In the far North, a global crossroads

In the far North, a global crossroads

I write after a week spent between Brussels and the far north of Europe. And my visits to Norway and Finland were also an opportunity to meet several partner from more distant parts of the world. On Tuesday I was at the Oslo Forum, where I discussed the future of dialogue, multilateralism and the common work to stabilise our region, together with Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende. Here is the video from the opening session of the Forum with the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Javad Zarif, of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi, and John Kerry; and here is our joint press conference. The visit to Oslo was an important opportunity to meet Javad Zarif, and to discuss with him our bilateral relations after the re-election of President Rouhani, the situation in the region – particularly the Syrian crisis – and the implementation of the nuclear deal: the International Atomic Agency has just monitored and certified again the full respect of the agreement. The deal is working, it is making our region and the world safer: so the European Union will continue to guarantee its full implementation, by all parties. From the Gulf to Latin America: in Oslo I also met for the first time with a delegation of the FARC: we discussed the implementation of the peace deal in Colombia and the European support to reconciliation and economic recovery in the country. But perhaps the most important and moving part of my trip to Norway was the visit to Utoya. On this island, six years ago, tens of young men and women were murdered by the killing spree of a far-right extremist. Utoya was a place for...
A conference in Brussels for the future of Syria

A conference in Brussels for the future of Syria

I write as I travel from Strasbourg, where we held the weekly meeting of the College of Commissioners, to Davos, where I will be taking part in some debates at the World Economic Forum. In Davos I will also have some bilateral meetings with institutional interlocutors and international partners. While the media attention focuses on a complex transition in the US Administration, our work keeps concentrating on the European Union’s continuing role in our region and the world. For peace, security and stability. This starts with Syria, which we discussed yesterday in Brussels at the Foreign Affairs Council. Our regional initiative to prepare Syria’s future goes on, in close cooperation with the United Nations and with regional countries: over the last few days, they sent their delegations to Brussels to discuss how to facilitate together a political transition, a reconciliation process, and how to open a new phase of reconstruction in the country. We have also decided that the European Union, together with the United Nations, will host an international conference on the future of Syria and of the region, next Spring in Brussels. It will be first and foremost a political meeting, to try and bring to an end these dramatic six years of war, and to open a new chapter of transition and reconstruction. But it will also be an opportunity to strengthen our support to an exhausted population, inside and outside Syria’s borders. No one invests as much as Europe does to support Syrians, and this is not bound to change: this fact, together with our non-engagement in the military conflict, gives us credibility. And we are ready to spend our credibility to facilitate a...
Back from Hamburg (with a thought on Italy)

Back from Hamburg (with a thought on Italy)

I write on my way back from Hamburg: on the occasion of the Ministerial meeting of OSCE (the Organisation for security and cooperation in Europe) I met with John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to discuss the European Union’s initiative on the future of Syria, and the need to protect civilians, especially in Aleppo, granting access for humanitarian aid. Here is the press release on today’s meetings. Yesterday night I stopped in Berlin to hold the “Willy Brandt Lecture” at Humboldt University – here are the video and the text. And before that, I was in Brussels for the NATO Ministerial, which adopted the proposals I put forward together with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance. The European Council will discuss about them next week, together with the whole package I proposed to prop up the European defence dimension. Here is the video of my press conference with Jens). On Tuesday I also received John Kerry in Brussels, for a bilateral meeting and to sign together a military logistical assistance agreement between the European Union and the United States. Finally, on Monday I was in Dakar: I open with President Macky Sall of Senegal the Forum for peace and security in Africa, and worked with him on our migration compact. The work goes on, with my mind constantly on my country, Italy. I always thought – and I keep thinking – that the constitutional reform we voted on was good for the country: on Sunday night I was hoping for a different result. Today the transition – a tough but manageable transition – is in the hands of President Sergio Mattarella: we can be sure the process will be managed...

Federica Mogherini discusses Syria in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, held today a series of bilateral meetings in the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Hamburg. In separate meetings, the High Representative discussed with the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the situation in Syria and the need to protect civilians, particularly in Aleppo, and allow humanitarian assistance in these dramatic hours. They also exchanged views on the outreach the High Representative has started with the regional actors, in close coordination with the United Nations, on the reconstruction and the future political and institutional set up of Syria, linked to the beginning of the political transition. The conflict in eastern Ukraine was also on the agenda of the bilateral meetings Federica Mogherini had with Minister Lavrov and separately with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. The High Representative stressed the need for a full implementation of the Minsk agreements, by all parties, and the readiness of the European Union to increase its support for their...