Discours lors des célébrations des 30 ans d’Erasmus à l’Université d’Alger III

Seul le texte prononcé fait foi! Merci beaucoup et je voudrais vraiment commencer par vous remercier pour l’hospitalité; car c’est ma deuxième visite ici en Algérie et c’est la première fois que je suis à l’Université. C’est vraiment pour moi un plaisir spécial d’être ici et j’aimerais vraiment vous remercier et aussi m’excuser pour le retard; j’ai eu une très bonne et très longue rencontre avec le Premier Ministre [Abdelmalek Sellal] et c’est pour cela que je commence avec un peu de retard et je vous remercie de votre patience et de m’avoir attendue. Chers Ministres, Excellences, Messieurs et Mesdames les ambassadeurs, mais surtout chers étudiants, Pour moi c’est vraiment un plaisir de m’adresser à vous aujourd’hui, surtout les étudiants, tant de jeunes visages de ce pays. Sans vouloir minimiser l’importance de mes réunions officielles qui sont très importantes, surtout dans un moment crucial des relations de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et l’Algérie qui est en train de beaucoup s’intensifier; mais mes rencontres avec les jeunes constituent toujours la partie la plus stimulante de mes visites et de mes déplacements à l’étranger. Il est d’autant plus important de parler avec vous aujourd’hui que nous vivons des temps particulièrement difficiles dans notre région, surtout marqués, souvent – trop souvent –par la violence et l’absence de dialogue et de recherche d’un terrain commun. L’absence de dialogue, l’absence de cet engagement pour chercher un terrain commun semblent parfois ouvrir la porte à une situation où les armes prédominent sur la force de la politique et de la diplomatie. Je sais que beaucoup d’entre vous ont étudié les sciences politiques et je sais...

Europe is what we make of it. Speech at the PES/Together event in Rome for #EU60

Check against delivery First of all thank you for organising this. Thank you Gianni (Pittella), thank you all. It is good to be surrounded by friends in a moment that is important for Europe and our Union – and by the way in my city, so it’s even more pleasant to be here, back home, in all senses. Today we celebrate, somehow, the intuition of our founding fathers and mothers – and let me add “mothers”, because we always refer to the fathers and we forget there were many women, sometimes in the shadows, that contributed to build our Europe. The Europe they knew, sixty years ago, was a devastated continent. It was a dark continent, the place where the greatest tragedy in human history had just taken place. But they decided to change the course of history. They realised that war in Europe was not inevitable, that it wasn’t simply a fact of life. But things had to be done in a different way. They chose a different path for Europe. They knew that Europe could be a different place. A continent that would export peace and stability, instead of exporting war – as we did, as Europeans, for thousands of years. So after sixty years, and so many achievements, let us keep in mind one simple message from 1957. Europe is what we make of it. And light comes… (laughter) There is nothing inevitable in our future. The people of Europe have a choice – that’s democracy. Don’t ever trust those who tell you that Europe is doomed to failure. Only nine months ago, exactly nine months...

Europe needs vision and realism. The Willy Brandt Lecture 2016

Check against delivery! President, Professor, Friends, It is really, really an honour for me to be here with you. You cannot imagine how much I feel this emotion of being here with you today hosted by Humboldt, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the Willy Brandt Foundation and to hold this year’s Willy Brandt Lecture. I can only be humbled to follow in the steps of my friend Jan Eliasson [Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations], my mentor, a great Italian President, a great European, a great friend of Germany, Giorgio Napolitano, and all the other great men who spoke during the previous Willy Brandt Lectures. And I said “men” because I understand I am the first woman to receive this honour – I thank you for that, I hope this will open the way for many other women to follow my steps. One of the previous lecturers – the Nobel Peace Prize winner [Mohamed] ElBaradei – described Willy Brandt as, I quote, “a man of vision and realism.” Vision and realism. These two words often go together when we talk about a previous generation of European leaders. Tonight, I would like to talk about both of these qualities – vision and realism – and why they are incredibly needed in today’s Europe. And let me mention that I believe just today Pope Francis recalled to all of us the need for strong visionary leadership in our continent. But before I get to that, I would like to spend just a few words on the place where we are. It might be normal for you, but it is...

