Speech at the Hessian Peace Prize award ceremony

Check against delivery I would like to start by thanking you, Mr President [Mr Norbert Kartmann, President of the Hessian Parliament], Madam Minister [Ms Lucia Puttrich, Minister of European and Federal Affairs of the State of Hessen], all of you for your kind words, but most of all for this honour. I am also very thankful that you have come to Brussels for this ceremony – as you have highlighted this is the first time that this happens and I am very much aware of the fact that it does is not only a courtesy to myself, which I appreciate, but I know that this is first and foremost a tribute to the European Union, as you said Madam Minister, as a force for peace in our very difficult times. Two years after the deal with Iran [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] was signed, we see and we breathe a very different atmosphere in global affairs and in these days receiving this prize is quite significant. It is not always easy to find or to build the same spirit of collective responsibility that made the Iran deal possible. The work to achieve win-win solutions requires patience, perseverance, as you said, sometimes even stubbornness and a lot, a lot of strength. Many are tempted in these times to seek unilateral action, shortcut. Everyone seems to want to show their strength, instead of showing their wisdom. As if they were not the same. As if wisdom was not the biggest strength you can show, the most difficult to achieve, the most difficult to preserve and also the most difficult to share....
Back from Africa

Back from Africa

I write after coming back from Africa – my tenth visit in two years to sub-Saharan Africa, because that region is crucial to Europe, to the Mediterranean, and to the security of our continent. Liberia, first, where I met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the first woman to be elected as President of an African country – and I took part in the Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). This is a region where democracy is taking hold, with growing strength. This Community of States believes – as we Europeans do – that regional cooperation and integration are the best means to guarantee collective peace and security. We saw it in The Gambia, where the ECOWAS’ intervention allowed for a peaceful transition after the latest Presidential election. Here is my speech at the Summit (in English and French). The second stop of my visit was to Mali: a crucial country to the stability of the Sahel, North Africa and the Mediterranean, which is trying to recover from a civil war and to tackle the terrorist threat. The European Union provides a unique contribution to this region’s stability – and as a consequence, to our region’s stability: we mobilise humanitarian aid, but also incentives to private investments, a Trust Fund to address the causes that push men and women to leave their homes in the Sahel, and a fundamental support by our troops and security experts. I began with a visit to the two European missions – one civilian, one military – that are supporting the Malian armed and police forces as they take responsibility for their country’s security. I took part...

Federica Mogherini meets with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, met today with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in the margins of the Conference of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). They exchanged views on bilateral relations, the Middle East peace process and regional issues. One day before the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the 6-day war, the High Representative reiterated her call for an end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A concerted international effort led by the Quartet and working with partners in the region, offer good opportunities to focus on the preservation of the two-state solution as the only viable way of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. In this context, High Representative Mogherini discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu how concrete progress can be reached. She also reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to work together with both Israel and Palestinians to this end, as well as key regional and international players, the Middle East peace process remaining a top priority for the EU’s foreign policy and...
In memory of Shimon Peres, hope builder

In memory of Shimon Peres, hope builder

I write on my way back from Jerusalem, where we honoured the memory of one of the greatest men of peace of our age, Shimon Peres. I met him for the first time in 2002, together with a small delegation of socialist youth organisations – it was the same trip when I also met Yasser Arafat. I was struck  by his smile, his warmth, his humour, his depth and levity, his willingness to listen, to talk, to share with us his thoughts and his experience. A Foreign Minister of Israel, with kids who had grown up dreaming peace after the Oslo agreements. The last time I met him he was about to leave the Presidency. He talked with enthusiasm of his plans for the future, the great projects he had with young Arabs and Israelis to foster hope, to strengthen the readiness to live together, and the joy to live together. The last time we spoke, a few months ago, he explained to me how these plans where moving forward, and how to support them. And also, obviously, we discussed how to shake life back into a peace process that seems to be gone, between Israel and the Palestinians. He always encouraged me to stand my ground, to keep looking for a way forward, for a step – even a small one – that would reverse the trend and reopen channels for dialogue, for peace, for hope. Little big steps that could lead to the two States – even when everyone says that “the conditions are not there.” Creating the conditions is our job. This is what I discussed last night, at length, with Benjamin...