09/09/2020 - These days, there is much talk about "Global Europe": how to make the Union a truly global player in a world marked by the strategic rivalry between the US and China, the questioning of multilateralism plus health and environmental crises. You will find here a synthesis of my views, as discussed recently with my fellow Commissioners.
Key elements of the joint statement issued on behalf of 53 ASEM partners:
• Recognition that combating the COVID-19 pandemic needs concerted international cooperation, with transparent and timely sharing of accurate information.
• Agreement that government measures in response to the pandemic “should protect and not undermine human rights”, avoid stigmatisation and protect those in vulnerable situations.
• Acknowledgement that tackling the pandemic requires international cooperation to accelerate the development and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, which is considered a “global public good for health”.
• Welcoming the adoption of the 73rd World Health Assembly Resolution on COVID-19 in its entirety. This resolution includes the need to evaluate lessons learned from the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Keep disruption to international trade to the minimum while observing public health and safety considerations.
• Commitment to a sustainable post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery, based on the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The virus does not distinguish between continents, borders, nationalities or ethnicities”. In the first ministerial statement on COVID-19 embracing the two continents, Foreign Ministers from Asia and Europe stress the transboundary nature of the pandemic and the interconnectedness between their countries. Those in vulnerable situations must be protected, including tackling violence against women and children. The pandemic should not be allowed to increase stigmatization, nor worsen existing inequality.
04/09/2020 - On Tuesday, I visited Libya, meeting the authorities of the war-torn country. Shortly after the ceasefire understanding announced on 21 August, the aim of the visit was to explore further support the EU can provide to implement this ceasefire and help resolve the Libyan conflict. There is a glimmer of hope that we need to build on.
30/08/2020 - Le Journal du Dimanche - This summer has not been a restful one. From the explosion in the port of Beirut to the seizure of power by the army in Mali, the war in Libya, the tensions caused by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, the presidential elections in Belarus, and the alleged poisoning of a Russian opposition leader, our neighbourhood has been constantly on the brink of conflagration. But what is the relationship between these events? At first glance, there is none. On closer inspection, however, they all bear witness to the emergence of powers intent on reviving memories of great empires of the past.
26/08/2020 - Foreign policy never stops. But the summer of 2020 has been exceptionally busy, with a seemingly never-ending series of crises: in Lebanon, Belarus, Mali and the Eastern Mediterranean. At the informal Gymnich meeting in Berlin (27-28 August) we must forge a common way forward. It is both urgent and feasible to strengthen Europe’s international clout.
Expressing one’s faith should not be accompanied by acts of violence in any part of the world. Intolerance towards different religions or faiths still drives to conflict, violating Human Rights. On the International Day commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, the EU pays tribute to all the victims.