United on the challenge posed by North Korea

United on the challenge posed by North Korea

I write from Slovenia, where I am on official visit and I will take part in the Bled Strategic Forum: in Bled I will meet, among others, Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO). I will discuss with them how to best strengthen the global non-proliferation system, which we Europeans strongly support, and we will also talk about the latest tests by Pyongyang. Last week ended with the latest challenge by North Korea against the international community, a new threat against global peace and security. The international community needs to preserve its unity: all decisions must be taken by the United Nations’ Security Council, to increase the diplomatic and economic pressure, and to avoid dangerous military reactions. Right after the nuclear test, I talked to the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Taro Kono, and of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-wha, to coordinate our action ahead of the next steps by the European Union: we will discuss these steps in Tallinn on Thursday, at the informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers. Here is the press release. In an increasingly chaotic world, the demand for a strong and reliable European Union has also increased exponentially over the last year. I see it every day in my work, and so do the 140 Heads of the European Union’s Delegations around the world. They all gathered in Brussels last week for our annual Ambassadors Conference. It was the opportunity to go through our priorities: from European defence to the fight against terrorism, from migration to the...
Bad news on Cyprus, and some important achievements

Bad news on Cyprus, and some important achievements

I write on my way back from Crans Montana, in Switzerland, where over the last two days I took part in the final phase of the negotiations on Cyprus led by the United Nations. Long days and nights at work, which ended with no deal among the parties. It is very bad news, because peace in Cyprus could have put an end to over forty years of conflict, and it could have demonstrated once again the power of diplomacy. It would have brought stability and security to the region, but also new economic opportunities. From tomorrow on, it will be harder to imagine a path to restart the negotiations. But the European Union will continue to engage for cooperation in the region. And we will be ready to welcome a reunited, reconciled and peaceful Cyprus as a member of our Union. The rest of the week was instead dense with important achievements. Last Monday I invited to Brussels the Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Hashim Thaci: together we decided to open a new phase in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, towards a normalisation of their relations and to advance the entire Balkans on their path towards the European Union. Here is the press release. And yesterday the European Union and Japan signed an important agreement on free trade and political cooperation. Important not only because Japan is a long-term partner and one of the world’s largest economies. Together we are showing that the best response to the imbalances caused by globalisation is not a return to protectionism, but cooperation with our partners towards better rules for all – with more...

Federica Mogherini meets with President Vučić of Serbia and Thaçi of Kosovo

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, hosted this morning in Brussels an informal meeting with the Presidents Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia and Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo. They agreed to work on starting a new phase of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina for normalisation of relations and reconciliation, and they decided that the respective teams will start working on preparations. They also stressed the importance of the implementation of the agreements reached in the dialogue without delay. The High Representative confirmed the commitment of the EU for the European perspective of the whole Western...
Our Union, a force for peace

Our Union, a force for peace

I write after coming back from Dubrovnick, Croatia, where I took part – together with our partners in the Balkans – to the summit of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process. It was the first time for a High Representative at this meeting, and it was an opportunity to say once again that the future of the European Union will not be at 27: the Balkans’ path towards EU membership goes on (here is what I told journalists at the summit). Tomorrow, in Brussels, I will host the Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Hasim Thaci, to push forward the dialogue and the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina (here is the press release). The European Union was originally a peace project, and we continue to put peace at the core of our action. Last Wednesday I was in Crans Montana, in Switzerland, for the beginning of a new round of talks on Cyprus’ reunification. It is a historic opportunity to end a conflict that has lasted for over forty years, and the European Union is ready to do all it can to help the two communities reach a deal (press release here). More on peace. This week we had good news from Colombia: the FARC have finally laid down their arms, putting an end – after the deal signed with President Juan Manuel Santos – to a half-a-century-long conflict. My statement is here. Four other important things that happened this week. On Thursday I was in Tallinn, for the beginning of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union. Over the next six months we will focus particularly on our partners in Eastern Europe, on migration,...