Tag Archives: Federica Mogherini

EU sets contact group for Venezuela

“On Venezuela: First of all, I have seen a very united position among Member States on a position we have already expressed several times, but it was reiterated strongly today – that is that the Presidential elections that were held in last May in Venezuela were lacking democratic legitimacy”, said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the first day of informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Bucharest.

“This is why the European Union and its Member States decided not to attend the inauguration of Maduro on 10 January and this is why we underline strongly and all united today our full support to the National Assembly as the democratic, legitimate body of Venezuela and the strongest possible support to its President in its institutional role.

“We have decided the establishment of an international contact group that has been agreed among our Member States and with some Latin American countries that will participate in it. I believe the terms of reference of this international contact group can be made public, as an act of transparency. 

“The objective of this international contact group that will be coordinated by the European Union will be, first of all, to have a limited time framework – 90 days – to promote a common understanding and a concerted approach among key international actors on the situation in Venezuela, aiming at a peaceful and democratic outcome for the crisis. The group will help to build trust and create the conditions that are necessary for a credible process to emerge in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of Venezuela, enabling Venezuelans to determine their own future through the holding of new elections, with all guarantees for a free and fair electoral process that can be supervised by international, independent observers. 

“The objective – and I want to underline it very clearly – is not to open a formal mediation process and not to open a formal dialogue, but to support a political dynamic that the group can then further accompany and consolidate.

The group has a clear mandate with different phases and a clear time framework, because the work and the results possibly achieved by the contact group will be reviewed after 90 days of its creation, and it will be terminated in the absence of sufficient progress.

The first meeting of the group shall take place at ministerial level in Latin America – hopefully we will be able to convene it already next week. We will have meetings both at ministerial and at technical level and, as I said, it will have a permanent secretariat for these initial 90 days in the EU. Part of the group will be on the European Union side – obviously, the European Union, but also some of our Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK – and on the Latin American side we already have confirmation from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Bolivia. And we are waiting for confirmation from another few countries of which I would not mention the name today. But hopefully in the coming one or two days I will be able communicate them to you.”

“As you see, it is countries that have different positions and that will help the contact group to have contacts to accompany the process, in particular of new presidential elections” Mogherini concluded.

However not everyone believes the American narrative about Maduro being a tyrant, there are more free voices on social media, accusing Trump administration in seeking control over the largest in the world oil resources.

Mogherini to counter disinformation

At January Foreign Affairs Council participants discussed the action plan against disinformation presented earlier (5.12.018).

Ministers exchanged views on the implementation of the action plan, focusing on its external aspects. They underlined the need to build a common and holistic response to the security challenges posed by foreign interference, while respecting national approaches and protecting freedom of expression and of the media.

They highlighted the creation of an EU “Rapid Alert System to share expertise and best practices, and to promote coordinated action, notably through awareness raising campaigns. Ministers stressed the need to engage with civil society to tackle disinformation, including with CSOs, NGOs, business and academia, as well as to work with international partners, in particular NATO and the G7, to address disinformation more efficiently. They also underlined the importance of contributing to strengthening the resilience of neighboring countries.

First of all, our work on disinformation, to counter disinformation coming from outside the European Union. This is a work we are doing together with the different institutions – we have put together an Action Plan that we presented already at the end of last year – and that is now subject to a common work for the implementation that requires a stronger determination and inputs also from our Member States”, the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while commenting on Foreign Ministers Council agenda.

We discussed with the Foreign Ministers their side of the work and ways in which we can do better in this respect. Obviously, in particular in view of the European Parliament elections, but there was a very strong focus on the need to look at all different kind of disinformation that come from within, from outside the European Union, and in different forms. We decided to move forward together, at full speed, with a lot of determination, and implement the Action Plan we have put forward” Mogherini added.

“European mandarins will decide for you what is truth. Brrrr”, wrote Belgium politician Theo Frnacken.

Mogherini for “open new avenues” in Mediterranean

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini calls Mediterranean countries to work together on issues of migration: “we share a challenge and we can only solve and address this phenomenon if we take a cooperative approach based on partnership among equals”.

“…What happens around the Mediterranean and in the Mediterranean matters to the whole of Europe and not just to the countries that are around the coasts of our common sea.

“It is not just about migration – it made itself evident that we need to come together to manage the phenomenon -, it is also about security; about economic development; about climate change..”

“…Some of us have experienced war inside their countries or at their borders and we have all seen how difficult a transition can be – be it a transition from war to an inclusive peaceful reconciliation and the building of state institutions or be it from a war economy to a solid peace economy. These trends have fostered migration from our countries, through our countries and towards our countries.”

“.. I believe that it is high-time today to try to find and open new avenues of cooperation across the Southern shore of the Mediterranean, in particular in the Maghreb, as a win-win exercise, starting on practical matters” – Mogherini concluded.

Above the extracts from Federica Mogherini speech at “Working together: A sustainable future for the Western Mediterranean“, at the 15th meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue. France, Italy,  Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia gathered inValletta  January, 18.

EU celebrates Migrants Day

On the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the European Commission and the High Representative made the following statement:

“The history of humankind is a history of migration. For thousands of years people have migrated from one place to another, for a variety of reasons, and continue to do so: Today, there are 258 million international migrants worldwide.

“On International Migrants Day, the European Union reaffirms its enduring commitment to protect migrants’ human rights, to prevent perilous irregular journeys and ensure opportunities for legal and safe pathways instead.

