On Wednesday, I participated, together with Presidents Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, in the 15th EU-India Summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi via VTC. The Summit was originally supposed to take place in person, in Brussels, back in March. Now, 4 months on, the context in which we held the Summit has vastly changed: the covid-19 pandemic has affected us all.
We live in a world increasingly dominated by the strategic rivalry between China and the United States where multilateralism is under siege. We have often stressed that, in this context, Europe must go its own way and be at the forefront of those who want not only to save multilateralism but to strengthen it.
A faster and solid recovery relies on the empowerment of the youth. As the entire world suffers from the Covid-19 pandemic, developing regions are more exposed to its consequences. On the World Youth Skills Day, the EU acknowledges the importance of upskilling the youth to build a more prosperous future for all.
I was glad to participate on 9 July in a panel of renowned international affairs pundits from all continents, organised by our EU ISS and Carnegie, to discuss how we can navigate the pandemic world together.
On July 7, the Foreign ministers of Germany, France, Egypt and Jordan held an important discussion on the risks linked to the unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank. Unfortunately I could not attend as I was travelling in order to deal with other equally important issues. The EU was represented by the Secretary General of the EEAS and the EU Special Representative for the Middle East.
“Demography is destiny” said the sociologist Auguste Comte: the basic idea is that population trends and distributions determine the future of a country or region. Recently, my colleague Dubravka Suica, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for demography and democracy, provided us with an analysis of the foreseeable consequences of the demographic changes underway in Europe and globally. This work deserves our full attention, because this subject is both central to the Union's internal affairs and for its place in the world.
We need to build a common strategic culture in Europe. If we agree more on how we see the world and the challenges it contains, it will be easier to agree on what to do about them. Given our different histories, this will take time. It requires many discussions among all involved in the shaping of Europe’s foreign policy, both in Brussels and capitals. We need to understand where each of us is coming from; what worries people and why; but also what we have in common.
Torture denies the dignity of the human being. Its victims suffer both visible and invisible wounds. And this is still the horrifying reality today. On International Day in support of Victims of Torture, EU High Representative Josep Borrrell states “At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”
On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was targeted by several drones and ballistic missiles earlier this week. The European Union condemns this indiscriminate attack on Saudi cities claimed by the Houthis.
This follows an intensification of hostilities within Yemen where civilians, including children, continue to bear the brunt of the conflict’s violence. All attacks against civilians are unacceptable. The number of child victims of the conflict in Yemen is deeply troubling.