Procedure : 2007/2530(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0151/2007

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 25/04/2007 - 2
CRE 25/04/2007 - 2

Votes :

PV 25/04/2007 - 11.13
CRE 25/04/2007 - 11.13

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0149/2007
18 April 2007
PE 387.121v01-00
to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Jan Marinus Wiersma, Hannes Swoboda, Erika Mann and Benoît Hamon
on behalf of the PSE Group
on transatlantic relations

European Parliament resolution on transatlantic relations 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the 1990 Transatlantic Declaration on EU-US relations and the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on transatlantic relations, in particular that of 9 June 2005 on ensuring the success of the EU-US Summit in Washington DC on 20 June 2005, that of 1 June 2006 on improving EU-US relations in the framework of a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement, that of 13 June 2006 on the situation of prisoners at Guantánamo, that of 14 February 2007 on SWIFT, the PNR agreement and the transatlantic dialogue on these issues, and that of 14 February 2007 on alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners,

–  having regard to the outcome of the EU-US Summit held on 21 June 2006 in Vienna,

–  having regard to the EU-US declarations of 26 June 2004 and 20 June 2005 on the fight against terrorism and the strengthening of mutual cooperation with regard to non-proliferation and combating terrorism,

-   having regard to the legislative proposal 'Improving America's Security Act of 2007', currently under examination in the US Congress, aimed at implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas democracy, human rights and the rule of law have proven to be common values able to form a solid basis for both the transatlantic partnership and European integration, both of which have in their own way contributed to the establishment of stability, peace and prosperity in our societies,

B.  whereas, however, new threats and conflicts are challenging those values and achievements in the new international environment to such an extent that solid collaboration between the transatlantic partners is of the greatest importance, in particular in the field of international security, the eradication of poverty, mass migration, climate change and energy security, combating international terrorism and organised crime, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the need for global disarmament efforts,

C.  whereas the current situation in the Middle East calls for strong cooperation between the EU and the US in the framework of the Quartet and with the Arab League in order to bring more stability to the region by promoting peace, democracy and respect for human rights,

D.  whereas the development of a joint strategy based on a multilateral approach to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is needed to increase global security,

E.  whereas the ongoing situation at Guantánamo Bay and the CIA’s secret detention programme are creating tensions in transatlantic relations, since the EU cannot accept these legal and judicial irregularities, which undermine the most fundamental values of the rule of law,

F.  whereas the fight against terrorism can be successful only if the action is carried out through a strengthened transatlantic partnership which also pays full attention to the root causes of terrorism and to sincere respect for upholding the founding values upon which the partnership has been built,

G.  whereas the US is still unwilling to extend the Visa Waiver Programme and is continuing to impose, on a non-reciprocal basis, a visa requirement on citizens of twelve EU Member States, thereby hampering transatlantic ties and perpetuating inequality among EU citizens,

H.  whereas a cooperative transatlantic economic relationship is in the mutual interests of the EU and the US and consistent political leadership is needed in strengthening the transatlantic market; supports the German Presidency, therefore, in its effort to make real progress at the upcoming Summit in substantially strengthening regulatory cooperation,

I.  whereas the US Senate unanimously adopted a resolution in December 2006 urging both transatlantic partners to work together to strengthen the transatlantic market and to show leadership at the 2007 EU-US Summit in agreeing to set a target date for completing the transatlantic market,

1.  Stresses that during the Transatlantic Summit Meeting on 30 April 2007 in Washington new impetus should be given to transatlantic relations by updating the New Transatlantic Agenda;

Political and security issues

2.  Considers it essential that political issues on which there is disagreement or where there are strong differences of opinion over certain international instruments be discussed by both partners in a spirit of good cooperation; stresses to this end the importance of a firm commitment by both partners to effective multilateralism, in particular by strengthening the United Nations, and to the rules of international law, which must be the basis for the joint discussions;

3.   Encourages the EU and the US to engage in a joint effort to fulfil their commitments regarding the Millennium Development Goals, namely by constructing a common and coherent strategy on poverty reduction as a fundamental aspect of the 'no security without development/no development without security' approach;

4.  Insists on the urgent advancement of the peace process in the Middle East, with the involvement of all the countries in the region; stresses that there is no military solution to the various conflicts in the region, as proved by the situation in Iraq; declares once again that a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only possible on the basis of the existence of two democratic, sovereign and viable states living peacefully side-by-side within secure and recognised borders; invites the Quartet and all actors in the region to act urgently for the resumption of negotiations with the parties concerned;  welcomes the relaunch of the Plan adopted by the Arab League at the Riyadh Summit; welcomes the formation of the Palestinian national unity government and urges both transatlantic partners to engage in a constructive dialogue with it; stresses the importance of recent initiatives, including those of the US House of Representatives, concerning Syria as a positive step in promoting dialogue with all the parties concerned in the region;

5.  Regrets the position which the US has taken in the past on the revision of the NPT; encourages the EU and the US, therefore, to strengthen the international system of treaties and regimes against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; welcomes for that reason the joint efforts by the partners to work closely together and give priority to diplomacy, an approach which, after some reluctance until May 2005, is now supported by the US with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue and has already proved to be effective in the case of North Korea; expresses, however, its deep concern over the US proposal to deploy components of its anti-missile defence in Poland and the Czech Republic, which could lead to a new arms race and consequently reduce rather than enhance global security, and therefore demands a thorough discussion on these proposals in both the EU and the NATO framework; calls on the US and all the partners directly and indirectly involved to support the multilateral framework of the non-proliferation regime;

