Cooperation is the key word for the European Union

Cooperation is the key word for the European Union

I write at the end of a week I spent in Ethiopia, in Brussels and Munich – a week at work on Africa and with Africa, and on our common security. The summit of heads of State and government of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, was the opportunity to discuss our common work on sustainable development, security and stability, the respect of democracy and human rights, and on a humane management of migration flows. I discussed this first of all with the representative of Ethiopian institutions: I met with President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. Europe supports the internal reforms they have launched and these months’ dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea – which, after decades of conflict, is giving hope to an entire continent. I talked about this with journalists, here. The European Union’s presence in Ethiopia is strong, including in support of those people who went back home after they had undertaken a difficult travel to seek a better future. I met some of them in a centre managed – with European support – by the International Organisation for Migration, together with Director General Antonio Vitorino. These young men and women – some of them are still children – are taking trainings and will receive a small financial help, to let them go back to school or start a new business. Here is the video. I discussed the strategic relationship between Europe and African with the African Union’s President Moussa Faki, with ​the President of Burkina Faso, Rich Marc Kabore; the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archangel Touadera; the President of...
Strong partnerships for difficult times

Strong partnerships for difficult times

I write at the end of a week when the European Union has been at the core of a strong and wide network of global partnerships. In one day only, we welcomed about one hundred ministerial delegations to Brussels, from South-East Asia and Africa: in a difficult moment for the world, the European Union has become a point of reference for the whole world, like never before. Here is what I told journalists at the beginning of all these meetings. On  Monday we hosted the Foreign Ministers of South-East Asia, for a meeting between the European Union and ASEAN. Together we decided that we will transform our cooperation in a “strategic partnership”, for even closer relations with ten countries that are very far from us geographically, but incredibly close in terms of interests and values. Here is the press conference at the end of the meeting. On Monday and Tuesday we also hosted the Foreign Ministers from the African Union’s countries, for the first ministerial meeting between our two continents. One year ago we decided to join forces – Europe and Africa – on the issues we care the most about: not just to manage migration flows, but even more to create opportunities for our young people, and for peace and security in the African continent. Here is my speech that opened the meeting and the final press conference. With the European Foreign Ministers we also discussed other important and delicate issues, starting with the situation in Venezuela (here is what I said during the press conference on Monday). Venezuela needs new elections, and they have to be free, credible and...