Minister of State Werner Hoyer conducted political talks in Rome yesterday. In addition to questions concerning the coordination of economic policy and the organization of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the talks focused on the current developments in North Africa and the Mediterranean. In Rome Minister of State Hoyer issued the following statement:
“The events and developments in North Africa show that we Europeans must recalibrate our policy towards our neighbours.
It is also a question of overcoming the East/South dichotomy and seeing the EU as a single player for whom we all bear comprehensive responsibility.
Decisions concerning future developments in their countries must be made by the people of Tunisia and Egypt alone. But what we would like to do – and are able to do – is to offer our help.
The continued pursuit of freedom in the region can only succeed in the long term if it is accompanied by positive economic development. Here, too, we have to do our part: the EU’s credibility will hinge on our supporting North African countries economically by opening our markets.”
In addition to a meeting with Alfredo Mantica, Secretary of State in the Italian Foreign Ministry, and Lamberto Dini, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Minister of State Hoyer also had talks with Pope Benedict XVIth’s “Foreign Minister of the Vatican”, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.