Motion for a resolution - B7-0098/2009Motion for a resolution
B7-0098/2009

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the upcoming EU-US Summit and the Transatlantic Economic Council Meeting

19.10.2009

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Adrian Severin, Hannes Swoboda on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0095/2009

Procedure : 2009/2697(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B7-0098/2009
Texts tabled :
B7-0098/2009
Texts adopted :

B7‑0098/2009

European Parliament resolution on the upcoming EU-US Summit and the Transatlantic Economic Council Meeting

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on transatlantic relations, in particular those of 1 June 2006 on improving EU-US relations in the framework of a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement and on EU-US transatlantic economic relations, of 25 April 2007 on transatlantic relations, of 5 June 2008 on the EU-US Summit and of 26 March 2009 on the state of transatlantic relations in the aftermath of the US elections,

–   having regard to its Resolution of 24 April 2009 on non-proliferation and the future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),

–   having regard to its Resolution of 17 September 2009 on the envisaged international agreement to make available to the United States Treasury Department financial payment messaging data to prevent and combat terrorism and terrorist financing,

–   having regard to its Resolution of 8 October 2009 on the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit of 24 and 25 September 2009,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the transatlantic partnership is founded on shared core values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and multilateralism as well as common goals such as open and integrated economies and sustainable development, and is the cornerstone of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,

B.  whereas the European Union welcomes the new direction given by the US Administration based on a cooperative attitude in the international field and a strengthening of the EU-US relationship,

C. whereas the European Union is an increasingly important player on the world stage and whereas, once the Lisbon Treaty with its foreign policy tools comes into effect, the EU will be able to play a stronger and more coherent role on the international scene,

D. whereas recent surveys, such as the Transatlantic Trends 2009 of the German Marshall Funds, show unprecedented popular support among EU citizens for the US Administration as a basis for a revitalisation of EU-US relations,

E.  whereas the EU and the US play key roles in the world's politics and economy and share responsibility for tackling the global imbalances which are at the root of the crisis, as well as various global challenges, such as the financial crisis, unemployment, climate change, energy security, the eradication of poverty and attainment of other MDGs, terrorism and nuclear proliferation,

F.  whereas in an increasingly global, complex and changing world, it is in the interests of both partners, the EU and the US, to confront in unison common threats and challenges on the basis of international law and multilateral institutions, in particular the UN system, and to invite other partners to cooperate in this effort,

G. whereas the work of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) needs to continue towards the goal of an integrated transatlantic market organised in such a way as to facilitate the attainment of the EU's goals of economic growth, sustainable development and social justice,

H. whereas the EU and the US will be confronted with rising global energy consumption and the requirement to implement global commitments - to be agreed in Copenhagen - to combat climate change, which will require major changes in their economies,

I.   whereas the financial and economic crisis has rapidly turned into a jobs crisis with severe social consequences; whereas the transatlantic partners share responsibility for tackling the social dimension of the economic crisis,

J.   whereas the EU and US must adopt a strong commitment to tackle the rising levels of unemployment and tensions as a result of social exclusion that they will both be facing,

EU-US Summit

1.  Urges both partners to engage in effective multilateralism, involving emerging players in a spirit of shared responsibility for the global order, respect for international law and common problems; insists that the EU and the US increase their efforts to accomplish the UN Reform Agenda, including the reform of the UN Security Council and of other multilateral forums within the global architecture;

2.  Calls on both partners to promote respect for human rights in the world as a key element of their policy; underlines the need for intensive coordination in preventive and crisis diplomacy; calls on the US Administration to ratify and accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; repeats its appeal for the abolition of the death penalty;

3.  Emphasises that both partners should continue to strive for a peaceful and just settlement of the Middle East conflict and welcomes the fact that it represents one of the most urgent priorities of the US Administration; calls on the US Administration to coordinate closely with the EU and engage in the Quartet; emphasises that both partners should strive for intensification of the negotiations based on the road map and the previous agreement, with the objective of a two-state solution with an independent, viable Palestinian state; calls on the transatlantic partners to support efforts to bring about inter-Palestinian reconciliation, and points out the importance of improving the living conditions of Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza, including the reconstruction of Gaza;

4.  Considers that the first meeting hosted on 23 September 2009 by President Obama between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not achieve its ambitious goals; deplores the fact that no agreement has yet been reached on the issue of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem;

5.  Considers that the UN Human Rights Council's endorsement of the recommendations set out in the reports of the Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza led by Justice Goldstone and by the High Commissioner for Human Rights constitute an important step towards strengthening respect for international humanitarian law by all sides concerned and finding a just settlement of the conflict;

