Vienna, 18 December 2018
Good morning. I would like begin by thanking Chancellor Kurz for finding time in a very busy European calendar, to work with all of us to continue deepening the Africa-Europe partnership. I also thank Jean-Claude Juncker, who has been one of the leaders in this, and all the Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegation who have taken the time to be here for this important gathering.
This builds on the success of last year’s Abidjan Summit, as well as President Juncker’s important initiatives. We also recall the focus on technology collaboration with Africa that marked Estonia’s presidency. So we have very good momentum to build on.
Our common aim is to define a new relationship between Europe and Africa, as it should have been, and build the institutions required to sustain it over the long term.
We want to address and transcend the past by looking forward, and also transcend any differences that exist within or across nations for various reasons, while building on the positive elements of our shared historical inheritance.
It is important to keep this partnership on solid footing. We are dealing with critical global issues, such as security, migration, climate change, and economic progress.
We cannot afford for the substance to be derailed by short-term political calculations or rivalries, and so on. I believe these matters should be, in a sense, walled off and handled with the care they deserve.
If we continue on this path together, discussing calmly and with an eye on the future, we will always find solutions that benefit both our continents in equal measure, and all of our people. I thank you for your attention.