National sovereignty today needs the European Union

National sovereignty today needs the European Union

I write after a week spent in Strasbourg and Brussels. First at the weekly meeting of the College of Commissioners and the European Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg: we worked on the tragic case of Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (here is my speech in Strasbourg, here the statement we released with the G7 Foreign Ministers), on the situation in Crimea and the Sea of Azov (video here), and on how to support a political process to end the crisis in Venezuela (video). More work on America Latina as I came back to Brussels: I met with Colombia’s President Ivan Duque – here is the press conference with him and Jean-Claude Juncker. In Brussels I joined the meeting of the Member States’ Chiefs of Defence, where we discussed our common work for European defence; I took part in the meeting of Catholic bishops who lead national Bishops’ Conferences all across Europe (at the annual COMECE conference); and I inaugurated an installation to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The installation was hosted in New York and Geneva before, the two cities of the United Nations: we have now welcomed it in Brussels, at the heart of European institutions, to symbolise the close friendship between the UN and the EU – video here. Finally, yesterday in Milan I met with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and together with him I spoke at the Democratic Party’s national Forum – here is my speech, in Italian, on why in today’s world European countries need the European Union to strengthen their national...
Why a meeting of Women Foreign Ministers

Why a meeting of Women Foreign Ministers

I write as I travel from Montreal to New York – where a very intense working week starts today, because of the United Nations’ General Assembly. Over the last two days in Montreal, Canada, we gathered the world’s Women Foreign Ministers for the first time in a long while, together with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. When Chrystia and I had this idea, it was first and foremost because we realised, through our daily work, what a special contribution women bring to foreign policy, to peace negotiations, to national reconciliation processes. For this reason, during Montreal’s meeting we discussed the main international crises, from Syria to Ukraine, not only among Foreign Ministers but inviting other women who work to solve conflicts: we want to support them in their difficult – yet vital – work. But we also decided to hold this meeting to tell our stories to girls and women all around the world: we wanted to show that there are no jobs “for men only”, and that every girl has the right to do anything she wants with her life. We will continue to work together, in the coming weeks and with a new meeting next year. Here is my opening speech, here the final press conference. In Canada we also decided to remember a shooting from almost thirty years ago: fourteen young women were killed simply because they were women who dared to study, be bright and be free. Here is the video. My week started in Brussels, where we presented our Strategy to better connect Europe and Asia. This is a crucial issue for our economies’...
A reliable partner, from Latin America to the Far East

A reliable partner, from Latin America to the Far East

I write at the end of a long week of meetings: they testified not only our strong global ties and our constant commitment to solve the most difficult crises, but also the role recognised to the European Union as a reliable partner. This is because of the “European way” to be a global actor: we always choose cooperation and multilateralism, on all issues from security to diplomacy. The European Union has accompanied and will continue to accompany the peace process in Colombia. I talked about it with the Nobel Peace Prize, President Juan Manuel Santos. After his speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, we met again in Brussels to discuss the difficult path that led to peace in Colombia – now a model to solve other conflicts. With courage and patience, Santos negotiated a deal that led to disarmament by the FARC and will bring long-term benefits to all the people of Colombia. Here is my conversation with Santos. And the European Union keeps supporting the negotiations led by the United Nations on Syria: this week I met again with the representatives of the Syrian opposition, press release here. The same goes for Libya. On Tuesday, in Paris, I took part in the meeting organised by Emmanuel Macron to support Libya’s stabilisation. The international community is backing the work of the United Nations: they give strength to the negotiations and represent a guarantee for all sides, in Libya just like anywhere else. I talked about this meeting at the European Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, here is the video. This is the value of multilateralism and cooperation. And for us...