6.  Underlines that the values, security and credibility of the transatlantic community are at stake in Afghanistan; urges the EU, the US, NATO and the UN to devise a new joint strategic concept which comprehensively integrates the components of the international engagement, giving priority to development and fighting poverty, and calling on all neighbours to participate in this effort in order to achieve regional stabilisation;

7.  Calls on the EU and the US to develop a joint strategy towards Pakistan, aimed at strengthening its democratic institutions, the rule of law and its ability to fight terrorism, while encouraging Pakistan's involvement in responsibility for stability in the region;

8.  Calls on the partners to continue, by means of coordinated efforts, to work with the Iraqi Government and the UN in order to improve stability and national reconciliation and to contribute to the unity and independence of Iraq;

9.  Calls on both partners to promote a trialogue with Latin America, a region which shares the vision of democracy, human rights and the principle of multilateralism;

Defence, arms control, nuclear proliferation, and security matters

 

10. Welcomes the new dynamics in the process leading to a world free of nuclear weapons as expressed in the joint statement issued by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in London on 1 April 2009 and in President Obama's speech in Prague on 5 April 2009; is of the opinion that the disarmament process and the implementation of non-proliferation principles and practices, relaunched in a multilateral framework, is the only way to reverse a trend towards proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;

11. Welcomes the decision of the Russian Federation and the US to conduct negotiations to conclude a new comprehensive legally binding agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in December 2009, and the signature of the 'Joint understanding for a follow-on agreement to START-1' by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow on 6 July 2009;

12. Supports the concept paper presented by the US to the Council on 16 September 2009 as part of the US Administration's strategy on non-proliferation and disarmament, and welcomes President Obama's announced intention to host a Global Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010;

13. Welcomes the 24 September 2009 Security Council resolution on Non-proliferation (Resolution 1887) geared to seeking a safer world for all and creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all;

14. Considers that there is particular scope for the renewal of transatlantic cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation; calls therefore on the EU and US to adopt a common strategy in all international fora, in particular the UN, on disarmament involving weapons of mass destruction and conventional weaponry; welcomes the announcement by the US President that he will take forward the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); calls on the Council to contribute positively and proactively to the preparations for the next NPT Review Conference in 2010, in close cooperation with the US and Russia;

15. Calls on the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices as soon as possible;

16. Underlines that the Iranian nuclear programme endangers the non-proliferation system and stability in the region and the world; welcomes the direct dialogue established by President Obama and supports the objective, pursued jointly by both partners, of finding a negotiated solution with Iran, in coordination with other members of the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency;

17. Supports the Geneva talks process of 1 October 2009, as a result of which Iran agreed to open its newly revealed uranium enrichment plant near Qum to international inspection;

18. Is concerned about the latest nuclear testing conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and its rejection of UN Resolution 1887; supports nonetheless the US's bilateral dialogue approach, within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, geared to achieving denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula;

19. Welcomes the US decision to defer the regional plans for a missile defence shield in Europe and calls for a new global security arrangement involving the EU, the US, Russia and China;

20. Underlines the importance of NATO as the cornerstone of transatlantic security; welcomes the decision by the European Council in December 2008 to strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO, and calls on both partners to accelerate the creation of an EU-NATO high-level group in order to improve cooperation between the two organisations; calls for an active role for the EU in NATO's strategic review process and suggests that discussions be held on the value of a Euro-Atlantic Security Strategy that could define common security concerns and interests;

21. Stresses that the security dimension of EU relations with Russia and the US and the role of the CFSP and ESDP cannot be seen in isolation from the wider European security architecture, which includes NATO, the OSCE and international arrangements such as the ABM and CFE Treaties; considers that relevant developments in this wider security structure should be addressed in dialogue with Russia, the United States and the non-EU OSCE Member States in order to renew the transatlantic consensus on security, taking as a basis the Helsinki Accords or an updated version of them to be negotiated within a new Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe;

22. Calls on the US Administration to defend in Congress the elimination, or at least the reduction, of protectionist Buy America provisions in the US public procurement laws concerning defence equipment, in order to contribute to a transatlantic level playing field in this sector;

Financial crisis and stability and banking

23. Emphasises that the risk of a credit crunch is not over; stresses in this regard that coordinated macroeconomic policies and cooperation between the monetary authorities are vital to achieving a sustainable global economic recovery, employment and growth; welcomes the G-20 conclusions as a concrete working basis for further EU-US cooperation and looks forward to a coordinated approach to address both financial stability and reform of the global financial system;

