Following an informal meeting of European foreign ministers in Amsterdam on 5-6 February, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EC Vice-President Federica Mogherini said that migration had been the focus of the discussions, to which representatives from candidate countries – Turkey, Montenegro, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia – were invited.
Furthermore, Mogherini also participated in an informal meeting of defence ministers, also in Amsterdam on Friday. The discussion was “very intense, positive”, in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and United Nations Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous.
At a final press conference with acting president of the Council – Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, the High Representative said: “we had (…) a very substantial discussion on migration, on the management of an issue that shows us very clearly that we have shared responsibilities, and that either we find common solutions, or we don’t find solutions at all. (..) We need common policies, common instruments to face a phenomenon and to manage a phenomenon that concerns us all. We are in the same continent and we are in the same boat”.
Relations with Iran were also discussed, Mogherini said: “This is extremely relevant for our work on Syria but also for the stability of other countries like Iraq, Lebanon or the conflict in Yemen. The European Union has a leverage and a role that is recognised not only by and with Iran but also by and with other relevant powers in the region, starting from the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and others to try and pass the message of wisdom, de-escalation and cooperation as much as possible”.