From Finland to Malta, to India

From Finland to Malta, to India

I write after a week that begun with two events on the fight against the so-called “hybrid threats”. Last Monday morning, in Brussels, I explained our strategy to tackle these threats during a conference organised by the Estonian Presidency of the European Union: here is my speech. Then, on Monday afternoon, I was in Finland to inaugurate the new European Centre of Excellence on Countering Hybrid Threats: I had proposed to open this kind of centre just over a year ago, and we made it happen incredibly fast, thanks to the leadership of some Member States and in partnership with NATO. Here is  my speech at the inauguration.

Europe’s security is one of the European Commission’s priorities for the last two years of our mandate. To define these priorities, last Tuesday I was in Strasbourg working with the College of Commissioners and with the Chairs of the European Parliament’s Committees: on top of defence, we focused on our investments in Africa, the Balkans’ path towards the European Union, but also a free and fair trade and the protection of human rights.

From Strasbourg to Malta for the “Our Ocean” Conference, which this year was hosted by the European Union. Our seas should always be a resource, but they could also turn into a security threat – because of climate change, pollution and the risk of new conflicts. For this reason I announced 560 million of European Union’s investment in maritime security and against pollution at sea. In Malta we managed to gathered over six billion euros in investment to protect our oceans – a truly remarkable result. Here is my opening speech at the conference, here is the press conference and my interview (in Italian) with SkyTg24.

In Malta I had the opportunity to meet not only with the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, but also with Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz Valenzuela: we mostly discussed the trade talks between the European Union and Mercosur, and the attempt to set up a regional mediation for Venezuela (press release here). I also met with the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

The week ended on the other side of the world, in New Delhi, at the summit between the European Union and India: an economic giant and an ever-more important partner to address many of our world’s crises. With President Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj we discussed the crisis in the Korean peninsula, how to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, but also the fight against terrorism and our cooperation against piracy in the Indian Ocean. Here is our statement on the summit.

In India I also paid a visit to Gandhi’s memorial, on the very day the Nobel Peace Price was assigned – to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. A Nobel for non-proliferation and disarmament, two goals that today are more urgent and important than ever. The European Union is and will continue to be an indispensable partner towards these goals: here is my statement.​