The Prague meeting of EU Heads of State and Government with the US President - EU PRESS LINES

GENERAL

  • The arrival of a new US administration is an opportunity for giving a fresh impetus to EU-US relations which are more important than ever. We need a strong transatlantic partnership based on politics of principles and common values.
  • The Prague meeting allowed for a first political contact between the EU leaders collectively and the new President. There was exchange of views on the most pressing and strategic issues of the day. The EU and the US will revert to these and other issues at their regular June summit.


SPECIFIC

ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SITUATION

  • The crisis is both severe and global, and requires a strong policy response at all levels and across the world. The EU has taken important decisions in this respect, including a major economic recovery plan, which is also to stimulate employment.
  • Both the EU and the US have greatly contributed to the successful outcome of the G20 summit in London and are determined to work hand in hand to ensure implementation of the decisions reached. 
  • The EU is particularly pleased that global financial regulation and supervision will be strengthened.
  • The EU also welcomes the pledge to resist protectionism and is ready to join forces, including via the Transatlantic Economic Council, in order to preserve and strengthen transatlantic and international trade and investment. The EU and the US remain committed to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to WTO Doha Development Round. 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY

  • Tackling climate change at the global level is important and urgent.  The EU has adopted an ambitious stance on this issue and invites the US to bring its full weight towards this fight. The current economic downturn cannot divert our attention from this goal. Rather the EU and the US should look for opportunities for renewed economic growth by applying new technologies and principles of environment friendly economy.
  • Together, the EU and the US will be in a stronger position to get on board key international actors and emerging countries and achieve an ambitious outcome at the UN negotiations in Copenhagen later this year. The EU and the US must also work together on helping developing countries reaching their own goals in terms of reducing emissions.
  • Cap-and-trade systems offer cost-effective solutions to reducing emissions. Bilateral work should continue in order to establish compatible systems which can eventually be linked.
  • Energy security remains one of our key challenges. There is ample scope for very close and fruitful transatlantic cooperation, be it in terms of research and development on renewable sources and carbon capture and storage, better use of indigeneous energy sources, coordinated efforts to lower energy intensity and increased energy efficiency. The EU and the US should also work together on developing resources in producer countries, on diversifying energy sources and supply routes. Developing the Southern Corridor is one of key initiatives in this regard. 


REGIONAL ISSUES

  • Like the US administration, the EU wants to seek engagement and constructive ties with Iran. There is however growing concern about Iran's failure to comply with its international obligations in the nuclear area. The EU and the US are aligned in the fight against nuclear proliferation. The EU will continue to work with the US and others on a dual track approach.
  • Peace in the Middle East requires a comprehensive solution through a lasting and just settlement of the conflict in all its tracks. The EU and the US both support a durable ceasefire, reconciliation and an inclusive government in the Palestinian Territories, substantive reconstruction and forward movement in the Peace Process through the Quartet towards a two-state solution.
  • Afghanistan is a major issue for the US and the EU. Further expansion of the police training capacities in Afghanistan should be ensured, as well as intensification and coordination of the assistance in the areas of capacity building, good governance, rule of law and economic development. The NATO summit yesterday reconfirmed the long-term commitment towards stabilization of Afghanistan, with the summit declaration mentioning a role for the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), as well as underlining the training activities conducted by the EU Police Mission on Afghanistan EUPOL.
  • The EU as a major donor has assigned 8 bn EUR to Afghanistan development between 2002-2010. Free, fair and open elections in Afghanistan are crucial. The EU and the US support the role of the UN in this process and agree to work together with the UNAMA to ensure that the elections are well organized and properly monitored. The European Commission has already allocated 15 mil. EUR for the elections and plans another 25 mil. EUR.
  • The EU is committed, alongside the US, to giving further assistance to the development of sustainable civil government in Pakistan and to intensifying counter-terrorism cooperation. The EU and US will also focus on deepening the economic and trade relations. The EU will hold the summit with Pakistan in the second half of June.

GUANTANAMO

  • The EU welcomes the US decision to close Guantanamo and stands ready to cooperate with the US administration in that regard. It looks forward more generally to working with the US in the fight against terrorism, in full respect of human rights and international humanitarian law.

 

Last update: 16.8.2011 15:34

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