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Procedure : 2008/2530(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

B6-0279/2008

Debates :

PV 04/06/2008 - 20
CRE 04/06/2008 - 20

Votes :

PV 05/06/2008 - 6.16
CRE 05/06/2008 - 6.16

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0256

Texts adopted
WORD 74k
Thursday, 5 June 2008 - Brussels Final edition
EU-United States Summit
P6_TA(2008)0256B6-0277, 0279, 0280, 0283 and 0284/2008

European Parliament resolution of 5 June 2008 on the forthcoming EU-US Summit

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(1) and on EU-US transatlantic economic relations(2) , and its resolution of 25 April 2007 on transatlantic relations(3) ,

–   having regard to the Transatlantic Declaration on EU-US Relations of 1990 and the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) of 1995,

–   having regard to the EU-US Declarations on Combating Terrorism of 26 June 2004 and on Enhancing Cooperation in the field of Non Proliferation and the Fight Against Terrorism of 20 June 2005,

–   having regard to the forthcoming EU-US Summit on 10 June 2008 in Brdo and to the outcome of the EU-US Summit held on 30 April 2007 in Washington D.C.,

–   having regard to the joint declarations by the 63rd Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue of October 2007 and the 64th Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue of May 2008,

–   having regard to the Summit Declaration of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008,

–   having regard to its resolution of 8 May 2008 on the Transatlantic Economic Council(4) ,

–   having regard to the Paper from the High Representative and the European Commission to the European Council, entitled 'Climate Change and International Security' (14 March 2008),

–   having regard to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 1803 (2008), 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) on the Iranian nuclear programme,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004 and in particular to the sections entitled 'An international order based on effective multilateralism' and 'Working with partners',

–   having regard to its resolutions on climate change, in particular those of 16 November 2005(5) , 26 October 2006(6) , and 14 February 2007(7) ,

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

A.   whereas the EU-US partnership is a cornerstone of the external action of the Union and is founded on shared values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and supports sustainable economies and sustainable development,

B.   whereas the European Union and the United States play key roles in the world's economy and politics, and share responsibility for promoting peace, democracy and stability in the world and for tackling global economic challenges, in particular crises in financial markets, trade and currency imbalances and debt crises in some of the poorest countries,

C.   whereas the effects of climate change, such as territorial conflicts over resources, rising food prices and migration, are issues of great concern to the peoples and the leaders of the EU; whereas, according to the International Energy Agency, global energy demand will rise by between 50% and 60% by 2030,

D.   whereas both the EU and the United States can and should play a leading international role in tackling climate change,

E.   whereas world demand for food is rising faster than supply, not least because of rising demand in emerging economies such as India and China for, in particular, meat and dairy products, and therefore also for feed; whereas, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), current US subsidies for converting corn into ethanol have contributed to the global increase in food prices, which impacts most heavily on the world's poorest countries,

F.   whereas in most developing countries, most of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets will not be met by the 2015 deadline,

G.   whereas there is consensus within the EU on reviving and strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the period leading up to the forthcoming 2010 NPT Review Conference,

H.   whereas Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed in Annapolis to engage in renewed negotiations with the aim of concluding an agreement before the end of 2008; whereas efforts to bring stability to the Middle East by promoting peace, democracy and respect for human rights require strong cooperation between the EU and the United States, including within the framework of the Middle East Quartet and with the League of Arab States,

I.   whereas close cooperation between the EU and the United States in Kosovo is crucial to the stability and development of the Western Balkans; whereas the United States has made a commitment in principle to participating in this key ESDP/Rule of Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) with approximately 80 police officers, 2 judges and 4 to 6 prosecutors,

J.   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,

K.   whereas in a historic vote the UN General Assembly adopted on 18 December 2007 a resolution sponsored by a cross-regional alliance, including the EU, on a moratorium on the death penalty; whereas it is deeply concerned at the continued existence of the death penalty in many US states,

L.   whereas a cooperative transatlantic economic relationship is in the mutual interests of the EU and the United States, and whereas consistent political leadership is needed to strengthen the transatlantic market; whereas it supports the ongoing work of the Transatlantic Economic Council and hopes that it will become one of the cornerstones of EU-US relations,

