Procedure : 2007/2530(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B6-0149/2007

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
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 135kWORD 81k
24 April 2007
PE 387.119v01-00}
PE 387.121v01-00}
PE 387.124vo1-00}
PE 387.126v01-00} RC1
B6‑0156/2007} RC1
pursuant to Rule 103(4) of the Rules of Procedure, by
   Joseph Daul, Ignacio Salafranca, Elmar Brok, Charles Tannock, Stefano Zappala, Bogdan Klich, Antonio Tajani, Jas Gawronski, Georgios Papastamkos, Robert Sturdy, Alexander Radwan, John Bowis, Georg Jarzembowski and Malcolm Harbour, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
   Jan Marinus Wiersma, Hannes Swoboda and Erika Mann, on behalf of the PSE Group
   Alexander Lambsdorff, Sophia in 't Veld, Lapo Pistelli, Margarita Starkevičiūtė and Anneli Jäätteenmäki, on behalf of the ALDE Group
   Konrad Szymański, Adam Bielan and Michał Tomasz Kamiński, on behalf of the UEN Group
replacing the motions by the following groups:
   UEN (B6‑0149/2007)
   PSE (B6‑0151/2007)
   ALDE (B6‑0154/2007)
   PPE-DE (B6‑0156/2007)
on transatlantic relations

European Parliament resolution on transatlantic relations 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on transatlantic relations, in particular its two resolutions 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 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 outcome of the EU-US Summit held on 21 June 2006 in Vienna,

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

–  having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas partnership between the European Union and the United States based on the shared values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights is the cornerstone of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,

B.  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,

C.  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 irregularities, which undermine the most fundamental values of the rule of law,

D.  whereas the global political and economic order is currently undergoing major changes, giving rise to significant political and economic challenges and posing serious security, social and environmental threats,

E.  whereas the current situation in the Middle East calls for a 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 in the region by promoting peace, democracy and respect for human rights,

F.  whereas a strong and functioning partnership between the EU and the US is a vital tool for shaping global development in the interests of common values and on the basis of effective multilateralism and international law; whereas strong and consistent political leadership is required to enable the partners to reach this goal,

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 eleven new EU Member States, as well as Greece, thereby hampering transatlantic ties and perpetuating inequality among EU citizens,

H.  whereas the transatlantic market, as the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, provides employment for 14 million people in the EU and the US, accounts for 40% of world trade and remains the engine of the world economy,

I.  whereas, given their role in the world economy, the transatlantic partners share responsibility for shaping global development and governance in the interest of common values, through effective multilateralism, in order to share prosperity more equally and to address successfully global challenges such as security, global economic governance, environment and poverty reduction,

J.  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,

K.  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,

L.  whereas financial services are a key issue for EU/US relations; whereas further enhanced cooperation, regulatory convergence and a level playing field between the US and the EU in the regulation of financial services are in the interests of both,

Political, security and human rights issues

1.  Welcomes the improved climate of EU-US relations on an equal basis; believes that this positive backdrop offers serious opportunities for the EU and US to work closely together on a wide range of policy challenges of common concern, notably in the common approach to the Western Balkans, the South Caucasus region, Central Asia, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Mediterranean, Latin America and Africa;

2.  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; 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, taking into account the position of the Council;

3.  Welcomes the recent visits to Damascus by high-ranking American and European politicians; calls for concerted EU-US action to test Syria's unconditional willingness to restart negotiations with Israel and cooperate constructively with the international community;

4.  Welcomes the close cooperation between the EU and the US on the Iranian nuclear issue and encourages both partners to continue cooperation in strengthening the IAEA and establishing a comprehensive system of international agreements on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in order to jointly reinforce the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a key element in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons;

5.  Deplores 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,

6.  Believes that fighting terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remain the greatest security challenges for both partners; stresses therefore the need for both sides to reinforce their collaboration in this field and to support the role the UN must play in combating both challenges;

7.  Believes that it is necessary to define with the US a common and shared framework to safeguard the 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; considers that, in this perspective, contacts should be strengthened between Parliament and Congress;

