The only way to protect our national interest

The only way to protect our national interest

I write at the end of a week when I have worked mostly on security, migration and economic development. Today the public debate focuses very much on national interest and on national security. But in our world there is only one way to protect our national interest, and that is to cooperate with partners outside our borders, to build solid alliances, to invest in multilateralism and international cooperation.

For this reason, on Monday, I gather for the forth time the Foreign Ministers of five countries in the Sahel – a crucial region for Europe’s security and for governing migration flows. Here is my press conference with the Foreign Minister of Niger Kalla Ankourao, who holds the G5 Sahel’s presidency: we discussed our contribution to the joint military force of the five countries, our support to regional economy, and our help to tens of thousands migrants to build a new life in their countries of origin.

There is one threat to our security that is very often underestimated: it is the threat coming from climate change, which is already bringing insecurity and instability across the world, including at Europe’s doorstep. We discussed it yesterday in Brussels at the ministerial conference I hosted on climate and security – here is my speech at the conference.

The conference was also the opportunity for a long meeting with Sushma Swaraj, the Foreign Minister of India – press release here.

Last Wednesday I chaired the Partnership Council with Armenia (here is the press conference with Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan), and during the week I agreed to enhance our cooperation with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (more details here). On Wednesday I also met with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (press release here).

Protect European economic interests through international cooperation and multilateralism: this is what I discussed on Tuesday with a group of Italian and European business-people, in a meeting organised by the Ambrosetti Club. And yesterday I took part in the Aspen Institute’s Transatlantic Strategic Dialogue: it was an opportunity to meet with a great group of people coming from Europe and the other side of the Atlantic, to talk about our relationship with the United States.

One last important thing: tomorrow I am going to host the Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Hashim Thaci, to keep working towards a normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina (press release here).