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:...

On the events in Gaza after the US Embassy move to Jerusalem

#MiddleEast “We believe Jerusalem’s status has to be defined through negotiations and we believe the realistic outcome of that would and should be Jerusalem being the capital both of the state of Israel and of the state of Palestine” @FedericaMog on #MEPP pic.twitter.com/gzdtAgsu3K — European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) 15 maggio...
United and determined

United and determined

I write after coming back from Tallinn, where I chaired the meeting of the European Union’s Foreign and Defence Ministers – at the end of a difficult week of international tensions, after the latest North Korean nuclear test. We managed to respond to these tensions with unity and determination, and with some important decisions – which I explain here. With the Foreign Minister we addressed the crisis in Venezuela, with a commitment to keep on with our contacts to help bring the crisis to an end – particularly our contacts with Latin-American partners. We also discussed the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and decided to start a review of the modalities of our engagement on the ground: we do not want to reduce our engagement, but on the contrary to make it more effective towards the only realistic goal to end the conflict, that is, a two-state solution. Another important point on our agenda, which we discussed with the Ministers of the five candidate countries to EU membership: the prevention of radicalisation and the fight against terrorism. Here is the press conference after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, and here is my discussion with members of Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees from all around Europe to discuss the priorities of our common foreign and security policy. Because in Tallinn, over the last two days, we also carried on our work on the European common security and defence. First, with an exercise on cyber-security, together (for the first time) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; and then with some important decisions on strengthening our common European commitment in two essential regions for us: the Sahel and the Horn of...