Tough times, common answers

Tough times, common answers

For us who grew up in a Europe without walls and frontiers, for us who dream of a Union that truly unites our continent, today is not an ordinary day. Yesterday’s vote in the United Kingdom leaves us with a great sadness, but also with the will to react.

Today I met with all colleagues working at the European Extern Action Service. Among them are so many Brits who believe in the European project, who’ve done so much and continue to do so much for our Union. However difficult this can be, we can only respect the British people’s decision, and go on in our work with even more energy and determination than before.

This morning I talked to Philip Hammond, the UK Foreign Minister, and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs who had gathered in Luxembourg. With President Juncker and the other Vicepresidents of the Commission we discussed the work ahead. In such moment, with so many challenges facing us every day, we cannot afford any confusion and uncertainty on our future. We hold the responsibility to keep working on the security and well-being of all European citizens. We must keep cooperating with our partners to put an end to the many crises in our region.

The European Union is and will continue to be a strong actor, and a reliable partner to our friends all around the world. We will continue to act as a force for peace, the first trade partner and humanitarian actor all around the world, a provider of security, and a staunch supporter of international cooperation and multilateralism. After today’s vote many things will change, but we will definitely not lock ourselves inside our borders and our fears, inside the institutional building in Brussels, and forget about the world.

We need to deeply rethink the way this Union works. But we perfectly know that the answers our citizens’ needs and aspirations can only be built together, with our Union. These difficult times call for rationality and clarity of thought, courage, unity, coherence, leadership. Our citizens – and the entire world – need a strong European Union like never before.

 

Here is my statement after the results.