Five important issues, and one memory

Five important issues, and one memory

I write after a week spent travelling between Brussels, Trieste and Paris, working on five important issues for security and growth in our continent: the Balkans, the Sahel, our common defence, our relations with Russia, and the Mediterranean. First, our relations with the Balkans. In Trieste we met with the leaders of our six Balkan partners that are not yet part of the European Union. Together we launched a clear message: the door of the European Union is open to the Balkans, and the path towards a unified Europe continues. But we also worked on some practical projects for regional cooperation, to improve transports and increase exchanges in the Balkans. Here is what I told journalists after the summit. And here is the press conference after last Monday’s Stabilisation and Association Council with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Trieste Summit was also the opportunity for a long conversation with Emmanuel Macron, on the Balkans and on Africa, on the situation in the Gulf and on European defence (here is the press release). I kept working with him on Thursday, in Paris, together with Angela Merkel. The President and the Chancellor were meeting for the Franco-German Ministerial Council, and together we launched a new Alliance for growth and security in the Sahel. Here is the document we signed together. In Paris I also met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and with the Ministers of Defence of France, Germany, Italy and Spain – Florence Parly, Ursula Von Der Leyen, Roberta Pinotti and Dolores Cospedal. Here is the press release on my meetings in Paris. On Wednesday, in Brussels, I received the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, after my visit...
The best response to those who think Europe is stuck

The best response to those who think Europe is stuck

I write after another intense week, which I concluded yesterday at the American Chamber of Commerce in Brussels: I took part to their “Transatlantic week,” an opportunity to work together on the ties between Europe and America, on our common security, on the jobs that depend on cooperation between the shores of the Atlantic, on the commitment – on our side – to an international trade that is both free and fair. I repeated that a strong European Union matters not only to European citizens, but also to our American friends and the whole world. Here is my speech. During the week we focused mostly on three issues: our common defence, migration, and the situation in the Balkans, after my trip in the region last week. On Monday I chaired the Foreign Affairs Council: on my proposal, the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the Twenty-Eight took an important operative decision, setting up a unified command centre for EU military missions. Over the last six months, since I presented the Global Strategy for our foreign and security policy, European defence has made more progress than in the previous sixty years: this is the best response to those who think Europe is slow and stuck. In this video I talk to journalists about our decisions on defence, here my arrival at the Council (where I also talk about North Korea’s launch of some ballistic missiles), here the press conference at the end of the day on migration, the Balkans and our meeting with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The same issues were the focus of Thursday’s European Council with the Heads of State and government – an important meeting also for the re-election of...