I am writing on a flight from Pristina to Rome: there, in the Vatican, I will attend a ceremony to award Pope Francis with the Charlemagne prize, for his message to Europe.
Today in Kosovo I met with President Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, the Speaker of the Parliament Kadri Veseli, and with representative of the opposition and of civil society. But I also had the opportunity to address the Parliament, a day after the Commission proposed to open the Schengen zone to visa-free short stays for Kosovars. It is an important achievement, especially for 70 percent of the people of Kosovo who are under 30, and feel 100 percent European. It was made possible thanks to months of hard work in Brussels and Pristina. And for the first time in months, today the opposition took part in the parliamentary session. Here is my speech in the Parliament, and here is the press conference.
Kosovo and the Balkans were also part of my conversations in Washington, last Wednesday, with John Kerry and Susan Rice. We also discussed Libya, Syria and Ukraine, migration and Africa, the situation in the Middle East: on all these issues the United States and Europe have worked and keep working together (here is my press conference with Kerry). Our cooperation is strong both in multilateral formats and bilaterally.
In Washington I also co-chaired the EU/US Energy Council, together with Secretary Kerry: we were joined by my colleagues Maros Sefcovic and Miguel Arias Cañete, and by US Secretary for Energy Ernest Moniz, with whom I have worked so much during the Iran talks. In fact, our relationship with the United States has never been stronger, and it has never been more crucial on so many conflict theatres.
President Obama has reminded us so well, just a few days ago, when he warned against the possibility that Great Britain leaves our European Union. All that international diplomacy achieved last year – the deal with Iran, the climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals – was based on cooperation between the US and our Union. We have shown that partnership between the shores of the Atlantic is vital not just for us, but for the whole world.