Remarks by Federica Mogherini at the ‘Supporting Syria and the Region’ conference

Thank you, I would like to thank all those humanitarian workers who are making the difference every single day. And I believe if we are here today it is because we feel we share a responsibility and a duty. I would say a duty. A duty to focus today and tomorrow – when the conference will be over – on the people of Syria. We see the numbers, we talk of geopolitics, but we often forget the names, the faces of the persons whose lives are at stake. And let me say that sometimes, we Europeans, do that. If we focus on them, each and every one of them then, maybe, it will be a bit easier to help a little bit to make the right things, to take the right decisions. And we all have difficult decisions to make, in order to be consistent and honour our responsibilities on both tracks we have in front of us: the humanitarian one – and I will come to that – and the fragile, difficult, very difficult but still existent political process, built with patience and courage in Vienna, in New York, in Geneva, and next week in Munich. Let me also say very clearly, as I see him sitting here, that mentioning the name of Staffan de Mistura and thanking him is not enough. We need to empower him and create the conditions for his work to succeed. This is our responsibility. And let me also say very clearly that those who still believe that there can be a military solution to this war should wake up, should simply wake...

«Andare avanti per non tornare indietro». Intervista a “La Stampa”

Intervista di Marco Zatterin «Vedo un rischio molto serio di implosione, anche se resto convinta che l’Europa abbia gli strumenti, la capacità e la forza per gestire questi numeri». Federica Mogherini propone una risposta a due facce all’allarme lanciato da molti, a partire dal premier francese Valls, sull’Ue che rischia di perdere Schengen e la sua stessa vita per colpa della crisi dei rifugiati. Ammette le minacce, l’alto rappresentante per la Politica estera. Però tiene salda la barra della speranza e continua a tessera la tela diplomatica, sulla Siria come sui migranti. Oggi vola a Berlino dove vedrà Frau Merkel ventiquattro ore prima del premier Renzi. Si dice che i due si parlino poco. Lei nega e, non rinunciando a un piccolo rimprovero al suo presidente Juncker, assicura: «Matteo e io siamo, e saremo, dalla stessa parte». Mogherini pensa che per rendere sostenibile l’emergenza degli sbarchi basterebbe che gli Stati attuassero le norme che hanno votato. «Se l’Ue agisce in modo razionale, con fiducia in se stessa e solidarietà, si andrà avanti – assicura – in caso contrario, l’alternativa è un ritorno indietro». Chiudendo i confini e bruciando Schengen?   «È un’illusione pericolosa pensare di poter gestire le migrazioni con il reinserimento dei controlli alle frontiere. Ci farebbe perdere una delle nostre più grandi conquiste, con costi economici e politici incalcolabili, e non aiuterebbe a controllare meglio il fenomeno. Sino a un anno fa, le politiche migratorie erano puramente nazionali. E proprio perché non funzionavano abbiamo cominciato a introdurre forme di solidarietà europea, faticosamente decise e non attuate». Alla riunione di Amsterdam s’è avuta l’impressione che le capitali scontino...
Turkey and us: our support for refugees, and much more

Turkey and us: our support for refugees, and much more

I am flying back from an official visit to Turkey: together with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides, I met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Mavlut Cavusoglu, and of European Affairs, Volkan Bozkir. But we also met with the leaders of all parties – government and opposition – and with students and professors of the Middle East Technical University of Ankara. We have spent months to define an agreement on how to manage the refugee flows together, in a human and sustainable way. This trip was the opportunity to take stock of the implementation of commitments we have taken: on our side, we are supporting Turkey with projects aimed at hosting refugees, with a focus on the education of Syrian children to avoid that a whole generation gets lost; while Turkish authorities have agreed to dismantle the smuggling networks and strengthen their control of the flows – the flow of refugees, but also of migrants using the Turkish route to reach Europe. Still, our relations with Turkey could not be limited to this one issue, although crucial for the both of us. This visit was important first and foremost to tackle the whole set of common priorities for Turkey and the EU: the diplomatic work to end the war in Syria and begin a transition in Damascus; the fight against Daesh, with cooperation on anti-terrorism and against foreign fighters; a solution for the Cypriot issue; the search for a new regional balance to contain and defuse Middle Eastern tensions; the relaunch of the peace process between Israel and Palestine; economic and energy cooperation. And more: the membership negotiations, starting with chapters...
At the World Economic Forum in Davos: a stronger Europe to save Europe

At the World Economic Forum in Davos: a stronger Europe to save Europe

I am writing from Davos, at the World Economic Forum, after spending the rest of the week in Strasbourg. Over there I attended the Commission’s meeting and the European Parliament’s plenary: we had resolutions and debates on Syria, on the Saudi-Iranian tensions, on defending Christians in the Middle East, on the peace process in Colombia. Here in Switzerland, I had two days of meetings with leaders from all over the world. Yesterday I met once again with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: we discussed the EU-Israel relations but first and foremost how to restart the peace process between Israel and Palestine, with a full engagement of Arab countries. Then the meetings with the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, the prime Minister of Lebanon Tammam Salam, the president of the Red Cross’ International Committe Peter Maurer, the new Argentinian foreign minister, Susana Malcorra, a friend who will do a lot for her country and for Latin America. And again with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, just days after having concluded together the work on implementing our nuclear deal in Vienna. But Davos this year (my first year here) was all about the European Union, our present and the future we will manage to build for it. In fact, building our present and future is not just a matter for the EU institutions, but for national ones and for all Europe’s citizens. Only with a strong Union, one that truly works, will we successfully address all the difficult issues of our times. This was the core of today’s discussion with David Miliband and Emmanuel Macron, in a BBC panel on the refugee crisis, Schengen and the future of Europe. Together,...