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Thursday, 11 November 2010 - Brussels
Upcoming EU-US summit and Transatlantic Economic Council

European Parliament resolution of 11 November 2010 on the forthcoming EU-US Summit and the Transatlantic Economic Council

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 March 2009 on the state of transatlantic relations in the aftermath of the US elections(1),

–  having regard to its resolutions on the Transatlantic Economic Council and to its resolution of 22 October 2009 on the upcoming EU-US Summit and the Transatlantic Economic Council meeting(2),

–  having regard to the outcome of the EU-US Summit held in Washington on 3 November 2009,

–  having regard to the progress report adopted at the fourth meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council on 27 October 2009, to the Joint Statement adopted at the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD) and to the meetings held in New York from 4 to 9 December 2009 and in Madrid from 4 to 6 June 2010,

–  having regard to the EU-US Joint Statement on ‘Enhancing transatlantic cooperation in the area of Justice, Freedom and Security’ of 28 October 2009,

–  having regard to the EU-US Joint Declaration on Counterterrorism of 3 June 2010,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the G20 Summits held in Toronto on 26-27 June 2010 and in Seoul from 21 to 23 October 2010,

–  having regard to the UN High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals of 20-22 September 2010 and the conclusions thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the transatlantic relationship is unique and broad in scope, including a mutual commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights, fighting terrorism, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; noting, in the light of their shared interests and values, the need for the EU and US to listen to each other and the readiness of the European Parliament to listen to the US President and the US Congress,

B.  whereas the European Union and the United States work together around the world to advance a common agenda based on shared history, culture, interests and values, and whereas EU-US relations must play a pivotal role in ensuring that global issues and new challenges are tackled in the framework of international law and existing multilateral institutions, in particular the UN, the OSCE and NATO,

C.  whereas together the two transatlantic partners account for half the global economy, with their US$4.28 trillion partnership the largest, most integrated and longest lasting economic relationship in the world and a key driver of global economic prosperity; whereas the strength of and commitment to the transatlantic relationship are of even greater relevance given the current global financial and economic crisis; whereas co-ordinated monetary policies should take a higher priority in the transatlantic partnership,

D.  whereas the two partners are committed to cooperating in order to promote growth and jobs in their economies, and whereas the European Parliament continues to advocate the completion of a transatlantic market by 2015, based on the principle of a social market economy, the realisation of which – alongside the completion of the EU's own single market – will be a core factor in re-launching global economic growth and recovery,

E.  whereas the developing countries have contributed least to the impact of climate change ascribable to human activity, but are facing its most severe consequences; and whereas the negative externalities of climate change are placing international poverty-reduction investment at risk, thus threatening the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); noting also the need for a continued dialogue on the initiative for transatlantic partnership for development,

EU-US Summit

1.  Insists on the importance of the EU and the US Administration stepping up their strategic dialogue, cooperation and coordination when dealing with global challenges and regional conflicts;

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

3.  Regards it as essential that at the EU-US Summit both partners should take a leading role on the implementation of the G20 commitments;

4.  Underlines the importance of EU-US cooperation in agreeing on concrete deliverables in order that an international agreement can finally be reached at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-16) in Cancun, on the basis of scientific evidence and including adequate international assistance with the financing of climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries;

5.  Welcomes the new approach taken by the US Administration towards Israel and calls for a re-invigorated Euro-American partnership to address the Israel-Palestinian conflict; welcomes, in this context, the launch of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as announced in Washington on 2 September 2010; points out that further negotiations are needed that will lead, within an agreed time frame, to a two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security; emphasises that a comprehensive peace, which is in the fundamental interests of all the parties in the region and of the EU, must be achieved on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, including land for peace, the Roadmap and the agreements previously reached by the parties, and emphasises that the active engagement of the Middle East Quartet in the peace process is needed, recognising the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the continuing cooperation with the Arab partners; urges the Israeli Government to renew the moratorium on settlement building; calls for a more active European engagement vis-à-vis Syria and Lebanon;

6.  Emphasises that the uncertainties about the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme are endangering the non-proliferation system and stability in the region and the world; expresses its disappointment at the continuing refusal by Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by obstructing the IAEA's work, denying it access to key nuclear facilities and vetoing the appointment of inspectors; calls on the Iranian leadership to ensure that Iran meets its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty; calls on Teheran to ratify and implement the Additional Protocol on the Safeguards Agreement and calls on the US and the EU to coordinate their foreign policies in order to achieve this objective;

