Procedure : 2007/2530(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0154/2007

Texts tabled :

B6-0154/2007

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 :

P6_TA(2007)0155

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 109kWORD 61k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0149/2007
18 April 2007
PE 387.124v01-00
 
B6‑0154/2007
to wind up the debate on statements by the European Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Alexander Lambsdorff, Sophia in 't Veld, Lapo Pistelli, Margarita Starkevičiūtė and Anneli Jäätteenmäki
on behalf of the ALDE Group
on EU/US relations

European Parliament resolution on EU/US relations 
B6‑0154/2007

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the forthcoming EU/US summit to be held on 30 April 2007 in Washington,

   -having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2006 on improving EU-US relations in the framework of a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement and on EU-US transatlantic economic relations,
   -having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,
   A.whereas EU/US relations are a cornerstone of the external action of the Union and are founded on shared values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as supporting sustainable economies and sustainable development,
   B.whereas such values continue to play a key role in any future consideration of the fundamentals of the Transatlantic Partnership,
   C.whereas EU/US trade and investment amount to approximately USD 1 bn a day and to almost 40% of world trade, most of which takes place without any difficulties or controversy,
   D.whereas the overall transatlantic workforce approximately constitutes between 12 and 14 m persons, forming an important dimension of our mutual relationship,
   E.whereas, as the European Security Strategy makes clear, the Transatlantic Partnership and NATO are very important for collective security,
   F.whereas the peaceful development of democratic societies in the Middle East that respect human rights and guarantee political pluralism should be the central strategic aim of the foreign policy of both the European Union and the United States; whereas this assistance should be better coordinated and should be focused on conflict resolution, the promotion of democracy and sustainable development,
   G.whereas in the fight against international terrorism it is necessary to stress the importance of fully respecting international law and treaties regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms,
   H.whereas during the last few years several agreements prompted by US requirements and adopted without any involvement of Parliament, notably the PNR agreement, the SWIFT memorandum 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,
   I.whereas financial services are a key issue for EU/US relations, considering the increasing interconnections; whereas further enhanced cooperation and regulatory convergence between the EU and the US would have a positive impact on governments, industries and consumers,
   J.whereas a level playing field between the US and the EU in the regulation of financial services is in the interest of both these major economic blocs, and whereas it is necessary to avoid 'dis-harmonisation' and unilaterally imposed rules on either side which might undermine attempts to create this level playing field,
   K.whereas the Transatlantic Financial Market Regulatory Dialogue is now well established but still needs to be pushed forward, especially in fields such as regulation of credit rating agencies, auditing, deregistration, reinsurance, accounting and Basel II,

1.  Insists that, in order to guarantee prosperity and security, the next summit should as a priority target a limited number of areas such as the consolidation of democracy, human security and the fight against terrorist organisations, migration management, intercultural dialogue, energy security, climate change, arms control and disarmament, WMD non-proliferation and contribution to poverty reduction and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals;

2.  Recommends that steps be taken to strengthen transatlantic relations with the US through a new Transatlantic Partnership Agreement replacing the currently existing New Transatlantic Agenda; suggests, in this regard, the establishment of a regular review mechanism for such a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement, whereby experts from the EU and the US strive constantly to improve the Transatlantic Partnership so as to exploit its full potential; stresses that only the wider involvement at all levels of Congress, the European Parliament and national parliaments will make it possible truly to enhance the whole process, and that the existing interparliamentary exchange should be gradually transformed into a de facto 'Transatlantic Assembly';

3.  Calls on the Council and the US Administration to intensify efforts, within the framework of the Middle East Quartet, to foster negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians for a comprehensive peace solution on the basis of two secure and viable states; supports the Quartet's call for continued international assistance to the Palestinian people; is of the view that every effort should be made to stabilise the situation in Lebanon;

4.  Notes with great concern the announcement by Iran that it intends to begin uranium enrichment on an industrial scale, since such a step by that country would directly contradict the repeated requests by the IAEA Board of Governors and the binding calls on Iran by the UN Security Council, in Resolutions 1737 and 1747, to suspend all enrichment-related activities;

5.  Calls on the Presidency of the European Union to urge Iran to comply with the demands of the international community and to create the conditions for a return to the negotiating table and for a solution to the conflict surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme;

