Defence and development: concrete action for a stronger Europe

Defence and development: concrete action for a stronger Europe

There is much to tell about the last three days. I begin with two issues that might look very different, but in fact are complementary and run in parallel: European defence and development cooperation.

Today I presented the European Defence Action Plan, which I prepared together with Jyrki Katainen and Elzbieta Bienkowska for the issues related to industry and research. This is the second “pillar” of a single package on European defence: we want to make Europe more secure through a truly common defence policy, a stronger defence industry, and closer cooperation with NATO. Here is today’s press conference.

For the same reason, in the afternoon I took part (it’s a first for a High Representative) in a joint helicopter exercise organised by our European Defence Agency: there is still much to do on European defence, but there are also many concrete things – positive and important things – which we already do.

The progress we are doing on defence follows from the Global Strategy I presented last summer: we work together, the Union and its Member States, because together we can do more and better. The same is true for development cooperation.

Last Monday I chaired the Foreign Affairs Council in its development format. We talked about the work in progress with our African friends on migration compacts, but also about the package of measures I presented to achieve concretely the Sustainable Development Goals. Here is what I told the journalists after the Council.

I’ll conclude with a note on three important meetings. On Monday I welcomed to Brussels the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, for the first meeting of the European Union-Indonesia Joint Committee: it is the sign of ever closer relations with an important partner, in many sectors. Here is the opening of the meeting.

Shortly afterwards I met with the Moldovan Prime Minister, Pavel Filip, to talk about our bilateral relations and the reforms Moldova is carrying on, but also to discuss how to find a settlement on Transnistria. The press release is here.

Finally, yesterday I was in Warsaw for a meeting organised by the “Visegrad 4” group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) together with the six Western Balkans’ countries. An important day of work to get this part of Europe even closer to our Union. Here is the press conference.