6.  Condemns the use of European countries by the CIA and the involvement of some Member States in the illegal abduction and transportation of terrorist suspects, the ongoing situation at Guantánamo Bay as well as the existence of the secret detention programme that President Bush admitted on 6 September 2006, and calls for its disclosure; takes the view that any joint or unilateral activity which does not fully comply with international law weakens the way in which Western societies are perceived, making them more vulnerable and less credible in their fight against terrorism and the quest for peace, stability and democracy;

7.  Strongly regrets that the agreements on PNR, SWIFT and the existence of the US Automated Targeting System (ATS) have led to a situation of legal uncertainty with regard to the necessary data protection guarantees for data sharing and transfer between the EU and the US for the purposes of ensuring public security and, in particular, preventing and fighting terrorism; stresses that data should be exchanged where necessary in accordance with the existing EU-US agreement on mutual legal assistance and extradition and in compliance with EC and EU data protection legislation;

8.  Emphasises the urgent need to make the Visa Waiver Program valid for all European citizens and to remove current discrimination, in particular against citizens of new Member States, as well as Greece; stresses in this respect the importance of addressing the extension of the visa waiver in the current negotiations on PNR and underlines that, in respect of loyal cooperation, any kind of parallel negotiations with single EU Member States should be avoided;

9.  Highlights that many of the measures contained in the legislative proposal 'Improving America's Security Act of 2007', when adopted by the US Congress, will have a direct impact on EU law, in particular concerning police and judicial cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the protection of fundamental rights and guarantees;

10.  Welcomes for that reason the commitment shown by Vice-President Frattini to launch a Euro-Atlantic cooperation framework in the fight against international terrorism, with harmonised rules on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; asks the Commission to continue these efforts and fully involve Parliament in this initiative; calls on the Commission to use this framework for the implementation of the recommendations contained in Parliament's resolution of 14 February 2007 on transportation and illegal detention of prisoners;

11.  Welcomes the recent developments in the US to address the challenge of climate change; calls on both partners to agree at the upcoming Summit on a joint approach on climate change with the overall aim of limiting global warming through fair contributions to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, an effective system of carbon emissions and the promotion of new technologies; calls on the US to commit itself to the same objective as the EU of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020;

Economy and Trade

12.  Reaffirms that, in the current environment of growing international competition, a political commitment to a new transatlantic partnership, including a strengthened transatlantic market between the EU and the US, is more vital than ever; calls for both partners to launch negotiations on an effective Agreement on Regulatory Cooperation, in particular to identify common methodologies, identify requirements to minimise future divergence in regulatory areas, establish clear commitments on how to engage regulatory agencies and identify better ways of engaging industries, labour unions and consumer groups; urges that legislators on both sides be systematically involved in negotiations; insists that these negotiations must be based on compliance with the EU's environmental and public health rules, and must not undermine the independence of its competition policy and its rules on the protection of public services and cultural diversity;

13.  Calls on both sides to bring the WTO Doha Development Agenda to a successful conclusion with full respect for the development dimension; urges the EU and the US, therefore, to declare at the 2007 Summit their full commitment to working towards a positive breakthrough by Summer 2007 and to agree to a joint approach to promoting enforceable ILO core labour standards in the WTO and in bilateral trade agreements;

14.  Welcomes the Joint EU-US Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights adopted at the 2006 EU-US Summit; recommends that steps be taken to engage in a project on reviewing the patent reform process of both sides;

15.  Is concerned about the potentially dangerous impact of the growing US federal budget deficit on the global economy and the balance of international currency markets;

16.  Fears that the current exchange rate between the euro and the dollar might endanger growth in Europe and calls for a more cooperative approach on how to deal with global imbalances;

17.  Strongly believes that a dialogue on hedge funds and private equities should be engaged in view of the systemic risk their activities represent and the growing debate over their wider social and economic consequences;

18.  Reiterates its request for the enhancement of the Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue via a bi-annual policy review of transatlantic financial services before and after every annual EU-US summit; urges the US-EU Summit to agree on the mutual recognition of accounting standards, based on reliable regulatory supervision; reiterates its strong rejection of the US postponement of the implementation of the Basel II Accord on Capital Requirements; reiterates with regret the need for EU reinsurers in the US to fully collateralise risks, facing highly discriminatory State rules; calls therefore on the US-EU Summit to agree on further transatlantic mutual recognition and uniform solvency and reporting requirements;

Institutional framework and role of Parliament

19.  Urges the EU-US Summit to agree to an adequate level of parliamentary participation in the EU-US Summits and calls for a meeting prior to every summit between the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD) and the Senior-Level Group to exchange views on the progress of the Work Programme and the preparations for the Summit; reiterates the need to create a stable institutional parliamentary framework;

20.  Asks the Commission to discuss its mandate with the relevant EP committees before engaging in negotiations with its US counterparts, when these negotiations tackle legislative issues;

21.  Calls on its relevant committee to use the budget for 2007 to provide the necessary funds for establishing a permanent European Parliament official post in Washington DC that ensures proper institutionalisation of Parliament's own activities and allows for improved liaison between the EP and the US Congress;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States and the President and Congress of the United States of America.

Last updated: 20 April 2007Legal notice