics of the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM), that has brought me to Luxembourg today and tomorrow, together with the Foreign ministers of the 28 European Union’s member states and of 23 Asian countries. Each time we meet, it is more clear that global challenges call for global cooperation. Our future, our common future is at stake and we need to build it together. We have exchanged and will exchange views on climate change, on the eve of the Paris conference next December; on sustainable development, after the UN summit; on radicalisation and the threat posed by terrorism.

And of course we are discussing migration, the drama of millions of people fleeing from wars and poverty. I had the chance to talk migration at length during the bilateral meetings I had with some Asian colleagues, and in particular with the representatives of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both of them are ready to discuss with us on readmission agreements for those migrants not eligible for asylum.

We all share a responsibility on how we deal with migration. This is true for European countries but also on a global scale: it is a global phenomenon, that is due to stay with us. We must make sure we can deal with it properly, and we tackle the conflicts and the economic imbalances affecting so many areas of the world.

For those who are interested, here is my speech to the opening session of the meeting, earlier today, and here is the op-ed I wrote for China Daily and other Asian media.

Yesterday I met a group of “young leaders” from Europe and Asia: as ever, it was the most fascinating and moving part of the summit. Here is how our conversation kicked off.