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“The world expects us to be a point of reference, a peace builder, a security provider and a voice of rationality”, the EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini stressed in her speech before more than 140 EU Ambassadors, civilian and military staff leading EU presences around the world. They have gathered in Brussels on 2 September for the opening of a weeklong annual EU Ambassadors Conference that takes stock of the developments in the EU’s diplomatic network, and discusses actions and ways forward.
The High Representative reflected on a number of success stories and lessons learned from the past couple of years, showcasing EU’s strong engagement in every single region of the world.
“The world is asking us to be a global security provider, a cooperative one at the service of peace”, Mogherini said as she stressed the progress achieved on EU’s security and defence.
Another highlight of EU’s work around the globe is that multilateralism is at the core of EU’s diplomacy. “Europe is a cooperative and multilateral power by definition. At a time when the idea of a cooperative global order has come under increasing pressure, we have invested in multilateralism like never before - and we have always invested in multilateralism”, she said. “We always try to build the space for dialogue, to create the conditions for a mediated solution, with an inclusive approach and building processes that are based on full ownership of all those involved - the people, not just the governments or institutions.“
Recognising that no global power can act alone, the High Representative explained the importance of building partnerships and stressed in particular the EU-Africa partnership. “We moved from simply working for Africa to working with Africa. I can say that, today, our partnership with Africa, starting with the African Union but also the sub-regional organisations and individual countries, is one of the strongest one we have. It is even a friendship, it is not just a partnership”.
Discussing concrete examples of how immense the power of EU engagement is, Mogherini focused on the Western Balkans, “the only place where enlargement goes back to the original value of the European Union build-up, which is making peace where there was war”.
She concluded with an appeal to act in a coherent and consistent manner if we want to be credible and have a real impact in the world. “This is what makes a true difference in the way our Union works. More than our rules, more than our institutional structures, it is our political will that moves the Union forward”, she said.