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Procedure : 2017/2271(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0251/2018

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Debates :

PV 11/09/2018 - 16
CRE 11/09/2018 - 16

Votes :

PV 12/09/2018 - 6.9
CRE 12/09/2018 - 6.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - Strasbourg
State of EU-US relations

European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-US relations (2017/2271(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the document entitled ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe – A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’, presented by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on 28 June 2016, and to the Joint Communication of the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external action’ (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to the outcomes of the EU-US summits held on 28 November 2011 in Washington, D.C., and on 26 March 2014 in Brussels,

–  having regard to the joint statements of the 79th Interparliamentary Meeting of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) held on 28 and 29 November 2016 in Washington, D.C., the 80th TLD held on 2 and 3 June 2017 in Valletta, the 81st TLD held on 5 December 2017 in Washington, D.C., and the 82nd TLD held on 30 June 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 April 2015 entitled ‘The European Agenda on Security’ (COM(2015)0185),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 April 2016 entitled ‘Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats: a European Union response’ (JOIN(2016)0018),

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission and of the Secretary General of NATO of 8 July 2016 on the common set of proposals endorsed by the EU and NATO Councils on 5 and 6 December 2016, and the progress reports on the implementation thereof of 14 June and 5 December 2017,

–  having regard to the joint EU-NATO Declaration of 2016,

–  having regard to the US National Security Strategy of 18 December 2017 and the US National Defence Strategy of 19 January 2018,

–  having regard to the European Reassurance Initiative,

–  having regard to the EU Climate Diplomacy Action Plan adopted in 2015 by the Foreign Affairs Council,

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21, the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extraterritorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and to the actions based thereon or resulting therefrom(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2018 on the role of EU regions and cities in implementing the COP 21 Paris Agreement on climate change, in particular its paragraph 13(2),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on transatlantic relations, in particular its resolution of 1 June 2006 on improving EU-US relations in the framework of a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement(3), its resolution of 26 March 2009 on the state of transatlantic relations in the aftermath of the US elections(4), its resolution of 17 November 2011 on the EU-US Summit of 28 November 2011(5), and its resolution of 13 June 2013 on the role of the EU in promoting a broader Transatlantic Partnership(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2016 on the European Defence Union(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2017 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2017 on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 February 2018 on the situation of UNRWA(10),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0251/2018),

A.  whereas the EU-US partnership is based on strong political, cultural, economic and historic links, on shared values such as freedom, democracy, promoting peace and stability, human rights and the rule of law, and on common goals, such as prosperity, security, open and integrated economies, social progress and inclusiveness, sustainable development and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and whereas both the US and the EU are democracies under the rule of law with functioning systems of checks and balances; whereas this partnership is facing an important number of challenges and disruptions in the short term, but the long-term fundamentals remain strong and the cooperation between the EU and the US, as like-minded partners, remains crucial;

B.  whereas the EU and the US, building on their strong foundation of common values and shared principles, should explore alternative ways to strengthen the transatlantic relationship and respond effectively to the important challenges we face, by using all available channels of communication; whereas as legislators, the US Congress and the European Parliament play important and influential roles in our democracies and should use the full potential of their cooperation to preserve the democratic, liberal and multilateral order and promote stability and continuity on our continent and in the world;

C.  whereas in a global, complex and increasingly multipolar world, the EU and the US must play leading, key, constructive roles by strengthening and upholding international law, promoting and protecting fundamental rights and principles, and jointly addressing regional conflicts and global challenges;

D.  whereas the EU and the US are facing an era of geopolitical change and have to deal with similar complex threats, both conventional and hybrid, generated by state and non-state actors coming from the South and from the East; whereas cyber-attacks are increasingly common and sophisticated, and cooperation between the EU and the US through NATO can complement the efforts of both parties and protect critical government defence and other information infrastructure; whereas these threats require international cooperation to tackle them;

E.  whereas the EU recognises the US’s continued military support to ensure the security and defence of the EU, and whereas the EU owes gratitude to all Americans who sacrificed their lives to guarantee European security in the conflicts in Kosovo and Bosnia; whereas the EU currently seeks to ensure its own security by building greater strategic autonomy;

F.  whereas the US has decided to cut its peacekeeping budget within the UN by USD 600 million;

G.  whereas a more unpredictable US foreign policy is creating an increasing uncertainty in international relations and could leave some space for the rise of other actors on the global stage, such as China, whose political and economic influence is increasing worldwide; whereas many key countries in Asia, once closer to the US, are shifting towards China;

H.  whereas the EU remains fully committed to multilateralism and the promotion of shared values, including democracy and human rights; whereas the rules-based international order benefits both the US and the EU; whereas, in this regard, it is of the utmost importance that the EU and the US act jointly and in synergy in support of a rules-based order guaranteed by strong, credible and effective supranational organisations and international institutions;

I.  whereas the partnership between the US and Europe has been essential for the global economic, political and security order for over seven decades; whereas the transatlantic relationship faces many challenges and has been increasingly put under pressure on many issues since the election of President Trump;

