Strasbourg

Strasbourg

I write at the end of a week marked by the terrorist attack in Strasbourg – a city that for centuries was at the centre stage of European wars, and for seventy years has been a symbol of peace, thanks to the European Union. One of the victims is Antonio Megalizzi, a young man who felt both Italian and European. The best way to honour his memory is to believe and to invest in our Union, with Antonio’s same enthusiasm and passion. In those hours I was also in Strasbourg, speaking on the floor of the European Parliament. We were reached by the news of the attack as we were discussing the situation in Ukraine (here is what I said). We had also discussed the situation in Ukraine with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, whom we hosted at the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Back to Brussels, I met with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. And I discussed Ukraine with the EU heads of state and government, at the European Council on Thursday and Friday. These are the other issues I discussed at the European Parliament’s plenary session: two reports on our foreign and defence policies; the case of Selahattin Demirtas, the opposition leader detained in Turkey; and the annual report on our work for human rights around the world. On Monday, at the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting, we also discussed how to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, the Balkans, our work with the African Union, and Venezuela. Here is what I told journalists before the Foreign Affairs Council, and the final press conference. Speaking of Venezuela: on Wednesday I met with...
National sovereignty today needs the European Union

National sovereignty today needs the European Union

I write after a week spent in Strasbourg and Brussels. First at the weekly meeting of the College of Commissioners and the European Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg: we worked on the tragic case of Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (here is my speech in Strasbourg, here the statement we released with the G7 Foreign Ministers), on the situation in Crimea and the Sea of Azov (video here), and on how to support a political process to end the crisis in Venezuela (video). More work on America Latina as I came back to Brussels: I met with Colombia’s President Ivan Duque – here is the press conference with him and Jean-Claude Juncker. In Brussels I joined the meeting of the Member States’ Chiefs of Defence, where we discussed our common work for European defence; I took part in the meeting of Catholic bishops who lead national Bishops’ Conferences all across Europe (at the annual COMECE conference); and I inaugurated an installation to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The installation was hosted in New York and Geneva before, the two cities of the United Nations: we have now welcomed it in Brussels, at the heart of European institutions, to symbolise the close friendship between the UN and the EU – video here. Finally, yesterday in Milan I met with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and together with him I spoke at the Democratic Party’s national Forum – here is my speech, in Italian, on why in today’s world European countries need the European Union to strengthen their national...