M.   whereas it is necessary to advance freedom and democracy in the world and to address the challenges which they pose, such as international security, the eradication of poverty, promotion of development, the need for disarmament efforts worldwide, the protection of human rights, confronting global health risks, environmental issues and energy security, combating international terrorism and organised crime, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; whereas, as the European Security Strategy makes clear, the Transatlantic Partnership and NATO are very important for collective security,

N.   whereas it is in the interests of both partners to confront in unison common threats and challenges on the basis of existing international treaties and the effective work of international institutions, and in particular on the basis of the UN system in accordance with the UN Charter,

O.   whereas during the last few years several agreements prompted by US requirements and adopted without any involvement of Parliament, notably the PNR (Passenger Name Record) agreement, the SWIFT memorandum and the existence of the US Automated Targeting System, have led to legal uncertainty with regard to the necessary transatlantic data protection guarantees in relation to the sharing and transfer of data between the EU and the US for the purposes of fighting terrorism,

Transatlantic relations in general

1.  Looks forward, in the light of the forthcoming US presidential election, to working with the new US President, and hopes for a strengthened US commitment to multilateralism and to peace and democracy worldwide; believes that the partnership between the EU and the United States on sensitive issues such as the global challenges of poverty and climate change needs to be reinforced; is aware that on some subjects, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), methods applied in the fight against terrorism and the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, transatlantic differences of approach still persist; hopes that the next President of the United States engages his Administration in solving these problems;

2.  Urges the EU and the United States to work more closely together on a wide range of common policy challenges, notably in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo and the Western Balkans, Afghanistan and Africa, and to work together to establish an international environment conducive to improving the security and human rights situation in places such as Burma and Zimbabwe, maintaining a focus on these issues in all relevant fora, including the UNSC; calls for a common approach to relations with other major geopolitical actors;

Climate change

3.  Strongly encourages both partners to agree on a joint approach to limit climate change to a maximum temperature increase of 2°C over pre-industrialised levels through fair contributions to efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by developed and developing countries, in accordance with their different responsibilities and respective capabilities, recognises the responsibility of developed countries to take the lead; welcomes the commitments by the principal US presidential candidates to addressing greenhouse-gas emissions and to reaching international agreement by 2009 to avert dangerous climate change;

4.  Urges the United States to do its utmost to wrap up work on its domestic climate legislation by the December 2009 UN conference in Copenhagen; also invites the United States to persist in its efforts to establish a carbon trading system that in the future could be linked with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), since both the environment and industry generally will be best served if the emerging carbon market mechanisms throughout the world are compatible and interoperable; welcomes, therefore, the provision in the EU ETS draft proposals to allow linking up to other mandatory cap-and-trade systems, including sub-national systems; in this context, is encouraged by the emergence of regional carbon trade systems within the United States;

5.  Welcomes the above-mentioned report by the High Representative and the Commission on the security implications of climate change; urges the EU-US Summit to address this issue as a matter of priority, building on the successful Bali conference in December 2007; calls on the EU and the United States to work together to achieve an ambitious post-2012 agreement in 2009, including both mitigation and adaptation action at international level; also notes with interest the proposals under discussion in the US Congress on the creation of an International Clean Technology Fund, and encourages the Commission to open a dialogue with the US Administration on this issue;

Terrorism and human rights

6.  Is concerned that the very existence of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre and the practice of arbitrary arrests and extraordinary renditions 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 arbitrary arrests and extraordinary renditions and to request the US Government to try or release the remaining detainees and to resettle and compensate them in full compliance with international law and standards and to give clarifications regarding the existence of secret prisons outside US territory;

7.  Regrets the US administration's decision to build a new detention complex in Afghanistan, as a stark acknowledgement that the US is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come;

8.  Reiterates its call on the Council and the Commission to finally implement the recommendations addressed to them by its Temporary Committee on Alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners (TDIP);

9.  Calls on the United States immediately to lift the visa regime and to treat all citizens of EU Member States equally, on the basis of full reciprocity; in this context, welcomes the start of EU-US talks on the new set of US security demands to establish a visa-free regime; is of the opinion that the negotiations must be transparent, be based on reciprocity and respect EU data protection provisions;