24. Calls for a coordinated approach between the US reform package for the financial sector (as proposed on 17 June 2009) and the current EU reform of the financial supervisory structure in order to avoid any future failures of the global financial market and its actors; calls for swift implementation of these reform packages; approves in this respect the inclusion of major emerging economies in the establishment of the Financial Stability Board (FSB);

25. Believes to that end that strengthening cooperation between legislative, regulatory and supervisory authorities in the US and those in the EU is vital, especially having regard to the shortcomings highlighted by the financial turmoil;

26. Calls on the US to take into account recent as well as forthcoming changes to the EU capital requirements directives for credit institutions and investment firms when implementing the Basel II framework in the US, which is vital in order to preserve a level playing field globally;

27. Supports the G-20 call to speed up the convergence of accounting standards; urges the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board to agree a single set of high-quality global accounting standards within the context of their independent standard-setting processes and complete their convergence project by June 2011;

28. Urges the US to abide by its road map for requiring US domestic users to apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); recalls its request that the SEC - until a decision to require US users to apply IFRS has been taken - recognise IFRS, as adopted by the European Union, as being equivalent to US GAAP;

29. Underlines that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) should continue its governance reforms to ensure fair representation of constituencies which require listed companies to apply IFRS and which are involved in setting international accounting standards and in IASB oversight as its trustees;

30. Hopes that the EU will be able to recognise the US insurance supervisory regime as equivalent under the conditions set out in the Solvency II Directive; is of the opinion that the initiative to set up an Office of National Insurance would improve EU-US cooperation and information exchange in the insurance sector;

 

Transatlantic Economic Council Meeting and reinforcement of the TEC

31. Stresses the need for the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) to continue, develop and be strengthened; believes that a road map should be drawn up showing how the long-term commitment to the transatlantic market in respect of the social market economy can be achieved by 2015;

32. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the outcome of studies on realisation of the transatlantic market is discussed with the relevant parliamentary committees before any specific conclusions are drawn for the future;

33. Believes that the information society is a crucial pillar of the transatlantic economic area based on access to knowledge and on the protection of digital content by means of a rigorous and effective system of protection of copyright and related rights, and further reaffirms that such protection must promote innovation;

34. Considers that in such areas as investment, accounting standards, regulatory issues, the safety of imported products and intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement, improved cooperation has already resulted in significant progress and must be debated;

35. Calls on the EU and the US to strengthen their cooperation in the field of education, training and culture and to continue facilitating and promoting exchanges of students, teachers and artists, in order to foster the economic, academic and cultural mutual benefits resulting from this cooperation;

36. Calls on the Commission to continue its efforts to ensure that the US law requiring scanning of 100% of inbound cargo is either modified or implemented by the US administration so to ensure that no new trade barriers are created which will impose significant costs on economic operators, without providing any benefits in terms of supply chain security; believes that the TEC could usefully organise seminars on the 100% scanning issue in Brussels and Washington in order to foster a deeper understanding between US and EU legislators and to promote an early and mutually acceptable resolution of this problem;

37. Reiterates its call on the leadership of the EU and the US and the co-chairs of the TEC to take account of the crucial role of legislators for the long-term success of the process, and urges them to involve the representatives of the TLD fully and directly in the work of the TEC;

38. Believes that, given the highly technical nature of the issues dealt with by the TEC, it is essential to ensure that the most appropriate members of Congress and the European Parliament are brought into the discussion;

39. Welcomes the fact that the TEC is advised by a range of stakeholders, including representatives of business, and calls for a comparable role to be given to representatives of the trade union movement on each side of the Atlantic so that the social dimension is fully included; calls on the heads of the Transatlantic Labour Dialogue and future Transatlantic Energy Dialogue to be included in the Group of Advisers; is however of the view that their consultative role is to be differentiated from the legislative role of the US Congress and Parliament;

40. Believes, at the same time, that transatlantic economic cooperation must be made more accountable, transparent and predictable and that schedules of meetings, agendas, road maps and progress reports should be published on a website;

Transport issues

 

41. Calls on the US Senate and the US Administration to allow the full and effective implementation of the first-stage EU-US aviation agreement and of the EU-US aviation safety agreement and work towards a second-stage aviation agreement, in order to further develop cooperation in EU-US aviation relations;

42. Calls on the US Senate and the US Administration to avoid any measures that run counter to these objectives, such as those on foreign repair stations, anti-trust exemptions and air carrier citizenship mentioned in House Resolution 915;