“In order to do this, we are working with all our partners around the world – countries of origin, transit and destination and international organisations. Migration requires global, cooperative alliances: No country can address migration on its own – neither in Europe nor elsewhere in the world.

“This is the core message of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will provide the global framework for improving migration management. It is by working together, in the spirit of shared responsibility, that we can jointly turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity.

“The European Union’s comprehensive approach on migration is built in the same vein: seeking to address the drivers of irregular migration; fighting against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings; ensure adequate protection for those in need, better manage Europe’s external borders, while enabling legal migration channels. For the benefit of all of us.”

At eve of the EU institutions celebration more than five thousand people came to the European Headquarters in Brussels  to protest against Global Compact for Migration, and imposition of migrants on local communities by the EU open-door policies.

 

Mogherini and Lavrov discussed INF Treaty

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, today in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan.

Against the backdrop of recent confrontation in the Azov Sea Mogherini conveyed her concerns in the discussion with Lavrov in line with the declaration issued on behalf of the EU.

The diplomats also exchanged views on the importance of Russia’s continued participation in the Council of Europe.

They discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INT), and Mogherini stressed that the Treaty is key to European and global security and that it is in the interests of all that the Treaty is preserved and fully implemented.

 

Half a billion EU aid to Afghanistan

The European Commission has today announced a financial package worth €474 million to support state building and public sector reforms, health, justice, and elections, as well as to address migration and displacement challenges in Afghanistan. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, made the announcement today at the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, signing the financing agreements with the Afghan Minister of Finance Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi.

 

“The EU stands side by side with Afghanistan and its people to build a stronger future for the country. The EU’s new assistance package of €474 million will contribute towards addressing peace and security challenges and set up the foundations for a more stable and economically sustainable society. Through joint efforts we intend to reduce aid-dependency and invest in democratic governance for the benefit all citizens of the country”, Commissioner Mimica said.

The EU support package consists of:

Budget support through a State and Resilience Building Contract: the EU will support the Government of Afghanistan in pursuing its reform agenda with an allocation of €311 million. Funding will support: public sector reform and the fight against corruption; basic service delivery and gender equality; public financial management and macro-economic stability with a particular focus on domestic revenue mobilisation. Human rights, democratic values, peace and gender equality will continue to be at the core of EU action and in its discussions with the Government of Afghanistan.

Justice sector: €31 million will support justice reform by supporting the Attorney General’s office to become more effective and Afghan civil society to ensure that the Afghan justice system is accountable to citizens.

Health and nutrition: zero hunger and quality health for all remain central priorities of the European Union in the country. With a new €80 million support package, the EU will work in partnership with the Government of Afghanistan to improve the health and nutrition of the population, in line with the national plans and strategies until 2020.

Electoral process support: an ad hoc instrument worth €15.5 million will support the presidential and provincial council elections in 2019.

Migration and forced displacement: The European Union and the Government of Afghanistan signed a new commitment worth €37 million, which reinforces EU assistance to Afghanistan in addressing migration and forced displacement challenges, in particular the reintegration of people on the move and returnees in Afghanistan. This commitment brings the total EU contribution to the challenges in the region in this field to almost € 230 million.

We believe that this is the moment to begin serious peace talks. All of us at this table have something to contribute. On the European Union’s side, we are ready: as a facilitator; as a reliable provider of incentives; as a partner of all countries in the region; as a force for peace and cooperation; and, most importantly, as a reliable friend of the Afghan people” EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, addressing the Geneva conference.

EU supports Nobel Prize winners projects

The European Commission has announced an additional €5 million in support of concrete projects of the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege maintaining its commitment to women who are victims of sexual violence.

This new support was announced  in Brussels as the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica, met with Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The two winners were invited to discuss the eradication of violence against women and its impact on development, together with EU development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council.

“As the European Union, we admire the immense courage and tireless work of Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who often put their own lives at risk. We have a duty to support their work and all the people they represent, as we are doing, and this is also the best way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” Mogherini said.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the most horrendous crimes, one of the greatest injustices of our time, and an obstacle to the development of any society. I am very pleased to be able to strengthen our support for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This is how the European Union can help put an end to sexual violence, once and for all, everywhere in the world”, Commissioner Neven Mimica added

The EU plans to strengthen its ongoing stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in the Sinjar region in Iraq through a €1 million contribution to Nadia Murad’sSinjar Action Fund” initiative. European development cooperation in the liberated areas of Da’esh in the country supports in particular the needs of displaced populations, vulnerable groups and local communities.

A further €4 million will support Dr Mukweges work to ensure the continuity of support programmes for victims of sexual violence and women suffering from gynecological conditions at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This initiative for the reconstruction of Sinjar will create infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and encourage the return of displaced populations to their homeland.

Since 2014, the European Union’s development cooperation in Iraq amounts to approximately €310 million. Part of this funding is specifically dedicated to the stabilisation and the socio-economic reconstruction of the areas liberated from Da’esh. EU support helps create the conditions for sustainable return of displaced people, including by clearing contaminated sites, restoring basic services and providing livelihoods. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 1.7 million displaced people have returned to their homes.

The European support for the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates is part of its broader commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment globally. The EU has established an ambitious partnership with the United Nations by launching the “Spotlight Initiative” in September 2017. This programme is supported by €500 million to fight all forms of violence against women and girls.

Following the South-East Asia programme of the Spotlight initiative launched in November 2017 and the Latin America programme launched in September 2018, the Africa programme will be officially launched in early 2019. With €250 million in funding, the Africa programme will focus on combating harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.

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