At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

At work on Venezuela, Iran and the future of Europe

I write at the end of a week that I spent in Latin America and the Balkans, at work on Venezuela and the future of Europe, but also on the nuclear deal with Iran.

On Monday and Tuesday I was in Costa Rica, for the meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela. In a incredibly delicate moment for the country, marked by new violence, we confirmed that the only possible way out of the crisis is a peaceful and democratic solution. In our second day of work we welcomed the representatives on the Caribbean Community (Caricom), of Chile and the Holy See: we will continue to work with the rest of the international community to help restart a political process in the country. This is my speech opening the meeting, and here is the press conference.  During the week , together with the Contact Group, we also reacted to the arrest of Edgar Zambrano, vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly: here is our statement.

The visit to Costa Rice was the opportunity to meet with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Foreign Minister Manuel Ventura Robles.

From Costa Rica to Albania, for the summit of the Brdo-Brijuni process – the Balkan regional forum organised by Croatia and Slovenia. On top of bilateral meetings with our Albanian guests – Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta – I also met with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, and with the Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency Milorad Dodik. Here is the press conference with Edi Rama: I repeated that it is time to open negotiations for Albania’s accession to the European Union.

On Wednesday night, on the eve of Europe Day, I attended the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore in Tirana, enacted by the Albanian national opera company with the European Union’s support. Europe Day commemorates the first step in the process of European integration, the Schuman declaration of 1950. I was happy to celebrate it in Albania and in the Balkans – as the next step in the path towards the unification of our continent. Here is my speech.

On Thursday I was in Sibiu, in Romania, for the summit of EU leaders on the future of Europe. I decided to remind everyone that our partners in the world consider the European Union as a point of reference: here is what I told journalists, and here is a video where leaders from all around the world say how important the European Union is for global peace and security.

From Sibiu I also reacted to Iran’s announcement on the nuclear deal. Here is my statement together with France, Germany and the United Kingdom.