6.  Recalls that the Treaties in force allocated sovereignty over the missile defence system to the Member States, and insists on the fact that the EU is not a defensive alliance but does have an external and security policy and should debate the US proposal for an anti-missile defence system in the Atlantic structures;

7.  Welcomes the close cooperation between the US and the EU on the status negotiations in Kosovo and highlights the need to find a balanced and viable outcome on Kosovo's future status; encourages both partners to use the April 2007 summit to endorse their consensus on the Ahtissari Plan and to continue their dialogue with all parties concerned;

8.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the US Administration, within the framework of the UN, to enhance their cooperation and to work together towards conditions where the Afghan people can live in peace and security under the rule of law, with good governance and protection of human rights, and can enjoy sustainable economic and social development; emphasises that the EU remains committed to contributing to peace and stability in Afghanistan; highlights the need for a consolidated and well-coordinated strategy between the transatlantic partners;

9.  Emphasises that the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO remains the guarantor of collective defence, welcomes NATO's increasing capability of playing a role in out-of-theatre operations while at the same time realising that close coordination in the development of military capabilities and well-trained personnel is essential for the success of future missions; also regards NATO as the appropriate forum for transatlantic dialogue on security issues;

10.  Maintains that terrorism constitutes one of the main threats to the Union's security, but must be fought without offending against the universal values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the protection thereof, in close cooperation with international partners, and in keeping with the strategy laid down by the United Nations;

11.  Recognises that sharing of data and information is a valuable tool in the international fight against terrorism and related crime, but stresses that strong data protection guarantees would facilitate data sharing while ensuring protection of privacy, and that such data sharing would in any case need to be based on one or more international agreements similar in structure to the EC/US agreement on judicial cooperation in criminal matters and extradition which is currently being examined by Congress;

12.  Believes that it is necessary to define with the US a common and shared framework to safeguard the necessary guarantees that are needed in the special EU-US partnership in the fight against terrorism, which could also deal with all aspects concerning the free movement of persons between the EU and the US;

13.  Stresses in this respect that the long-term agreement on transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) must be based on a number of safeguards, including a PUSH system, clear purpose limitation principle, an adequacy finding with regard to the protection of personal data and proper data protection for EU citizens, including access to their data, with a right of rectification and modification, as well as access to a legal redress mechanism and to an independent data protection authority;

14.  Notes the recent creation of a High-Level Working Group composed of representatives of the Commission, the Council and US governmental representatives of the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which constitutes the political framework for EU-US dialogue on security matters, including differences in the approach to terrorism; deems it necessary to associate the European Parliament and the US Congress in this High-Level Working Group, as well as to publish its agendas, minutes, documents examined and decisions taken, in order to ensure and increase its democratic legitimacy and transparency;

15.  Urges the Council to issue a clear and forceful declaration calling on the US Government to put an end to the practice of extraordinary arrests and renditions and that the US Government be asked for clarifications regarding the existence of secret prisons outside US territory;

16.  Recalls the resolutions of Parliament calling for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre; calls on the Council and Commission to urge the US Government to find a mechanism that will facilitate the charging or releasing of detainees in accordance with international law; is concerned that the very existence of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre continues to send out a negative signal as to how the fight against terrorism is being pursued;

17.  Believes that the transatlantic economic partnership must be developed and strengthened by enhancing regulatory coordination and lowering other hurdles to free capital flow, mutual direct investment and integration of the financial markets; stresses the importance of convergence of supervisory practices with regard to ongoing transatlantic consolidation of stock exchanges; highlights the importance of the implementation of Basel II by the US authorities, as well as of mutual recognition of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) by the SEC;

18.  Recalls the Mann and Brok reports on the transatlantic market and welcomes the idea of creating this market by 2015 to develop the full potential of the transatlantic economic partnership; commends the German Presidency for its efforts in this respect; calls on the EU and the US to use the opportunity of the April 2007 summit to jointly formulate a binding timetable for achieving this aim by 2015;

19.  Commends in this regard the reopening of the Doha Round of world trade talks and the commitment of its members to advancing the negotiations significantly; highlights the need for a balanced and transparent outcome and the importance of a constructive EU-US cooperation in the sensitive areas;

20.  Is worried about the lack of competition in the market for credit ratings, and recommends that new expertise be introduced for the rating of new and innovative financial products;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, and the President and Congress of the United States of America.

Last updated: 23 April 2007Legal notice