8.  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;

9.  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; believes that the sharing of personal data must take place on a proper legal basis, linked to clear rules and conditions, and must be covered by adequate protection of the privacy and civil liberties of individual citizens;

10.  Calls on the US and all other countries which apply entry visas to selected EU Member States to immediately lift the visa regime and to treat all citizens of EU Member States equally; regrets the inclusion of an additional 'information sharing clause' (a PNR clause) in the proposed changes to the US Visa Waiver Programme;

11.  Highlights the fact 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 countries, in particular concerning police and judicial cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the protection of fundamental rights and guarantees;

12.  Welcomes the commitment shown by Vice-President Frattini to launching 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;

13.  Welcomes the newly created High-Level Working Group composed of representatives of the Commission, the Council and US governmental representatives of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, which constitutes the political framework for EU-US dialogue on security matters;

14.  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; 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 alleged secret prisons outside US territory;

15.  Reiterates the view that NATO, which remains an important tie between many European countries and the US and a guarantor of European security, should develop its potential as a transatlantic forum for political debate in a true partnership of equals;

16.  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; recommends to this end a closer security relationship between NATO and the EU, in particular in view of the situation in Kosovo, where the EU will take over from UNMiK while some 16 000 NATO troops remain; believes that a stronger EU-US partnership will complement rather than undermine this relationship;

17.  Calls on the US to redouble its efforts to consult and explain its planned missile defence system within NATO in order to allow the Alliance and Europe to remain united, resist foreign pressure and steer clear of disagreement in different areas security; stresses the importance of pursuing consultations on the system within the NATO-Russia Council; stresses that the US system should be coordinated and interoperable with NATO's Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) system;

18.  Calls on the EU Presidency and US Government to signal to the President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, that his withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the Bank's anti-corruption policy from being undermined;

Economic and Trade Issues

19.  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;

20.  Strongly supports the initiative by the German Presidency of the European Council to launch a New Transatlantic Economic Partnership, with a road map for achieving a barrier-free transatlantic market, to strengthen the position of both partners in global competition and enable them to better use the potential of their economies, without undermining multilateral trade negotiations, including the Doha Round;

21.  Calls on the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the USA to use the April 2007 EU-US Summit to initiate the negotiation of a new Transatlantic Partnership Agreement, including a strengthened transatlantic market between the EU and the US, covering investment, intellectual property, innovation, public procurement and the relation between trade and security; calls for both partners to launch negotiations on an effective Agreement on Regulatory Cooperation, including common methodologies, measures to minimise future regulatory divergence, commitments to engage regulatory agencies and measures to engage industries, labour unions and consumer groups; urges that legislators on both sides be systematically involved in the negotiations;

22.  Insists that the negotiations on a barrier-free transatlantic market place must not lead to a downward harmonisation of social, environmental and health standards and must maintain the autonomy and integrity of the EU's competition policy and its rules on the protection of public services and cultural diversity;

23.  Is concerned about the potentially dangerous impact of the growing US federal current account deficit on the global economy and the stability of international currency markets; strongly encourages partners to commit themselves to avoid excessive deficits, which exacerbate international imbalances;

24.  Welcomes the decision of the German G8 presidency to put the problem of international capital market regulation on the agenda for the next G8 summit; expresses its concern that the US has unilaterally announced new principles for private capital pools which are based on non-binding transparency measures; asks the Commission to ensure equivalent ownership rights in each other's territory for enterprises; 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; asks the Commission what it will do in this respect, bearing in mind that the US is preparing proposals; recalls that two-thirds of hedge and private equity funds are based in off-shore centres and therefore asks that their fiscal implications be examined;

25.  Stresses the importance of convergence of supervisory practices with regard to transatlantic consolidation of stock exchanges; reiterates its request, therefore, 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; highlights the importance of US implementation of the Basel II Accord on Capital Requirements and of recognition by the SEC of International Financial Reporting Standards; 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; asks the Commission to ensure that transatlantic mergers and/or purchases of stock exchanges and other financial institutions will not, directly or indirectly, lead to US laws, regulations, or supervisory practices being unilaterally imposed within the EU;

