MIL OSI – Source: European Union –
Headline: Opening remarks of the HR/VP Federica Mogherini at the High Level Security and Justice Dialogue, Mexico
25 May 2016
Dear Ministers and Attorney General,
It is a pleasure to be here today to open the second High Level Dialogue on Security and Justice. Five years have passed since the first round – and these have not been easy years for the security of many Mexicans and Europeans.
Let me focus on what has happened in Europe. New security threats have emerged from within our own societies. The attacks in Paris and Brussels have shocked our continent – and they were carried out by European nationals. We now have a choice to make in Europe: this challenge can lead us towards more integration among our security services, and more social inclusion. Or it can get us to dismantle what we have fought so hard to achieve and that the rest of the world, and Mexico, looks at as a model: a Europe of civil liberties and open borders.
The refugee crisis and the migration flows are also putting Europe to test. It’s not a security issue. Again, we can let fear prevail, and foster the illusion that walls will make a difference. Or we can work on the root causes – from economy to climate change -, on some legal channels for migration and on managing the flows – which for sure will not stop – to the benefit of everyone.
So, today you won’t hear me say that all is fine in Europe, nor give you advices. It’s not one part giving advices and the other one taking notes: it’s an exchange. We all have our own issues to deal with. The challenges we face are similar, if not identical. And many of the answers our citizens are looking for – are the very same answers.
Our citizens ask for more security, and to live free from fear. They ask for transparency, accountability, a security system that works for them, for all of them. Security can never come at the expense of fundamental rights. This is a lesson we have learned in the EU: a sustainable security includes social inclusion, active citizenship, participatory democracy. In fact, there is no real security without rule of law, democracy, and “certeza del derecho.”
So, to me, it is only natural to hold this dialogue on security and Justice, just as much as the High Level Dialogue on Human Rights we will have in Brussels.
I believe it is also natural to move our bilateral agreement to the next stage – and Mexico is the first country with which the EU is starting this kind of modernisation process. It was a pleasure to me to be able to announce the beginning of the negotiations yesterday. We are strategic partners and we have to bring this partnership to a new generation.
The Government of Mexico has already put forward important efforts to fight crime, impunity, corruption, and forced disappearances. In recent years, several legal reforms have been undertaken to strengthen the rule of law and enhance security.
Europe is following all this work with great attention, and we are willing to help, encourage and accompany with all means at our disposal. There is so much we can learn from each other, and so many fields where we still don’t cooperate, while we should. So one priority is for sure to strengthen contacts between the specialised European Institutions and their Mexican counterparts. This can build on existing cooperation between Mexico and individual EU Member States, and it can go together with similar cooperation on a regional scale, with your neighbours.
Many security challenges we face cut across State borders. Tackling organised crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, impunity and corruption very often requires cooperation among States. It calls for complex responses, mixing different elements of our policies such as traditional security with a broad range of other instruments.
And this is exactly what the EU Security on Citizen Strategy for Central America and the Caribbean is about.
A Latin American area of cooperation – between police, law enforcement agencies, Ministries of Justice, General Prosecutor’s Offices and the Judiciary – could only make the entire region more secure. And contribute to the global security.
I know this is a challenging task – and I know it from our European experience. But I also know, from our European experience, that there is no other way. The only way to truly serve our citizens, and make all our countries more secure is more integration, more cooperation within our borders and beyond.
So let me thank once again our Mexican hosts for the warm welcome and for this dialogue and cooperation. I’m sure this will be a new step towards a stronger and more regular dialogue between Mexico and our Union.