J.  whereas, as part of the EU’s Global Strategy, climate policy has been integrated into foreign and security policy, and the links between energy and climate, security and development goals and migration, as well as fair and free trade, have been strengthened;

K.  whereas the EU remains fully committed to a rules-based, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system; whereas the WTO is at the core of the global trade system as the only institution that can ensure a genuine level playing field;

L.  whereas both the US and the EU should support the aspirations of the Western Balkans countries to join the transatlantic community; whereas alongside reinforced engagement by the EU, continued US commitment is critical in this respect;

M.  whereas the EU has a growing responsibility to be accountable for its own security, in a strategic environment that has deteriorated dramatically in recent years;

N.  whereas European security is based on the ambition of a common strategic autonomy, as recognised in June 2016 by the 28 Heads of State and Government in the European Union's Global Strategy;

An overarching framework based on shared values

1.  Recalls and insists that the longstanding EU-US partnership and alliance is based and should be based on jointly sharing and promoting together common values including freedom, rule of law, peace, democracy, equality, rules-based multilateralism, market economy, social justice, sustainable development, and respect for human rights, including minority rights, as well as collective security, with peaceful resolution of conflicts as a priority; stresses the importance of strengthening the EU-US relationship, which is one of the main axes of cooperation in a globalised world, so as to achieve these objectives;

2.  Welcomes the meeting between Commission President Juncker and US President Trump in Washington on 25 July 2018 as marking an improvement in bilateral relations; takes note of their statement and of their willingness to work towards a de-escalation of transatlantic tensions in the field of trade; recalls, in this light, the destructive impact of punitive tariffs; reiterates at the same time its support for a broad and comprehensive approach to trade agreements and multilateralism;

3.  Highlights that the EU-US relationship is the fundamental guarantor for global stability and has been the cornerstone of our efforts to ensure peace, prosperity and stability for our societies since the end of the Second World War, as well as the building-up of a multilateral political and economic cooperation and trade system based on rules and values; reaffirms that the EU-US relationship is strategic and genuine and that a strong transatlantic bond is in the interest of both parties and of the world; believes that the current one-sided ‘America first’ policy harms the interests of both the EU and the US, undermines mutual trust and may also have wider implications for global stability and prosperity; recalls the EU's interest in cultivating long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships that are based on shared values and principles which prevail over short‑term transactional gains;

4.  Underlines that the partnership goes far beyond foreign policy and trade issues stricto sensu, and also includes other topics such as (cyber) security, economic, digital and financial issues, climate change, energy, culture, as well as science and technology; stresses that these issues are closely interlinked and should be considered under the same overarching framework;

5.  Is concerned at the approaches taken by the US towards addressing global issues and regional conflicts since the election of President Trump; stresses the importance for the EU of transatlantic relations and of sustained dialogue underlining the significance of the issues bringing the EU and the US together; seeks clarity as to whether our transatlantic relationship, which was defined over decades, still has the same relevance for our American partners; stresses that the values-based overarching framework of our partnership is essential to uphold and further strengthen the architecture of the global economy and security; underlines that the issues that bring the US and the EU together should ultimately carry greater weight than what divides them;

6.  Stresses that, in an international system permanently characterised by instability and uncertainty, Europe has a responsibility to build up its strategic autonomy to face the growing number of common challenges; emphasises, therefore, the need for European countries to retain their ability to decide and act alone to defend their interests; recalls that strategic autonomy is both a legitimate ambition for Europe and a priority objective which must be articulated in the industrial and operational fields and in terms of capability;

Strengthening the partnership

7.  Recalls the high potential and the strategic interest of this partnership for both the US and the EU, in aiming to achieve mutual prosperity and security and to strengthen a rules- and values-based order supporting international institutions and providing them with means to improve global governance; calls for the fostering of our dialogue and engagement on all elements of this partnership and at all levels of cooperation, including with civil society organisations; highlights that our decisions and actions have an impact on the global economy and security architecture and therefore should lead by example and in the interests of both partners;

8.  Underlines the responsibilities of the US as a global power, and calls on the US administration to uphold the shared core values that are at the foundation of transatlantic relations, and to ensure, in all circumstances, respect for international law, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with the UN Charter and the other international instruments signed or ratified by the US;

9.  Underlines that the EU and the US are each other’s most important partners in a multipolar world, and that unilateral moves only weaken the transatlantic partnership, which has to be a partnership of equals that is based on dialogue and aims to re-establish mutual trust;

10.  Regrets the long delay in appointing a new US Ambassador to the European Union but welcomes the fact of the nomination of the new Ambassador and the subsequent confirmation by the US Senate on 29 June 2018;

11.  Strongly criticises the statements by the new US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who stated his ambition to empower nationalistic populists throughout Europe, and recalls that the role of diplomats is not to support individual political forces, but to advance mutual understanding and partnership; regards, furthermore, the statements by officials of the Trump administration expressing contempt for the EU and support for xenophobic and populist forces which seek to destroy the European project, as hostile and incompatible with the spirit of the transatlantic partnership;