7.  Calls for improved cooperation between the EU and the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the aim of contributing to peace and stability, democracy, human rights and development in the region; stresses the importance of the participation of neighbouring countries and other key actors in the region in this process, which can make a major contribution to regional stabilisation;

8.  Although aware that the leaking of classified military documents runs the risk of endangering military personnel, is highly concerned at the recent serious allegations that torture has been condoned in Iraq; calls for this issue to be raised at the EU-US summit with a view to an independent transatlantic inquiry;

9.  Strongly urges the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to honour its commitments in the context of the Six-Party Talks, including the complete and verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes; calls on the DPRK fully to meet all its relevant nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament obligations; reaffirms its strong support for the Six-Party Talks and remains determined to achieve a satisfactory and comprehensive resolution of the issues involved by diplomatic means;

10.  Welcomes the outcome of the Nuclear Security Summit of April 2010, which highlighted the global importance of preventing nuclear terrorism and securing all vulnerable nuclear materials in four years and agreeing on a work plan for improving and universalising existing nuclear security agreements and programmes; supports the initiatives taken by individual countries to improve security at home and encourages other states to join in this process;

11.  Emphasises the importance of NATO as the cornerstone of transatlantic security and calls for strategic cooperation between the US and the EU Member States in order to address global security challenges; takes note of the work that has been done to reach agreement on a new Strategic Concept; considers that relevant developments in this wider security structure should also be addressed in dialogue with Russia and the non-EU OSCE Member States; underlines the importance of the CSDP and the value of an enhanced European defence capability in strengthening transatlantic security;

12.  Notes the growing number of diverse challenges which are emerging as common to both the EU and US; urges the partners to initiate an overarching joint process under which all transatlantic policy measures would be evaluated and developed in order to produce one coherent and wide-ranging strategy to address these issues effectively;

13.  Emphasises the importance of a fair and democratic referendum on the independence of South Sudan for the stability of the region; urges the EU and US to work closely with the Sudanese authorities to ensure that the January 2011 referendum on the future of Sudan is peaceful, fair and transparent;

14.  Welcomes the signing of the New START Treaty by US President Barack Obama and the Russian President Dimitri Medvedev on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and looks forward to its speedy ratification by both parties;

15.  Recognises the overlapping commercial and political interests of the EU and the USA in Latin America, where the EU has strategic partnerships with Mexico and Brazil, has free trade agreements with Chile and Mexico and is negotiating such an agreement with Colombia;

Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) meeting and strengthening of the TEC

16.  Is convinced that the TEC constitutes the most appropriate mechanism for managing the transatlantic economic relationship; urges the partners to use the full potential of the TEC in order to overcome the existing barriers to economic integration and to achieve a transatlantic market by 2015, based on the principle of a social market economy, which will be a positive response to the current economic and social crises;

17.  Urges the TEC to be more strategic in order to address the concerns of all stakeholders; reiterates its call for the timely distribution of schedules of TEC meetings, agendas, roadmaps and progress reports, which should be available for stakeholders well ahead of meetings and then made public, in order to increase transparency;

18.  Welcomes the fact that the TEC is advised by a range of stakeholders, including representatives of business, and calls once again 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 for the heads of the Transatlantic Labour Dialogue and the Transatlantic Energy Dialogue to be included in the Group of Advisers;

19.  Calls on the Commission to pursue, in the light of the forthcoming TEC meeting, 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, to insist on the mutual recognition of legal units of measurement, in particular acceptance of metric-only labelling of EU products in the US, to explore standardisation with US authorities, to establish round tables on standards, focusing on innovative solutions, and to coordinate internationally; believes that the Innovation Action Partnership should look beyond IP enforcement and address strategic dialogue about competition policy, technology transfer and convergence of standards;

20.  Considers it of the utmost importance to engage in a dialogue in the TEC on novel foods and the use of new technologies in food production; emphasises concerns regarding cloning in animal breeding;

21.  Calls for cooperation within the TEC on all matters affecting the regulatory environment for industries, especially SMEs, and for the approach taken in the EU ‘Small Business Act’ – thinking small first – to be followed when considering legislation with a transatlantic impact;

22.  Welcomes the signing of the second-stage ‘Open Skies’ EU-US aviation agreement in June 2010 as a cornerstone of effective cooperation, and the conclusion of the most recent International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreement of 8 October 2010 as an important step forward for the transatlantic aviation market; calls on the US authorities and the Commission, however, to work towards greater freedom of investment and ownership of air carriers across the Atlantic irrespective of foreign citizenship;

