In Vienna, with our eyes on the Balkans, the Middle East and Iran

In Vienna, with our eyes on the Balkans, the Middle East and Iran

I write after coming back from Austria, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, where I chaired the informal meetings of European Foreign and Defence Ministers. We were in Vienna, the city where three years ago – after years of negotiations – we finalised the nuclear deal with Iran. There could be no better place to start a year, which we will dedicate to a great extent to protecting and strengthening the system of multilateral institutions. Deals like the one with Iran contribute to Europe’s security, and investing in this kind of “effective multilateralism” is the only way to truly defend the European citizens’ interests. Austria has decided to dedicate its semester of EU Presidency precisely to effective multilateralism, but also to our work with the Balkans: we talked about both issues with Austrian President Alexander Van Der Bellen (the video is here). In Vienna we were joined by the Foreign Ministers of the European Union’s candidate countries. We discussed our common work to protect and promote multilateralism, a few weeks before the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York. And we also discussed our continent’s security, together with representatives from NATO and the United Nations. Cooperation with the Balkans was also discussed in the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers, together with NATO and the United Nations. With the Defence Ministers we worked on new common projects to strengthen the European Union’s defence: we will launch these projects thanks to the Permanent Structured Cooperation we created last year. With Defence and Foreign Ministers we discussed the future of Operation Sophia, our naval mission in the Mediterranean:...

Speaking on our Strategy for the Balkans, in Sofia

"The strategy addresses the entire region. It doesn’t create different boxes or different categories among the region partners we have in the #WesternBalkans" @FedericaMog on new strategy for Western Balkans at #Gymnich pic.twitter.com/5akr4Rw0BA — European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) 16 febbraio...

On North Korea, after the “Gymnich” in Sofia

#DPRK "We will explore together what kind of additional pressure but also what kind of diplomatic efforts EU can put at the disposal of the international community to reach objective of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula" @FedericaMog invites @MOFAkr_eng Kang Kyung-wha to Brussels pic.twitter.com/UQG8LEdXD1 — European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) 16 febbraio...