Back from Washington (with some good news from Serbia and Albania)

Back from Washington (with some good news from Serbia and Albania)

I just got back from Washington, D.C., where I took part in the Global Coalition against Daesh’ ministerial meeting, gathered by John Kerry and Ashton Carter. In D.C. the European Union announced an extra 200 million euros in humanitarian aid to Iraq, while our work goes on in the areas liberated from Daesh, to let the Iraqis go back to their homes, to close the channels for terrorist financing, to strengthen the institutions of Iraq. It is an essential work, which must go hand in hand with the military operations.

Hard and soft power are increasingly tied to one another. Last night I spoke about this – among other things – at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where I presented the new EU Global Strategy. Here is the video of our conversation, and here is my interview with PBS on the situation in Turkey (the statement on the state of emergency is here) and on the US presidential election.

I shall finish on a positive note, some good news coming from Albania and Serbia. Yesterday the Albanian parliament approved at unanimity an important reform of its justice sector. I had spoken about this in Tirana, on the floor of the parliament, just a few months ago: the reform will be an important tool towards a more independent and transparent justice, and to fight corruption more effectively (here is our statement). Only two days before, we had opened two new justice-related chapters in Serbia’s negotiation for entering the EU (and here is the press review following my meeting on Tuesday with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić). It feels like all good news are coming from the Balkans, these days. Good news for the whole of Europe, in a crucial area for peace and stability in our continent.