Manchester’s sorrow, and our response

Manchester’s sorrow, and our response

A painful week ends, marked by the attack last Monday in Manchester. An attack against our youth, their desire to live, to be together, to have fun together. As a mother, I cannot help thinking of those families’ infinite sorrow. As European institutions, we immediately offered all our support to the UK, strengthening the exchange of information and cooperation among our intelligence services. But the strongest response lies in our willingness to keep on living. We look ahead with hope, “we don’t look back in anger” – this is what the people of Manchester said and sang, when they took on the streets to react together.

We also talked about our cooperation against terrorism when we welcomed President Donald Trump to Brussels, on Thursday. He paid a visit to the European institutions during his first foreign trip as the US President, after Vice-President Mike Pence came here during the first month of the administration, and after the many meeting I had with Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, HR McMaster, Jason Greenblatt, Nikki Haley. The United States and the European Union continue to work together: on our shared priorities – from Syria to Ukraine – as well as on issues where our views differ – on these, too, our dialogue is open, and fruitful.

This week we also welcomed Emmanuel Macron to Brussels, for the first time as French President. With him, and with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian I discussed the common work ahead and how to relaunch and strengthen our European Union. Including on security and defence.

And this last week marked an important step forward towards a European Union of security and defence. Together with Jyrki Katainen I presented the work the European Commission intends to do to accompany and support Member States in their decision to make our Union stronger. The European institutions have come together to get this done, and in just one year we have taken great steps forward. Here is the press conference with Katainen, where we give the main news.

Another very important thing about this week of work in Brussels: on Wednesday I hosted the Prime Ministers of our six partners in the Western Balkans, to work together towards a finally unified Europe and to consolidate regional cooperation among them. Here is the press release.

Last Monday, instead, I had met with Algeria’s Minister for Maghreb, the Arab League and the African Union, Abdelkader Messahel – now the Foreign Minister, after the formation of a new government. Our work on the situation in North Africa continued on Tuesday, at the Libya Quartet’s second meeting with the United Nation, the Arab League and the African Union. Here is the press conference (my remarks and the Q&A), here is the Quartet’s joint communique.

Two final important things: I took part in the Culture Council, the first time for a High Representative: here I explain what we worked on.

And finally, the Cooperation Council with Armenia: here is the press conference with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

Now I am travelling towards Latin America. I will spend the coming week working with our partners that are further geographically, but very close in cultural, economic and political terms: tomorrow in Buenos Aires, the day after in Santiago de Chile. Then, back to Brussels, on Thursday and Friday we will host the EU-China Summit. From Saturday on, Africa. This is a global Europe, one that works within its region and in the world.