10.  Welcomes the recognition by the United States of the European Community's competence to negotiate such an agreement and notes that matters falling within EU competence, such as security-related matters (including exchange of PNR data, extradition and legal mutual assistance), should be negotiated with the Council, and with Member States only insofar as they relate to their own nationals;

11.  Underlines that sharing of data and information can be a valuable tool in the international fight against terrorism and related crime, but stresses that the sharing of personal data must take place within a proper legal framework with clear rules and conditions, ensuring adequate protection of the privacy and civil liberties of individual citizens and providing for mechanisms for obtaining redress where necessary, and that such data sharing should be based on a binding international agreement with the full involvement of Parliament and the US Congress; stresses that the necessary data exchange should be in accordance with the existing EU-US agreement on extradition and mutual legal assistance, should comply with EC and EU data protection legislation and should be accompanied by coordination between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including, where appropriate, at operational level, and by judicial cooperation under the EU-US agreement on extradition and mutual legal assistance;

12.  Stresses the importance of respecting fundamental rights and the rule of law in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and urges the Commission to inform the Parliament of progress made in the negotiation of a Euro-Atlantic cooperation framework, particularly as regards the protection of personal data and private life; calls for the urgent elaboration of global data protection standards in the context of the Transatlantic Economic Council, so as to guarantee a high level of protection of personal data, and legal certainty for companies;

13.  Calls on the EU and US governments to launch an initiative within the UN in order to reform the existing practice of sanctions lists, including the establishment of due procedures for a fair hearing, statement of reasons and effective judicial protection and remedy; stresses at the same time the necessity to improve the procedures relating to the EU's "black list";

Nuclear proliferation, missile defence, arms control and NATO

14.  Reiterates its full support for the UNSC resolutions on Iran adopted under Article 41, Chapter VII, of the UN Charter, and calls on the EU and the United States to agree on a common strategy that would convince Teheran to abide by the UNSC resolutions;

15.  Welcomes the close cooperation between the EU and the United States on the Iranian nuclear issue leading, on 3 March 2008, to the adoption by the UNSC of the abovementioned Resolution 1803 (2008), which imposes new sanctions on Iran; calls on the United States, following its diplomatic success in the negotiations with North Korea, to participate directly in negotiations with Iran along with the EU, since the United States is in a position to offer additional security guarantees taking account of Iran's security concerns; stresses the importance of cooperation with the United States, Russia, China and non-aligned countries with a view to considering complementary ideas aimed at achieving a comprehensive agreement with Iran on its nuclear facilities and their use;

16.  Welcomes the recent initiative by the UNSC member countries and Germany (the P5+1) to present a new package of incentives to Iran in an effort to convince it to halt its uranium enrichment programme; calls on the United States, in the interests of finding a solution, fully to endorse negotiations with Iran within the limits of the rules and obligations of the NPT;

17.  Calls for a strengthening of the international system of treaties and regimes against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; stresses the need for closer cooperation between the EU and the United States in combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in compliance with international law, and for both sides to support the role that the UN must play in these areas; urges the Council to discuss with its US counterparts how to make a positive approach to future NPT Preparatory Committees (NPT PrepComs), as a first opportunity to strengthen the global non-nuclear proliferation regime in the run-up to the NPT Review Conference in 2010; underlines the need to discuss at the summit a number of nuclear disarmament initiatives based on the '13 practical steps' agreed to unanimously in the 2000 NPT Review Conference; hopes that at this summit the US Administration will be willing to adopt a common strategy with the EU aimed at making progress on disarmament in terms of both weapons of mass destruction and conventional weaponry; calls on the EU and the United States to avoid the potential vacuum in the period 2009-2010, when the major agreements on disarmament will be due to be renewed; hopes that the very important agreements reached in 1999, 2000 and 2001 with Russia will be maintained; calls on the United States to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as a meaningful step towards reducing the operational relevance of nuclear weapons;

