Cooperation is the key word for the European Union

Cooperation is the key word for the European Union

I write at the end of a week I spent in Ethiopia, in Brussels and Munich – a week at work on Africa and with Africa, and on our common security. The summit of heads of State and government of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, was the opportunity to discuss our common work on sustainable development, security and stability, the respect of democracy and human rights, and on a humane management of migration flows. I discussed this first of all with the representative of Ethiopian institutions: I met with President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. Europe supports the internal reforms they have launched and these months’ dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea – which, after decades of conflict, is giving hope to an entire continent. I talked about this with journalists, here. The European Union’s presence in Ethiopia is strong, including in support of those people who went back home after they had undertaken a difficult travel to seek a better future. I met some of them in a centre managed – with European support – by the International Organisation for Migration, together with Director General Antonio Vitorino. These young men and women – some of them are still children – are taking trainings and will receive a small financial help, to let them go back to school or start a new business. Here is the video. I discussed the strategic relationship between Europe and African with the African Union’s President Moussa Faki, with ​the President of Burkina Faso, Rich Marc Kabore; the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archangel Touadera; the President of...
Good news from the Balkans and Asia

Good news from the Balkans and Asia

I write at the end of a week that I spent working with many of our partners – from our Eastern neighbours to the countries of South-East Asia, with some important results and good news. On Friday evening the Parliament in Skopje took a step towards changing the country’s name to “North Macedonia”, as agreed with Greece last summer. This is an essential moment for our continent’s stability and towards negotiations for the future North Macedonia’s accession to the European Union. Here is my statement. The second piece of good news is that we signed a trade agreement with Singapore: it is a new kind of agreement, for our trade to be free and fair at the same time – with more protection for workers, for our trademarks and for the environment. More details here. We signed the deal with Singapore in the margins of the Europe-Asia Summit, a meeting of 51 countries from our two continents. Among other issues, we worked in particular on North Korea, particularly together with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and on making our trade relations stronger and fairer. Here is the press release on all my meetings in the margins of the summit and on a deal to protect Vietnam’s environment. My week started in Luxembourg, at the meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Ministers. Together with the ministers, I met with Filippo Grandi and Antonio Vitorino, who lead the two UN Agencies for refugees and migrants (UNHCR and IOM). Our work on this file continued in Brussels, at the European Council with the 28 EU heads of State and government: they confirmed their strong support...