Barack Obama took time away from his tour of the Italian countryside to give his first speech in Europe since leaving the White House, and he used it to discuss democracy. The former POTUS spoke with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, addressing an audience of tens of thousands, according to The Guardian.

Obama used his speech to discuss the importance of democracy, saying, “we have to push back against those trends that would violate human rights or suppress democracy or restrict individual freedoms.”


“When we provide development aid to Africa or we are involved in conflict resolution in areas where war has been taking place, we make investments to try to deal with climate change … Those things we do not do just for charity, not just because they are the right thing to do.”

“If there are disruptions in these countries, if there is bad governance, if there is war or if there is poverty … in this new world that we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves,” he said. “We can’t hide behind a wall.”

The former president also addressed the terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday, which killed 22 and injured dozens more. Obama shared that was “heartbroken” by it and he had sent his condolences to the victims and their families through a joint message with Merkel.