February 10, 2017
HRVP Federica Mogherini Addresses the Future of Transatlantic Relations
By Sarah Bedenbaugh
Mogherini was in Washington to meet with representatives of President Trump’s administration. She expressed her optimism on the future of transatlantic relations and said she felt reassured on a number of issues after her meetings at the White House, the Department of State, and in Congress. The EU and US will work together based on a pragmatic approach based on values, interests and priorities, in what the high representative called a transactional approach, “I will always put the EU agenda and priorities on the table, and then see where we can work together.”
Mogherini identified the common ground with the new administration on issues such as terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, the conflict in Ukraine, and the Syrian Civil War. But she also mentioned differing views on climate change, free trade, multilateralism and human rights issues. Moderated by Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe, the discussion ranged from issues such as the Iran nuclear deal to relations with Russia and the increasing security cooperation in Europe.
The high representative also commented on Europe’s approach to migration, “Walls do not stop people, but just empower them to find other ways,” she said. “Migration can and should be managed in a rational and humane way.”
Mogherini stressed the need for the US and Europe to work together. While citing her gratefulness to the United States for its role in building freedom and peace in Europe, she said that the EU is now grown up and needs to be allowed to develop without external interference. Addressing those who called the existence of the EU into question, Mogherini said the EU should to believe in itself more and recognize that it is much stronger than many, including Europeans, think.