Motion for a resolution - B7-0610/2010Motion for a resolution

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


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

Helmut Scholz, Rui Tavares, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Patrick Le Hyaric on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2010/2898(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


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

The European Parliament,

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

A. whereas the beginning of the 21st century saw a shift towards a multi-polar world which needs collective management of common problems at international level, whereas both the EU and the US need to adapt to this situation by taking a cooperative approach to their international relations,

B.  whereas major international conflicts and differences in transatlantic relations persist, such as:

      -   the war in Afghanistan continues to cause thousands of civilian casualties and a disastrous destabilisation of the country and the whole region, whereas none of this country's problems have been solved through the predominantly military policy of the NATO alliance,

      -   there is only limited progress in the revival of nuclear arms control and the disarmament process and a continued stalemate where all other disarmament questions are concerned,

      -   the new administration did not lift sanctions against Cuba,

      -   the deterioration of relations with Iran endangers peace and further complicates the solution of the long-lasting crisis in the Middle East region,

      -   the US strategy to combat terrorism has made use of pervasive instruments to monitor sensitive data relating to European citizens, whereas these actions undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens,

      -   the death penalty continues to exist in 38 states of the United States and at federal level,

C. whereas transatlantic relations remain an important factor in international policy, whereas the EU and the US have a major role to play in the solution of international conflicts, in particular in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq, and in overcoming poverty and fighting climate change,

D. whereas the EU and the US economies account together for about half of the entire world economy and whereas the two economies therefore have a special responsibility to resolve the current economic and food crisis, combating volatility and speculation and therefore establishing new rules,

E.  whereas there is a stalemate in transatlantic relations with growing differences of views on how to solve the problems in international politics concerning the economic and financial crisis, data protection, fighting climate change and other issues, whereas parliamentary dialogue and intensified civil society relations can contribute to mutual understanding, overcoming differences and finding mutually acceptable solutions which meet the interests of all parties concerned,

1.  Calls for a conceptual restart to transatlantic relations in the following direction:

      (a) to debate sustainable solutions to end crisis situations in the world which should replace the military superpower concepts,

      (b) to face the urgent need for radical policy reform to address the systemic causes of the economic and financial crises and to take, immediately, strong steps towards rules for a 'new economic order',

      (c) to insist that the fight against terrorism cannot be waged in breach of international law and at the expense of established, basic and shared values such as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and the relevant Geneva Conventions,

      (d) to discuss with its US partners how to put into practice the commitment of both sides to multilateralism and in particular international cooperation within the United Nations;

2.  Takes the view that, to this end, an intensification of EU-US parliamentary political dialogue is necessary; insists that this dialogue become more open and transparent; calls on the EU and the US administration and parliaments to pay more attention to civil society relationships and to focus less on business dialogue;

3.  Expresses its deep preoccupation at the imbalances in legislative dialogue with the United States and their impact on European legislation; believes that the work in the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) must be made transparent and accountable;

International questions

4.  Stresses the urgent need to honestly assess both the current military strategy and the strategy for civil reconstruction in Afghanistan; concludes that a major shift of strategy is necessary as peace, security and development will only prevail if the spiral of violence is brought to an end, if the prevailing military solution is replaced by reinforced civil reconstruction efforts and if, as a result, the confidence of the Afghan population is restored; calls for the withdrawal of NATO troops from the country;

5.  Notes that, despite fresh efforts of the US Administration, the Middle East process is deadlocked; insists that the development of the relations of the transatlantic partners with Israel will be strongly conditioned by respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, by an end to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and by real commitments to a comprehensive peace settlement;

6.  Expresses its deep concern at the fate and the safety of the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza with no possibility to leave the Strip; calls on the transatlantic partners to insist in their relations with Israel that the Israeli authorities lift the blockade; calls on the transatlantic partners to intensify their efforts to end the long tragedy of the more than 4.3 million UN-registered Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194;

7.  Calls for a new approach towards Iran since the policy of sanctions and isolation of this country has failed; insists on the revival of the negotiations with Iran in order to find a comprehensive and equitable negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue on the basis of the recognition of Iran's right to peaceful nuclear activities and of verifiable assurances from Iran as to the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme; is firmly convinced that dialogue and diplomacy can achieve a realistic, long-term solution to the Iranian issue, within a multilateral framework under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna;

