The European Union and China: a principled and pragmatic dialogue

The European Union and China: a principled and pragmatic dialogue

I write at the end of a full week in Brussels, at work with the Union’s Foreign Ministers, with the heads of government at the European Council, and with some important partners. We started the week with Wang Yi, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China – first for the EU-China Strategic Dialogue, then for a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-Eight. It is the first time that a Chinese Foreign Minister meets with all his EU counterparts. This is the sign of how close our relationship is: China is a global power that we have some substantial disagreements with, it is at times a competitor, but it is also an essential partner cooperating with us on many issues that are crucial for global peace and security – from Iran to Korea. For this reason, we need a dialogue that is principled and pragmatic at the same time. Here is the press conference with Wang Yi. I also discussed China with the EU heads of government, at the European Council on Thursday and Friday – this is what I told journalists ahead of the meeting. The Council was marked mostly by an important decision on the future of the United Kingdom – more details here. In the margins of the summit, I met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa to agree on our support to Mozambique, which has just been hit by a devastating cyclone – our press point is here. As always, I took part in the pre-summit with Socialist leaders: this time, it was an opportunity to meet with the Italian Democratic Party’s new leader, Nicola Zingaretti, for the...
Arab League, Lebanon, Jordan: at work with our Middle Eastern partners

Arab League, Lebanon, Jordan: at work with our Middle Eastern partners

I write at the end of a week when I have mostly worked with our partners in the Middle East. The week started in Egypt, last Sunday, with the first Summit between the European Union and the Arab League: here is what I told journalists before the Summit, and here is my speech. In Egypt I also had the chance to meet bilaterally with the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Ayman Safadi, and of Tunisia, Khemais Jhinaoui. From Egypt to Lebanon, possibly the most “European” Arab country and one of our closest partners in the region. In Beirut I met with President Michel Aoun, the Parliament’s President Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Interior Minister Raya El Hassan (press release here). With Prime Minister Hariri we inaugurated the new European Embassy in Beirut – a sign of ever closer and stronger ties between Europe and Lebanon. Here is my speech at the ceremony. Then on Thursday I was at the London Initiative on Jordan: a country of immense potential, in economic terms and for its human capital, with a leadership who managed to remain wise and rational through these difficult years. In London I also met with Jordan Prime Minister Omar Razzaz. Here is what I said during the conference. On Wednesday I was at the European Parliament in Brussels, for the opening of the World Congress against the Death Penalty: we Europeans believe in justice, not revenge, and we continue to work for the abolition of the capital punishment worldwide – together with civil society and engaging with the countries that still resort to it....
The European way to peace and security – from Venezuela to the Middle East

The European way to peace and security – from Venezuela to the Middle East

I write as I travel from Germany to Egypt, with an eye on Venezuela. The contact group that we have created with European and Latin American countries has started to work earlier this week, to support a peaceful and democratic way out to the crisis. It is the only possible way – as we repeated with the European Union’s ministers, in today’s declaration that I made on behalf of the European Union and last Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council. Last Monday, with the EU Foreign Ministers, we also discussed the other crises we are working to end, as a matter of priority. We talked about the the positive developments in the Horn of Africa, and the situation in Ukraine and Syria, with the preparations for the third Brussels Conference we will host in mid-March – press conference here. And ahead of the Brussels Conference, I met with the new UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen – press release here. Our meeting on Monday started with a piece of good news: we received the official notification of North Macedonia’s new name, and this week I met again with Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani. Greece and North Macedonia reached an agreement thanks to the courage of their leaders and citizens, and thanks to the power of dialogue – I talked about it here and here is the press release on my meeting with Osmani. Dialogue and collaboration are the essence of the partnerships that the European Union has built around the world. With the United States and NATO, for instance. On Tuesday, I received in Brussels Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the...