Speech at the opening of the EU-CELAC Ministerial Meeting

Check against delivery! Excelentísimo Presidente [Danilo Medina Sánchez, President of the Dominican Republic], Excelentísimo Canciller, Dear Ministers, colleagues and friends, Es un placer para mí encontrarme de nuevo con los colegas y amigos de América Latina y el Caribe, en la ocasión de esta importante reunión. Son tiempos de cambio para el continente. Tiempos en los que las antiguas líneas divisorias – heredadas de la Guerra Fría – finalmente se han borrado. Pero sabemos que las transiciones históricas no siempre son lineares. Entonces tenemos la responsabilidad de gobernar el cambio en América Latina, en el Caribe y en Europa. Este año el Premio Nobel de la Paz lo ha recibido Colombia, y con Colombia, toda América Latina. Permítanme que felicite a mi amigo el Presidente Santos y a Maria Ángela, la cancillera Holguín, porque la Unión Europea apoya plenamente su esfuerzo adicional, y el esfuerzo de los colombianos, para conseguir una paz estable y duradera. Hemos apoyado el proceso de paz hasta ahora, vamos a seguir apoyando y acompañando todos los esfuerzos para abrir un nuevo histórico capítulo en Colombia. Mais les défis auxquels nous sommes confrontés sont énormes. Nous le savons très bien ici dans les Caraïbes, en Amérique Latine et en Europe. Mais nous pouvons les affronter avec succès si nous le faisons ensemble: penser au changement climatique et à l’Accord de Paris. Nous sommes arrivés à le signer ensemble. Nous ne saurions toutefois oublier le nouvel ouragan particulièrement violent qui a frappé à nouveau les Caraïbes il y a à peine trois semaines. Haïti a spécialement souffert des destructions qui ont accompagné cet ouragan et je...

My speech at the European Culture Forum 2016 in Brussels

Check against delivery Ladies and gentlemen, First of all I would like to thank you for having invited me to this great event, and for giving me the opportunity to reflect on something bigger, and deeper, than the everyday crisis agenda of the current Foreign policy. Almost 25 years ago we were told we were entering the era of a clash of civilisations. We were told that wars would be fought because of religion and culture. You probably know where I stand on this: I believe there is no clash of civilisations. Wars are still being fought for the same, old reasons. Economic interests, natural resources, spheres of influence, power. And yet, there are indeed cultural clashes to fight. These clashes do not occur between civilisations, but inside each of our civilisations. Culture can be a battlefield. It has been a battlefield in Europe for centuries. Today, some global and regional players believe that culture can be “weaponised”. But culture can also be the place where people meet and make the most out of their diversity. This is the choice we have made when our Union was founded. We realized that our culture is Greek and Jewish, Roman and Anglo-Saxon, Christian and Arab, Latin and Slavic, French and German, Mediterranean and Scandinavian, religious and secular. It was not isolation, but openness what made Europe such an incredible place and project. A project of integration that the world considers – still – as a model. Exchanges made us richer, not weaker. Culture in Europe is always plural – because so many different cultures belong in this continent. European culture is diversity. European culture is...

Foreign policy for European growth: speech at a Business Europe dinner event in Brussels

Thank you, president Marcegaglia, friends, When I began to think about what I would tell you tonight, my first thought was the link between foreign policy and business – how European foreign policy can deliver for our economy, and how the business community can engage in our foreign policy. Then, just a few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of European business people in Maputo, in Mozambique. When I’m abroad, I always try to meet not just the institutions – I will do the same in Buenos Aires next week. Our foreign policy today is too complex to ignore other actors – the civil society, NGOs, the business community. The investors I met in Mozambique knew exactly what they wanted from me, and from the European Union. For their investments, they need to know that Mozambique will be stable and peaceful. And they ask us to contribute to such stability, because they know we have the potential to help. In some cases, we are the only ones who can make a real difference. Europe is the first trade partner in almost every part of the world, and the first foreign investor, and the first donor. Months ago I was in China, and had breakfast with some European business people who work there. You can easily understand that their requests were not quite the same of the investors in Africa. They talked about improved access to the Chinese market, and a level playing field for all businesses. This tells us something: sometimes the business community understands better than governments that doing business abroad does not...