We keep working, with even more determination than before

We keep working, with even more determination than before

I write on my way from Strasbourg to Warsaw, from the European Parliament’s plenary session to the NATO Summit. It was an intense plenary in Strasbourg , with my presentation to the Parliament of the Global Strategy on foreign and security policy (here is the video), the discussion about our relations with China (where I’m heading next week for the EU-China summit – the video of my speech is here), the presentation of the Quartet Report on how to advance a two-State solution in Israel and Palestine (here is the video). At yesterday’s session I also had the opportunity to announce some good news on the floor of the House: another baby was born aboard a ship taking part to Operation Sophia. The operation itself is name after a little girl who was born last summer on one of our ships. It is a small sign of hope, of life, of a Union that saves and welcomes. It’s Europe at its best. It is also for this reason that our daily work goes on, the Union goes on, with even more force and determination than before. We have a united Europe, a space of peace and liberty: too often we take it for granted, and forget it has to be taken care of on a daily basis. I saw it very clearly on Monday, in Paris, at the leaders’ summit on the Western Balkans I attended together with François Hollande and Angela Merkel. If you look at our Union from the Balkans – a part of Europe that was still at war no longer than twenty years ago – you see the greatest dream...
Common responses to a global threat. The Middle East Quartet Report

Common responses to a global threat. The Middle East Quartet Report

Dhaka, and Istanbul just days ago. Everyone sees that all peoples and all countries face the same threat. Our response can only be common, global, involving the whole international community, together. My first thought goes to the victims, their families, their loved ones. I have been in contact all day with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni: I’ve guaranteed that the European Union delegation’s offices and personnel are at full disposal of Italian authorities, and of all European citizens in Bangladesh. It is a fragile world, and a difficult moment in our history. And we cannot back down. We keep on working – together, on multiple fronts, knowing that instability ignores national borders. But peace and hope can also be contagious: we have a duty and a responsibility to preserve and feed them, each and every day. For this very reason, together with the other leaders of the Middle East Quartet – Ban Ki-moon for the UN, John Kerry for the US, Sergei Lavrov for Russia – yesterday we presented a report on the obstacles impeding a two-State solution in Israel and Palestine, and the steps needed to relaunch direct negotiations between the two peoples. Tensions in the region cannot distract us from the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. On the contrary: avoiding a new escalation in the Holy Land, as well as working for peace, has never been so urgent – also for cutting the ground from under the terrorists’ feet. We have been working for a whole year to relaunch the Quartet’s work. Today, for the first time in ten years, we have issued clear and shared words, and important recommendations that we will now work...

Statement by the Quartet Principals on the release of the Quartet Report

In line with their decision announced in Munich on 12 February 2016 and underlining their commitment to support a comprehensive, just, and lasting resolution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, the representatives of the Middle East Quartet – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – present a report on the situation on the ground focusing on major threats to achieving a negotiated peace and offering recommendations to advance the two-state solution. The Quartet invites both parties to engage with it on implementing its recommendations and creating the conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations that resolve all final status issues. Read the full Report...

Report of the Middle East Quartet

At its meeting in Munich on 12 February 2016, the Middle East Quartet reiterated its concern that current trends are imperiling the viability of the two-state solution.  Underlining its commitment to supporting a comprehensive, just, and lasting resolution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, the Quartet agreed to prepare a report on the situation on the ground. This report does not provide a complete review of the humanitarian, political, legal, and security aspects of the situation, or address final status issues.  It focuses on major threats to achieving a negotiated peace and offers recommendations to advance the two-state solution. Summary The Quartet reiterates that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues. The Quartet recalls its previous statements and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and pledges its active support for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  In this regard, the Quartet reiterates its commitment to continue working in coordination with key stakeholders, including regional countries and the UN Security Council, to restore hope in a political solution. While the majority of people on both sides and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas express their support for the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, the Quartet remains seriously concerned that continuing on the current course will make this prospect increasingly remote.  In particular, each of the following trends is severely undermining hopes for...