43. Calls on the US authorities and the Commission to further intensify their negotiations to find balanced solutions for, inter alia, air security needs and data protection in the field of passenger name records (PNR), for the review of security checks at airports and for stronger measures to include in the Copenhagen negotiations and ICAO agreements action to reduce the impact of transatlantic and international aviation on climate;

44. Reminds both the Commission and the US authorities that failure to conclude a second-stage agreement could lead to the cancellation of the first-stage agreement by some Member States, damaging the interests of both EU and US air carriers;

Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws, Customs Matters and Market Surveillance

 

45. Calls on the Commission and Council to promote joint actions with the US authorities, in particular the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other partners to ensure that China and other third countries raise their production standards to meet EU/US safety requirements, in particular for toys;

46. Calls on the Commission to develop stronger and more effective cross-border enforcement cooperation mechanisms, with the objective of linking the EU 'RAPEX' alert system on consumer products which pose a serious risk to consumers to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission alert system, and integrating the activities of the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network with those of the US authorities;

47. Proposes that the TEC endorse the adoption of a binding cooperation instrument which would structure and facilitate the sharing of information on product safety and the development of a common programme of cooperative actions;

48. Supports the Commission's initiative to step up international cooperation by making use of the legal basis in the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation to enter into an international cooperation agreement with US enforcement authorities and by disseminating and sharing best practices;

49. Calls on the Commission to accelerate its work on a much-delayed bilateral Enforcement Cooperation Agreement extending to the US its enforcement activities (information exchange, investigation and measure taking) within the framework of the EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation and the US Safe Web Act;

Mutual Recognition and Standardisation

 

50. Calls on the Commission to pursue the formal adoption of procedures for the mutual recognition of declarations of conformity for products subject to mandatory third-party testing, in particular for ICT and electrical equipment; calls on the Commission to insist on the mutual recognition of legal units of measurement, in particular for the acceptance of metric-only labelling of EU products in the US;

51. Calls on the Commission to explore standardisation with US authorities with a view to coordinating policies geared to influencing the work of international standardisation bodies;

Corporate Social Responsibility

52. Considers that Corporate Social Responsibility may be regarded as a self-regulation business model for the impact of business activities when it comes to integrating social and environmental concerns into a firm's activities and its interactions with stakeholders; believes that the exchange of CSR best practice between the US and the EU will have a significant impact on the attitude of enterprises to CSR and on their positive engagement with social and environmental issues;

53. Considers that regulatory cooperation should take into account the strengthening of the EU regulatory framework regarding the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), in particular remuneration policies in the financial services sector;

Agricultural Issues and Doha

54. Points out the importance of reaching a balanced agreement within the Doha world trade negotiations in the field of agriculture, including measures to prevent further volatility of agricultural prices and food shortages, in order to ensure global food security; is committed to fully take into account the requirements for a successful round of trade negotiations; stresses the need to fully take into consideration the adjustments already introduced in recent CAP reforms and hopes to see similar adjustments made to the US Farm Bill;

55. Remains committed to its goal of ensuring the highest standards of product safety for its citizens; upholds the Commission's decisions with regard to identified traces of non-approved GM products, mainly in corn and soy types, until it has assessed the safety of the respective products for health and the environment; recognises that the European Union has very strict GMO rules;

56. Recalls the recent developments in issues previously involving conflict, such as hormones in beef, chloride in chickens and the authorisation of some GM products; is confident that, through continuous and early dialogue, issues affecting mutual trade in agricultural products can be efficiently tackled before they come before WTO dispute bodies;

Environmental Issues and Climate Change

 

57. Supports the US efforts presented at the UN Summit on Climate Change on 22 September 2009 and the prospects of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and welcomes the prospect that the development of US legislation will go beyond limiting greenhouse gas emissions; is nevertheless concerned that the Senate might not adopt the legislation before next year; therefore calls on the EU and US to closely cooperate to make the Copenhagen Conference a success and commit all relevant gas-emitting countries to binding medium- and long-term targets;

58. Recalls that the international agreement should ensure collective greenhouse gas emission reductions in the industrialised countries at the high end of the 25-40% range for 2020 compared to 1990, as recommended by the Fourth Assessment Report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 4AR), and that those reductions should be domestic; recalls that a long-term reduction target should be set for the EU and the other industrialised countries of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990;

59. Supports in principle the idea of creating a Transatlantic Energy Council, on the model of the TEC, to deal with transatlantic cooperation on regulatory, energy efficiency and energy security matters; hopes that this will be more successful than the 2000 Transatlantic Environment Dialogue;

60. Underlines the importance of an active and continuous dialogue between the EU and US in the light of the revision of current EU legislation on novel foods and the use of new technologies in food production;