18.  Calls on the EU Member States and the US to work together on fresh ideas for launching a redefined and stronger EU-NATO partnership, going beyond Berlin-Plus, given the need for greater cooperation in Afghanistan; takes the view that the efforts to adjust and refine the European Security Strategy should be linked to the early phase of discussions on a new NATO Strategic Concept; underlines the importance of NATO, which remains the essential forum for security consultations between Europe and the United States, as well as the importance of the EU's common foreign and security policy in strengthening the EU's ability to confront existing and emerging 21st-century security threats; welcomes the US recognition at the Bucharest Summit that building a strong NATO alliance requires strong European defence effectiveness; recommends developing the existing relationship between NATO and the EU regarding security matters, while respecting the independent nature of both organisations;

19.  Is of the view that the US plan to establish an anti-missile system in Europe at this time may hamper international disarmament efforts; expresses concern over Russia's decision to suspend the observance of its obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe; stresses that both issues affect the security of the peoples of Europe and should therefore not be the subject of purely bilateral discussions between the US and individual European countries; notes, in this respect, the Bucharest Summit Declaration issued at the last meeting of the North Atlantic Council of 3 April 2008, calling for a comprehensive missile defence architecture that would extend coverage to all allied territory; calls on the Council and the Member States to establish a framework designed to include all EU Member States and NATO in the debate on the matter;

20.  Looks forward to a reassessment of the security dimension of EU-US relations in the light of the outcome of the NATO Strategic Review, the update of the European Security Strategy and the arrival in office of a new US Administration;

Development cooperation and food prices

21.  Calls for increased emergency aid to address the immediate threat to the world's poorest people posed by higher food prices; recognises, however, that money is not enough and therefore calls on the Council, the Commission and the US Congress and Administration to address structural problems such as under-investment in agriculture; calls for a coordinated global approach by the EU, the United States and multilateral organisations, which should include fairer trade rules and increased investment in agriculture in developing countries, focused on small-scale producers and women; calls on the donors to provide support and help fund safety-nets for the most vulnerable people; calls on the leaders of the EU and the United States actively to support and participate in the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, established under the leadership of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon;

22.  Welcomes the initiative of the US Administration to untie food aid, and sees this initiative as a first important step in reforming the entire food aid programme to take full account of the need proactively to support enhanced regional and local food security, which in the past was often undermined by tied US food aid;

23.  Calls on the Commission to raise the issue of the need to dedicate a major part of the EU-US development aid budget to agricultural research and training and exchange of best practice for farmers, in order to further develop efficient, sustainable crop systems, such as crop rotation and mixed cultivation of crops, and participatory, locally adapted, non-GMO (genetically modified organism) plant and animal breeding in order to create stability in local food supply and sound farming systems with low energy input in the long term;

24.  Regrets the decision of the US government to decrease its financial support for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA); points to the UNFPA's instrumental role in achieving a voluntary decline of fertility rates in less developed countries; believes that access to contraceptives and reproductive services, the empowerment of girls and women, and the promotion of maternal and child health are crucial strategies for slowing population growth and maintaining resource sustainability; urges, therefore, the US government to increase its funding for the UNFPA;

25.  Calls on the EU and the United States to make the MDGs the heart of international development policy; urges the Council, the Commission, the Member States and the United States to scale up their assistance to developing countries in order to maintain the credibility of their commitments to increase aid; recognises the increased commitment of the United States to development aid in general and to Africa in particular; urges the US President to use his last year in office to aim for ambitious outcomes for the G8 meeting in Japan in July 2008 and the UN MDGs summit in New York in September 2008; calls on the EU to keep the MDGs and annual timetables for achieving 0.7% in ODA as a key point on the agenda for the European Council on 19-20 June 2008;

International relations

26.  Underlines that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is crucial to securing peace and stability in the Middle East; reminds the parties of the commitments which they made in Annapolis to holding negotiations in good faith with a view to concluding a peace treaty by the end of 2008, resolving all outstanding issues; stresses again the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and urges the EU and the United States to ensure the constructive involvement of Arab partners; reiterates its call on Israel to freeze all settlement activities, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001; reiterates its deep concern at the humanitarian and political crisis in the Gaza Strip and its further possible grave consequences; calls for an immediate end to the firing of rockets by Palestinian militias from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory; fully supports the efforts by Egypt to bring about a cessation of violence and a solution that will allow for the reopening of all crossings;