26.   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, in addition to their market access and services objectives, to agree a joint approach to promoting enforceable ILO core labour standards in the WTO and in bilateral trade agreements, to restate their commitment to the Green Box in agriculture, together with a common strategy on cross-compliance, bio-fuels, animal welfare, animal health and avian flu, and to underline the importance of the EU-US wine agreement;

27.  Asks the Council and the Commission to discuss with the transatlantic partners how to make progress in the matter of developing countries' access to medicines, and to oppose vigorously the initiative of the US to include in all bilateral agreements negotiated with developing countries clauses by which those countries renounce the use of the provision of the Doha Agreement that allows them to produce and import generic drugs needed to tackle major public health problems (AIDS, tuberculosis, etc); is concerned, nevertheless, that Congress's intention to authorise parallel imports of medicines from EU Member States may create obstacles to their availability to EU patients and could favour counterfeiting; asks the EU, therefore, to raise this issue at the next Summit;

28.  Considers that the EU and the USA, representing 38% of world energy consumption, should take the lead through joint efforts to develop alternative energy production and energy efficiency; calls, therefore, on both partners to strengthen their cooperation on energy, energy security and environmental sustainability, to establish a stable and predictable global energy market based on market rules and to seek to include provisions governing energy trade in WTO regulations;

29.  Insists, in this context, on the specific responsibility of developed countries to take the lead in reducing emissions; urges the US to reconsider its position as regards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol; calls, moreover, on the US to take vigorous domestic measures leading to absolute emission reductions and to play an active role in future international negotiations with a view to participating in the future climate change regime; welcomes regional cap-and-trade initiatives in the US and activities at state level leading to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; urges the US administration, the Commission, the Council and the Member States urgently to adopt effective measures in order to reduce the impact of aviation on climate change; calls for climate change to be regularly raised at interparliamentary delegation level and in the context of the Transatlantic Legislative Dialogue;

30.  Expects the Summit to prepare the ground for a G8 Summit agreement in June for launching a post-Kyoto emissions regime that would involve the US and key emerging economies like China, Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia, with, among other things, an effective system of carbon emissions trading and the promotion of new technologies;

31.   Welcomes the Joint EU-US Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights adopted at the 2006 EU-US Summit; recommends a review of the patent reform process of both sides;

32.  Renews its request to the Commission(1), to investigate, as a matter of urgency, the fact that EU companies and sectors with operations in the US not covered by the Safe Harbour agreement may currently be forced to make personal data available to US authorities, in particular US branches of European banks, insurance companies, social security institutions and providers of telecoms services;

33.  Encourages the US Administration and the EU Presidency and Commission to sign the Air Transport Agreement of 2 March 2007 between the US Administration and the EU Commission at the Summit as the first stage agreement for the new cooperation between the US and the EU in the very important Transatlantic Aviation Area; hopes that the US will soon ratify this agreement and encourages both sides to start the negotiations for the second stage agreement as soon as possible;

34.  Calls on the European and American partners to take account in their economic relations of the role and special features of the cultural and educational sectors;

Institutional framework and role of Parliament

35.  Underlines that only the wider involvement at all levels of the 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';

36.  Calls on the EU-US Summit to support the parliamentary dimension of the transatlantic partnership, to enhance the role of legislators in the dialogue between the EU Commission and the US Administration, and to involve more closely civil society from both sides of the Atlantic;

37.  Stresses its commitment to continue contributing to the strength and stability of the Transatlantic Partnership through its engagement in the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue; supports the effort to establish a legislative early-warning system between the European Parliament and the US Congress;

38.  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;

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

40.   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;

41.   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.

(1) European Parliament resolution of 14 February 2007 on SWIFT, the PNR agreement and the transatlantic dialogue on these issues, P6_TA-PROV(2007)0039

Last updated: 25 April 2007Legal notice