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Hagia Sophia has a strong symbolic, historical and universal value. Turkey has developed a well-established tradition of cultural conservation as well as a recognised tradition of intellectual and cultural openness. The ruling by the Turkish Council of State to overturn one of modern Turkey's landmark decisions and President Erdoğan‘s decision to place the monument under the management of the Religious Affairs Presidency, is regrettable.

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.

The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has today approved the disbursement of €30 million in macro-financial assistance (MFA) to the Republic of Moldova.

“On July 11, we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, one of the darkest chapters of modern European history. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims of this tragic event, their families and their loved ones and all those whose lives have been affected. We honour the memory of those laid to rest and all those still missing.

The European Union strongly opposes the decision of the United States Department of Justice to resume the federal death penalty after a 17-year hiatus. We urge the U.S. administration to reconsider and not proceed with the federal executions due to take place starting on 13 July. This decision runs counter to the overall trend in the United States and worldwide to abolish the death penalty, either by law or in practice.

Check against delivery

I am glad to join this global panel of eminent persons from all continents: we are all facing the same global crisis.

This crisis is far from over. In Europe we may feel the worst is behind us but we better be cautious.

This is a global crisis in every sense of the word: the epicentre has moved from Asia, to Europe to the Americas where the situation is dramatic. The numbers are up again in many countries. Until we have a reliable vaccine, no one is safe.

The European Commission has today adopted a Communication to help national authorities, businesses and citizens prepare for the inevitable changes that will arise at the end of the transition period. Changes will occur to cross-border exchanges between the EU and the UK as of 1 January 2021– irrespective of whether an agreement on a future partnership has been concluded or not.

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