27.  Welcomes the announcement that Syria and Israel are engaged in indirect peace negotiations under the auspices of Turkey;

28.  Welcomes the election of Michel Suleiman as President of Lebanon; stresses the importance of Lebanon's stability, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity; urges the parties to fully implement the agreement reached in Doha and calls on the EU and the US to support all the efforts in this respect;

29.  Underlines that Euro-Atlantic and wider international security is closely tied to Afghanistan's future as a peaceful, democratic state that is respectful of human rights and free from the threat of terrorism; welcomes, therefore, NATO's firm and long-term commitment to Afghanistan as underlined in ISAF's (International Security Assistance Force) 'New Strategic Vision', as well as the comprehensive approach by the international community, bringing together civilian and military efforts, including the EU Police Mission (EUPOL) which is part of the overall EU commitment to Afghanistan and of a coordinated EU approach that includes local political guidance provided by the EU Special Representative and a reconstruction effort managed inter alia through the Commission; calls on the EU and the United States to take urgent steps to increase, improve and better coordinate their development assistance to Afghanistan, inter alia by channelling as many funds as possible to Afghan institutions and experienced non-governmental organisations;

30.  Calls on the Council to engage in a dialogue with the United States about Iraq, sharing the EU's views about its strategic role in the country, and to continue supporting the enhanced multilateralisation of the role played by the international community in Iraq by making full use of the expanded role of the UN in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1770 (2007);

31.  Underlines the ongoing common commitment to regional security and stability throughout the Balkans; praises the prompt, impartial and effective performance by the NATO's International Security Force in Kosovo (KFOR) in the face of the recent outbreak of violence in Kosovo, and stresses the need for KFOR to remain in Kosovo on the basis of UNSC Resolution 1244 (1999) in order to ensure a safe and secure environment, including freedom of movement for all people and all international presences in Kosovo; underlines in this context that the EU is playing an important role in Kosovo, welcomes the launching of EULEX in Kosovo and insists that EULEX be present on the entire territory of Kosovo;

32.  Believes that the EU and the United States must urgently deal with short-term challenges of security and longer-term challenges of Kosovo's development with a view to achieving a common objective: a functional state, a multi-ethnic society with strong, functioning institutions and respect for the rule of law; welcomes the fact that for the first time the EULEX Mission to Kosovo will include US police officers; notes that the US Administration will second a number of State Department staff and contractors to the operation in Kosovo and will cover 25 percent of the operating costs of the International Civilian Office (ICO), with the remainder coming from contributions from the European Commission, and from other states;

33.  Calls for concerted action vis-à-vis China with regard, in particular, to the urgency of finding ways to promote democracy in that country, defuse tension in cross-straits relations and facilitate the dialogue between the Beijing authorities and the Dalai Lama in order to make concrete progress on the question of Tibet;

34.  Calls on the Council to raise once again with the United States the question of the ICC as a fundamental pillar of international law; expects from the future US Government a more constructive attitude to ratifying the Statutes of the ICC and to engaging actively in the achievement of an agreement on the still outstanding definition of the crime of aggression, as provided for in Article 5.2 of the Rome Statute, in preparation for the ICC review conference in 2009;

35.  Renews its condemnation of the death penalty; calls on the US Government and all US states to abolish it; regrets the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court to uphold lethal injection, opening the way to resumed executions;

36.  Recommends that steps be taken to strengthen transatlantic relations with the United States through a new Transatlantic Partnership Agreement replacing the currently existing NTA; suggests in this regard the establishment of a regular review mechanism for such a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement, whereby experts from the EU and the United States strive constantly to improve the Transatlantic Partnership so as to exploit its full potential; underlines that only the wider involvement at all levels of the US Congress, the 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;

o
o   o

37.  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.

(1) OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 226.
(2) OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 235.
(3) OJ C 74 E, 20.3.2008, p. 670.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0192.
(5) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p. 120.
(6) OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 439.
(7) OJ C 287 E, 29.11.2007, p. 344.

Last updated: 9 December 2008Legal notice