I write from Havana, where I arrived for the second meeting of the “Joint Council” that we created with the historic 2016 cooperation agreement between the European Union and Cuba. In the coming days I will head from Cuba to Mexico and Colombia, more details here.
I spent the week that just ended in Brussels, where we gathered – like every year – all the Ambassadors of the European Union in the world. On Monday I opened my last Ambassadors’ Conference recalling the results of these five years – from European defence to our support to multilateralism, from a new partnership with Africa to the Balkans’ path towards the EU: here is my speech. In the following days I welcomed to the Conference Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, who will lead the Commission and the Council for the next five years.
On Friday, still in Brussels, I announced a new European initiative, an “Erasmus” for civil society activists working on faith and social inclusions. All around the world there are so many amazing stories of respect and peaceful coexistence among communities of different faith. Yet too often these stories go unheard, as the media’s and public opinion’s attention tends to focus on tensions and clashes. With this new “Global Exchange on Religion in Society” we want to give voice to these success stories, connecting and empowering the bridge-builders and change-makers. Here is my speech and here are more details on the new initiative.
Over the week I also met with Moldova’s President Igor Dodon (press release here) and I spoke with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, particularly about Venezuela, Libya and Syria – here is the press release.