8.  Strongly supports the statement in the final declaration of the EU-Latin America Summit in Madrid in May 2010, in which the European and Latin American leaders firmly rejected all coercive measures of unilateral character with extra-territorial effect as contrary to international law and the commonly accepted rules of free trade and agreed that this type of practice poses a serious threat to multilateralism; recalls that the trade embargo against Cuba, based on the 'Helms-Burton' extra-territorial laws, has been condemned continuously by the General Assembly of the UN; calls on the Council and Commission to raise the matter during the EU-US Summit and to work for the repeal of those provisions, if necessary challenging the US in the WTO;

9.  Reminds all parties concerned that the Cyprus problem is an international problem and should be solved on the basis of the UN Resolutions and International Law, thus securing the reunification of the island under a bizonal, bicommunal federation, demilitarized with no guarantors and interventions, a bridge of peace in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean;

10. Welcomes the new approach of President Obama towards nuclear disarmament and the signing of the new START Treaty April 2010; urges the EU and the US to seek to ensure the revival of negotiated arms control and disarmament at multilateral level within the UN system; reiterates its call to the US:

      -   not to link nuclear disarmament with the unnecessary US/NATO project of missile defence for Europe,

      -   not to compensate nuclear disarmament measures by conventional armament,

      -   to stop the development of new generations of battlefield nuclear weapons,

      -   to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,

      -   to ratify the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction,

      -   to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions,

      -   to abandon its resistance to the Compliance Protocol to the UN Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention,

      -   to contribute to the strengthening of the NPT regime by strictly implementing all NPT obligations, in particular Article 2 thereof,

      -   to give new impetus to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the strengthening of its organisation;

Human rights and fundamental freedoms

11. Expresses strong concern about the violation of data protection of European citizens by international agreements with the US; reiterates its rejection of bulk and passenger data exchange with the United States and with all third countries in general in the so-called fight against terrorism;

12. Underlines the importance of the upcoming negotiations for an agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on protection of personal data;

13. Emphasises that such a framework agreement with the US should function as a minimum standards agreement applicable to all future and, after a pre-determined transitional period, to all existing EU or Member States' personal data transfer and processing agreements with the US for the purpose of preventing, investigating, detecting or prosecuting criminal offences in the framework of judicial and police cooperation, and should be in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and with Directive 95/46/EC;

14. Highlights the need to be fully informed on all international data exchange developments; therefore urges the Commission and the Council to fully clarify the state of play concerning bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding between Member States and the US concerning the exchange of law enforcement data and participation in the US Visa Waiver Programme, as well as the One-Stop Security programme;

15. Is shocked by the revelations about human rights violations during the Iraq war published by Wikileaks; calls on the United States to bring those responsible for the crimes to justice;

16. Calls for an international investigation under UN auspices of all crimes committed during the Iraq war; calls on NATO Member States to immediately withdraw their troops from Iraq;

17. Reiterates the European Union's repeated call on those countries which are not parties to consider the possibility of ratification of or accession to, as applicable, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC);

18. Regrets that President Obama did not keep his promise to shut down the Guantánamo detention centre at the end of 2009 and insists on its immediate closure; calls on the United States to abandon military commissions and bring any Guantánamo detainee it intends to prosecute to trial in an ordinary civilian federal court, in accordance with international fair trial standards; insists that any detainee it does not intend to prosecute should be released immediately; calls on EU Member States to increase their efforts to support President Obama's decision by providing asylum for released former Guantánamo prisoners;

19. Calls on the US Administration to put an end to any practice of extraordinary arrests and renditions; calls on the Council and Commission to address, during their consultations with the US Administration, the situation in the US-administered detention facilities in Afghanistan (Bagram) and to insist on their closure;

20. Demands once again that the United States abolish the death penalty at federal and state levels;

Economic questions

21. Reiterates its position that neither a new Transatlantic Economic Partnership not a free trade area with the United States can be a target for the EU in its relations with the US; takes the view that the EU and the Member States need to preserve their social policies and policies in such matters as public health and the environment, and reinforce their economic relations with other regions of the world;