61. Stresses the potential impact that new technologies such as nanomaterials may have on our health and environment, as their scientific properties are so far unknown; accordingly emphasises the importance of acknowledging the concerns that the public and consumers may have with regard to the use of new technologies, of which the use of cloning techniques in animal breeding, and the animal welfare concerns it entails, is another example;

62. Welcomes the fact that the US Government has recognised the need to reform its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the near future in order to ensure effective protection of human health and the environment against chemicals;

63. Calls on the relevant bodies in the EU and US to cooperate so as to establish a regulatory system in the US that brings about a level of protection compatible with REACH;

Judicial and Police Cooperation, Visas

64. Hopes that the EU-US Ministerial Meeting scheduled on 28 October 2009 in Washington DC will adopt a joint declaration on police and judicial cooperation, covering in particular cyber-security;

65. Expresses readiness to enhance international cooperation in the field of cyber-security; calls on the US to adopt further legislation which would lead towards the creation of a set of international agreements and law enforcement cooperation to stop cyber-attacks and prevent cyber-crime; stands ready to develop international instruments and appropriate safeguards for the protection of privacy, freedom of speech and commercial transactions;

66. Recalls its determination to fight terrorism and its firm belief in the need to strike the right balance between security measures and the protection of civil liberties and fundamental rights, while ensuring the utmost respect for privacy and data protection; reaffirms that necessity and proportionality are key principles without which the fight against terrorism will never be effective;

67. Believes that a sound legal and political framework is needed for strong cooperation between the EU and the US in matters relating to justice, freedom and security and that a stronger partnership involving the parliamentary and democratic dimension is essential to address effectively common challenges such as fighting terrorism and organised crime without prejudice to fundamental rights and the rule of law, judicial cooperation in criminal matters and police cooperation, the management of migration, protection of the right to seek asylum and promotion of visa-free movement for all bona fide citizens between the two areas;

68. In this respect, recalls that the European Union is based on the rule of law and that all transfers of European personal data to third countries for security purposes should respect procedural guarantees and defence rights and comply with data-protection legislation at national and European level;

69. Recalls that, within the transatlantic framework of the EU-US agreement on legal assistance, which will enter into force on 1 January 2010, Article 4 provides for access to be granted to targeted financial data upon request, through national state authorities, and that this might constitute a sounder legal basis for the transfer of SWIFT data than the proposed interim agreement;

70. Notes that an interim agreement on the transfer of such data is being negotiated between the EU and the US and will be established for an intermediate period by means of a sunset clause not exceeding 12 months, and that a new agreement, negotiated without prejudice to the procedure to be followed under the Lisbon Treaty, will have to fully involve the EP and national parliaments and ensure the conditions set out in Paragraph 3 of its resolution of 17 September 2009;

71. Welcomes the recent extension of the visa waiver programme to another seven EU Member States; urges the US, however, to lift the visa regime for the remaining Member States and to treat all EU citizens equally and on the basis of full reciprocity; is concerned about the planned introduction of administrative fees for the granting of ESTA authorisation to EU citizens and calls on the Commission to treat this as a priority with the US Administration;

 

Development and MDGs

72. Welcomes the reaffirmed commitment to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to achieve ODA pledges; calls on both partners to honour their commitment to spend 0.7% of their GDP on development cooperation;

73. Welcomes the commitment to conclude an ambitious and balanced Doha Development Round and comply with the clear deadline of 2010 set by the G-20 summit; calls on leaders not to forget the ultimate development goal of this round when meeting for the WTO ministerial conference in Geneva at the end of November;

Institutional Framework

74. Underlines that the current momentum should also be used in order to improve and renew the framework of the transatlantic relationship; insists on the need to replace the existing NTA of 1995 with a new Transatlantic Partnership Agreement; deems it appropriate for the negotiation of the new agreement to commence once the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, so that it may be completed before 2012;

75. Believes that the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD) between the European Parliament and the US Congress has already made a significant contribution towards greater mutual understanding on many matters of common concern, including those linked to economic relations and international trade;

76. Believes that these are issues of a substantive nature and that national parliamentarians should be kept informed on a regular basis of developments in relation thereto; calls on its President to ensure that a mechanism is established to this end;

77. Reaffirms that the new agreement could upgrade the current TLD into a transatlantic inter-parliamentary assembly, following recommendations made by the European Parliament in its resolution of 26 March 2009;

78. Hopes that the Transatlantic Labour Dialogue will play a greater role in the near future in discussions as to how best policy-makers could respond to the challenges of rapidly rising unemployment and to the structural change caused by the financial crisis;

79. 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.