Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference with Susana Malcorra, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina

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Molte grazie Susana, Lasciatemi dire una parola in italiano perché è veramente un piacere essere in un paese in cui so che parlando la mia lingua, la maggior parte dei cittadini argentini può capirla.

La Unión Europea tiene un interés muy serio por las relaciones con Argentina. Queremos reanudar los lazos de nuestra relación. Es por este motivo que estoy de visita aquí hoy – and it is really a great pleasure to be welcomed by you, Susana. I was joking entering  the room that maybe it is the first time that I listen to you speaking in Spanish. We know each other well and it is really a pleasure to be able to continue working  together in this very important work that you have started for your country together with the President and the rest of the Government.
En la Unión Europea miramos con buenos ojos las reformas del gobierno y pensamos que estas medidas son esenciales para aumentar la inversión en  la economía, para la creación de empleo y la reintroducción y el acceso al sistema financiero mundial. Ahora, podemos profundizar las relaciones entre la Unión Europea y la Argentina. Compartimos valores democráticos  y lazos sociales, culturales y económicos que son profundos. Puedo asegurarles que vamos a renovar nuestra relación con velocidad y resolución. Tenemos que ver nuestras prioridades comunes que son el comercio, el crecimiento y la creación de empleo, inversiones con el Banco Europeo de Inversiones, ciencia y tecnología, agricultura, cambio de clima, la competitividad global, el desarrollo, la educación y coordinarse bien para desafíos globales dentro del G20.

I will switch to English, that’s easier for me.

Susana mentioned already that I brought the invitation from both president Tusk and president Juncker to president Macri to visit Brussels soon. We have worked today on a variety of different sectors of cooperation to make sure that we start from today a structured dialogue and cooperation in all different sectors that are of common interest – I mentioned them just now – so that we get to the visit of the president to Brussels with some deliverables already prepared and ready, working in a concrete way and very quickly, with the same energy that we have seen the government putting into these first months in reforms.

We will start with the macroeconomic dialogue in May which is something that is– we know very well – extremely important for the credibility of the country and we will continue with business roundtables that we are ready and keen to organise to provide a framework for the European business community that is ready to come and invest more in Argentina – including also cooperation in the security sector with a series of potential fields of cooperation that are going to be mutually beneficial.

We have also discussed the fact that the European Investment Bank, whose representatives are traveling with me, is interested to support investment projects in Argentina. It is keen and ready to resume its financing cooperation in the country in order to support investment projects that can contribute to the economic and social development of the country, with a special focus – that we have also discussed with the President – on small and medium enterprises, job creation, especially for young people, and climate action, renewable energy in particular but also all the financing for the climate change agenda and that is something that bring us together very closely.

I would close with two points: one is the EU – Mercosur exchange of offers.  This is something we have not only discussed today but all the other times we were in contact since Susana took office here. We are working very hard in the European Union, and I know this is the same in Mercosur, to have an exchange of offers that can be positive one, for both, happening in the coming – let’s say – couple of months. I think it is ambitious but realistic to hope that our work introduces some results within the month of April. This is the objective we are trying to reach and I am quite positive on the fact that we will have a successful step in this direction sooner rather than later. It will be important not only for the bilateral relations between Argentina and the European Union but also between the European Union and Mercosur.

This leads me to the role of Argentina in this region. We discussed this at length and I have to say that I particularly appreciate the message that Argentina is bringing of building bridges and investing in regional integration as a way to investing in multilateralism. Argentina, in this sense, can be an excellent partner for foreign policy for the European Union and also for other actors in the world. In this respect, the background of Susana has a lot of value.

Let me say that I will go back to Europe bringing a message of confidence in the process that Argentina has started both in terms of internal reforms, economic reforms, but also in terms of reconnection to the region and to the world, and also investment in the fact that Argentina is living in one of the few parts of the world that can enjoy peace and security. And this is an added value for us, Europeans.

So, I would say, here, what I have discussed with the president today. I hope that my visit here today can be somehow the moment when we managed to restart the engine of a secular friendship to deliver for our citizens in the most effective way, in the sense of dynamism and energy and, again, friendship.

Thank you. Gracias