22. Considers that the US and the EU, as regions which host the most important financial centres of the world, need a responsible approach to tackle the financial and economic crises; stresses the urgent need that regulators on both sides of the Atlantic be granted greater powers to manage the collapse of financial institutions, to ensure that bank shareholders and creditors - not taxpayers - pay the cost of bank failures;

23. Takes the view that the financial sector must go back to its initial function and operate first and foremost in the public interest, accept lower returns and agree to bonus payment systems geared to risk-aversions and long-term targets instead of short-term profits; points out that the financial industry in the industrial countries and especially in the US and in some EU Member States is too big for the good of societies and has to be cut down to a healthier size;

24. Considers that the regulatory structures existing before the economic and monetary crisis in the European Union and the United States lacked coherence and were based mainly on dispersed macroeconomic analyses and that, in the absence of coherence of these regulatory structures at the global level, the states have acted by themselves; urges the EU and the US to emphasize the importance of a surveillance and regulation system to make it compulsory, among other things, to register transactions; calls on the EU and the US to promote the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax;

25. Urges the EU and the US to take the necessary steps to curb the ongoing currency war; takes the view that this race to the bottom across Asia was triggered by the loose US monetary policy that is driving down the US dollar against the euro and all other major currencies; notes that the EU economy is likely to be the main victim of the currency war;

26. Stresses that global economic imbalances that were temporarily eased by the financial crisis are re-emerging and are threatening economic recovery and job creation; takes the view that large export surpluses need to be based on more domestic demand;

27. Considers that, in the light of the intensification of trade exchanges, the EU should make sure that there is no social dumping, given the low level of social rights in the US and the disastrous situation of their national health systems, for example;

28. Considers that consolidation of trade ties with the US, just like any third country, should be conditioned by respect for human rights, including the abolition of the death penalty, the respect for fair trials for prisoners, the banning of all forms of torture and the ratification of and respect for the main international Conventions;

29. Notes the European Commission's strong commitment towards further exploring the issues of Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) in EU-US trade relations; points out that, according to the European Commission's study on NTM's in EU-US Trade and Investment, eliminating or reducing NTM's would generate more income for the EU; insists strongly that tackling regulatory issues relating to NTM's must not be at the expense of consumer protection in the areas of health, finance, quality of life and protection of the environment;

30. Asks the Council and Commission to discuss with their transatlantic partners how to make progress in the matter of developing countries' access to medicines and to oppose vigorously the US initiative to include in all bilateral agreements negotiated with developing countries clauses whereby those countries renounce the use of the provision of the Doha Agreement in TRIPS that allows them to produce and import generic drugs that are needed to tackle major public health problems (AIDS, tuberculosis, etc.);

31. Considers that, since the secretariat of the WTO underlined again at its meeting on 29 September 2010 the negative effect of the US "Farm Bill 2008" for the producers of third countries, this issue should be raised by the EU side during the EU-US Summit;

32. Considers that the right to secure food and a safe environment are at the origin of several commercial conflicts between the EU and the US, such as those over hormone-treated meat and GMO products, and asks the Council and Commission to act in line with and in defence of the applicable EU legislation;

Climate change

33. Takes the view that climate change, alternative energy production and energy efficiency should become priorities on the TEC agenda; encourages the TEC, in this context, to cooperate on energy saving measures taken to combat climate change; calls for closer regulatory cooperation in the field of energy efficiency standards for products;

34. Calls on the US and the EU, as on all international partners, to come up at the Cancún Conference on Climate Change with more ambitious commitments for emission reductions based on the principle of a "common but differentiated responsibility", in order to ensure consistency with the 2°C objective and not to prejudge a 1.5°C temperature limit to have a high probability of safeguarding the survival of all nations, peoples and ecosystems;

35. Takes the view that an international agreement should ensure collective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the developed countries at the high end of the IPCC's 25-40% range for 2020 compared to 1990 levels, as recent scientific data indicates that an emission reduction of at least 40% is required for a 2°C temperature limit to be achieved with only a 50% probability; insists that those reductions should be domestic, keeping in mind that an adequate long-term reduction target should be set for the EU, US and other developed countries of at least 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels;

36. 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.