23.  Notes that the EU and the US face similar challenges as the world's largest producers, exporters and importers of agricultural products, and play an important role in ensuring food security in the world; calls for greater cooperation between the European Parliament and the US Congress on the parallel process of reform of their respective agricultural policies;

24.  Emphasises the importance of also using the TEC as a framework for macroeconomic cooperation between the partners, in the light of their unprecedented cooperation during the crisis, and encourages the competent monetary institutions to strengthen their coordination, especially in the area of supervision and systemic risk prevention; recognises the major role played by the EU and US in world financial institutions, including the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements;

The role of the TLD in the TEC

25.  Calls once again on EU and US leaders, and the co-chairs of the TEC, to take account of the crucial role of legislators for the success of the TEC; urges them to involve the representatives of the TLD fully and directly in the TEC, as legislators share with their respective executive branches responsibility for the enactment and oversight of many TEC decisions;

26.  Believes that it is essential to ensure that key members of Congress and of the European Parliament are brought into the Legislators' Dialogue and the TEC process, in order to make sure that legislation has no unintended consequences for transatlantic trade and investment; hopes that the current TLD can gradually be upgraded to a transatlantic inter-parliamentary assembly, following recommendations made by Parliament in its above-mentioned resolution of 26 March 2009;

Bilateral and international trade

27.  Is resolved to continue calling on the US legislature – and urges the Commission to do likewise within the TEC – to reconsider the 100% container scanning obligation, and to develop cooperation with the US based on risk management, including mutual recognition of the EU and US Trade Partnership Programmes, in accordance with the World Customs Organisation's SAFE Framework of Standards;

28.  Emphasises the urgent need to conclude the Doha Development Round as soon as possible; calls for a common approach, involving emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil, to the development of multilateral trade rules and negotiations;

29.  Is convinced that the TEC can play an important role in fostering a common approach by the EU and the US to their trade relations with third countries, at the same time addressing market access concerns;


30.  Recalls that the international undertakings given regarding the MDGs, the achievement of many of which is lagging behind schedule, can only be honoured if the industrialised countries maintain their commitments and set aside 0,7% of their GDP for overseas development aid by 2015; calls, therefore, on the EU and the US, and on other international donors, to honour their commitments and to take measures to speed up progress towards meeting the MDG targets by 2015;

Economic and financial crises

31.  Recalls that the Basel II Agreement, and its forthcoming revised version, is meant to be a global standard and urges the US speedily to implement Basel II; is therefore very much concerned that limitations laid down in various national laws adopted in response to the crisis (in particular in the US Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, limiting recognition of external ratings) would result in serious fragmentation in the application of this global standard; notes, further, that consistent global accounting rules are essential for a level playing field and calls on the US to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS);

32.  Notes that the crisis was the worst global recession since the Great Depression, and that in response governments from around the world, especially in the EU and US, have cooperated in an unprecedented way to reform financial markets and institutions; urges the EU-US Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue (FMRD), in its role of coordinating approaches between regulators, to identify gaps and work on improving convergence;

33.  Considers that the economic and financial governance structures in place at the onset of the crisis, whether at global level, in the US or in the European Union, have not provided enough stability for the global financial system; believes that in the light of increasing economic and financial market interdependence cooperation on macroeconomic policies and surveillance of the major economies needs to be strengthened; acknowledges, further, that the EU must address the issue of its representation in the IMF;

34.  Calls on the European Union and the United States to work with China towards settling the global dispute on foreign exchange rates without implementing protectionist or retaliatory measures; considers that the EU Member States are subject to different market pressures as compared to the US, especially in respect of sovereign bonds and the existence of a monetary union; calls on the United States, in implementing its domestic monetary policies, not to exacerbate the problem of the global balance of exchange rates;

35.  Notes that both the Frank-Dodd Bill and the programme of regulatory reform in the EU are consistent with the G20 initiatives, and considers it important for this cooperation to continue throughout the rulemaking process; notes that this is particularly evident in legislation on OTC derivatives markets; emphasises that many of the divergences are caused by differences in the nature of the legislatures and the roles of supervisors in rulemaking;

Energy, environment, transport, industry, research and science

36.  Welcomes the creation of the EU-US Energy Council to provide a new framework for deepening the transatlantic dialogue on strategic energy issues, such as security of supply or policies to move towards low-carbon energy sources, whilst strengthening ongoing scientific cooperation on energy technologies; welcomes the initialling of a new Energy Star EU-US Agreement on the coordination of energy-efficient labelling programmes for office equipment and cooperation on the development of energy technologies;

