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Parliamentary questions
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5 April 2018
Joint answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Written questions: E-007863/17 , E-007864/17
Question references: E-007863/2017, E-007864/2017

Since the beginning of her mandate, the High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) has endeavoured to meet in person with the Sakharov Prize laureates, as she attaches the greatest respect to the Prize as a symbol of the paramount role of Human Rights in European Union (EU) external action.

Unfortunately, in 2017, although the HR/VP would have liked to meet and personally congratulate the laureates, her schedule did not allow it.

Following her arrival in Strasbourg on Tuesday 12 December 2017, the HR/VP went directly to the Commission meeting, after which she was in Plenary for more than six consecutive hours, taking five different debates on EU foreign and security policy.

In view of the schedule, the HR/VP proposed that her Chief of Staff should meet with the Laureates on her behalf and that request was initially accepted. It was only shortly before the scheduled meeting that a phone call was received to the effect that the laureates would not attend.

As regards the situation in Venezuela, the HR/VP, the European External Action Service and the EU Delegation have been constantly in contact with all Venezuelan counterparts.

Most recently, on 1 March 2018 the HR/VP talked with the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Omar Barboza, and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, in light of the latest developments in Venezuela and the discussion at Foreign Affairs Council in February 2018, recalling that the only sustainable way out of the crisis is a political, negotiated and broadly shared solution, to be achieved through a peaceful, democratic, inclusive and constitutional process.

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