37.  Encourages the TEC to develop cooperation towards a common external energy and raw materials strategy which supports diversification of sources, supply routes and infrastructure and promotes an energy-efficient economy, in order to increase security of energy supply and enhance energy independence; encourages the TEC, further, to help seek convergent sustainability criteria for the energy mix and to step up research and development, including in the area of biofuels; regards an appropriate raw materials and rare earths policy aiming to decrease dependency on such materials as essential;

38.  Notes that climate change is a global challenge to which there is no single political and technological solution, but that the combination of existing opportunities and a dramatic increase in efficiency in all areas of the economy and society in developed and developing countries would contribute to resolving the problem of resources and distribution and pave the way for a third industrial revolution;

39.  Urges the EU Presidency to look for an ambitious US commitment at the forthcoming Cancun summit and for US cooperation in promoting links between the EU ETS and regional or federal trading schemes in the US; notes, in this respect, the importance of ensuring common standards and benchmarks in all emerging ETS markets so as to avoid unnecessary regulatory hurdles in this emerging market;

40.  Calls on the US to allow the full and effective implementation of the first-stage EU-US aviation agreement and of the EU-US aviation safety agreement; 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;

41.  Urges the TEC to stimulate cooperation in the field of research with a view to exploiting more effectively the potential of the recently extended EU-US Science and Technology Agreement, notably by extending a coordinated approach in areas of mutual strategic interest and by stepping up cooperation in energy research;

Intellectual property and consumer protection

42.  Emphasises the importance of close transatlantic cooperation on the digital agenda, such as the digital market, internet freedom in the world, net neutrality, the right of privacy, common standards, transparency and the rule of law in relation to ACTA;

43.  Considers it essential to develop a joint EU-US action strategy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights which aims to fight the soaring global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods; calls for the creation of a transatlantic task force to combat counterfeiting as a much-needed sign of political determination to tackle illegal activities which erode the competitiveness of innovative and creative industries, whilst respecting civil liberties, freedom of expression, privacy and due process;

Judicial and police cooperation, visas

44.  Insists that the EU must negotiate as a single entity on admission to the US visa waiver programme, to ensure that the four Member States – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – outside the visa waiver programme do not conclude bilateral agreements with the US to gain visa waiver status; reiterates that the Commission must continue to raise with the US at political and technical level the issue of the importance attached by the EU to the admission of the four remaining EU Member States to the visa waiver programme as soon as possible;

45.  Underlines the spirit of cooperation between the EU and US in the fight against global terrorism and urges the EU and US to continue to work cooperatively in order to further counter the renewed threat from terrorism; reiterates its determination in this field and its firm belief in the need to ensure that security measures do not undermine the protection of civil liberties and fundamental rights and 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;

46.  Welcomes the fact that the EU-US agreement on banking data transfers reflects the willingness of the US to respond positively to the data protection demands made by the European Parliament in the SWIFT report;

47.  Calls on the Council to agree swiftly on an ambitious negotiating mandate for a EU-US data protection agreement; urges the Union's negotiator to move the negotiations forward in order to ensure full protection of fundamental rights; supports the Commission's approach to have such a framework agreement apply to all future and all existing EU or Member State personal data transfer and processing agreements with the US, in the framework of judicial and police cooperation;

48.  Calls on both the US and the EU to limit data collection and processing to the absolute minimum genuinely necessary to meet security objectives, so as to minimise threats to freedom and civil liberties, and urges that data transfer demands, as well as other justice and home affairs arrangements, should generally be dealt with in a multilateral US-EU framework, rather than being pursued bilaterally with an individual Member State;

49.  Stresses its serious concerns about the so-called Travel Promotion Act, and its discriminatory impact in applying only to travellers under the US visa waiver programme, and about data protection concerns stemming from the fact that fees can only be paid using one of the four major credit cards, whose companies are all based inside the US; calls for the issue of the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) fee to be raised at the next EU-US JHA Ministerial Meeting in December;

50.  In view of recent developments on both sides of the Atlantic which pose challenges to harmonious, diverse societies, calls for an open dialogue between our governments and societies on how we can all strive for greater tolerance and respect for diversity in our respective communities, within the context of universal respect for fundamental human rights;

o   o

51.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the US Congress, the co-chairs of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue and the co-chairs and secretariat of the Transatlantic Economic Council.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0193.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2009)0058.

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