12.  Calls on the VP/HR, the Council, the Commission and the Member States to enhance cooperation, coordination, consistency and effectiveness in EU policy towards the US, so as to present the EU as a unified and effective international player with a coherent message;

13.  Recalls that the US is a key partner by reason of the convergence of defence and security interests and strong bilateral relations; calls for an EU-US summit to be held as soon as possible in an effort to overcome current challenges and continue working on issues of mutual, global and regional concern;

14.  Considers the presence of US military forces to be important in European countries, where necessary and in line with the continued fulfilment of agreed commitments;

15.  Insists that a structured and strategic dialogue on foreign policy at transatlantic level, also involving the European Parliament and the US Congress, is key to strengthening the transatlantic architecture, including security cooperation, and calls for an expansion of the foreign policy scope of the EU-US dialogue;

16.  Recalls its suggestion to create a Transatlantic Political Council (TPC) for systematic consultation and coordination on foreign and security policy, which would be led by the VP/HR and the US Secretary of State and would be underpinned by regular contacts of political directors;

17.  Welcomes the ongoing and uninterrupted work of the TLD in fostering EU-US relations through parliamentary dialogue and coordination on issues of common interest; reiterates the importance of people-to-people contact and dialogue in strengthening transatlantic relations; calls, therefore, for the intensified engagement of both the US Senate and House of Representatives and the European Parliament; welcomes the relaunch of the bipartisan Congressional EU Caucus for the 115th Congress, and asks the European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO) and the EU delegation in Washington to liaise more closely with them;

18.  Recalls that both in the EU and the US, our societies are strong, anchored in liberal democracy and the rule of law, and built on a plurality of actors, including among others our governments, parliaments, decentralised bodies and actors, various political institutions, businesses and trade unions, civil society organisations, free and independent media, religious groups, and academic and research communities; highlights that we should foster links across the Atlantic to promote the merits and importance of our transatlantic partnership at different levels and throughout both the EU and the US, not only focusing on the East and West coasts; calls for enhanced and dedicated programmes with appropriate funding to this effect;

19.  Welcomes the invigorating role of relations between European institutions and US federal states and metropolitan areas on the overall transatlantic relationship, particularly in the case of twinning relationships; highlights, in this context, the cooperation existing on the basis of the Under2 MOU; invites US federal states to strengthen their contacts with EU institutions;

20.  Stresses that cultural exchanges through educational programmes are fundamental to promoting and developing common values and to building bridges between the transatlantic partners; calls, therefore, for the reinforcement and multiplication of, and the facilitation of access to, mobility programmes for students between the US and the EU under Erasmus+;

21.  Expresses particular admiration for the way in which American schoolchildren have responded to the many tragedies involving the use of firearms in schools by standing up for stricter gun laws and against the influence which the National Rifle Association exerts on the legislative process;

Facing global challenges together

22.  Insists that the EU and the US should continue to play key constructive roles by jointly addressing regional conflicts and global challenges based on the principles of international law; stresses that the multilateralism to which Europe is deeply attached is increasingly called in question by the attitudes of the US and other world powers; recalls the importance of multilateralism in maintaining peace and stability, as a vehicle for promoting the values of the rule of law and tackling global issues, and insists that these should be addressed in the relevant international forums; is therefore concerned that recent unilateral decisions of the US – disengagement from key international agreements, revoking of certain commitments, undermining international rules, withdrawal from international forums and the fomenting of diplomatic and trade tensions – may diverge from these common values and put strain on and undermine the relationship; calls on the EU to show unity, firmness and proportionality in its responses to such decisions; calls on the EU Member States, therefore, to avoid any action or move aimed at gaining bilateral advantages to the detriment of a coherent common European approach;

23.  Notes that other major world powers, such as Russia and China, have robust political and economic strategies, many of which may go against and put at risk our joint values, international commitments and the transatlantic partnership as such; recalls that such developments make EU-US cooperation all the more essential so that we can continue to uphold open societies and promote and protect our common rights, principles and values, including compliance with international law; calls in this respect for increased EU-US coordination on aligning and setting up a joint sanctions policy in order to increase its effectiveness;

24.  Takes the view that addressing Russia's attempts to pressure, influence, destabilise and exploit the weaknesses and the democratic choices of Western societies requires a joint transatlantic response; believes, therefore, that the US and the EU should give priority to coordinated actions with respect to Russia, with NATO involvement when appropriate; notes with concern in this regard the statements by the US and Russian presidents in the context of their meeting on 16 July 2018 in Helsinki; recalls the clear danger to our democracies posed by fake news, disinformation and notably the malign interference sources; calls for the stipulation of a political and societal dialogue balancing anonymity and responsibility in social media;

25.  Underlines that security is multi-faceted and intertwined and that its definition not only covers military but also environmental, energy, trade, cyber and communications, health, development, accountability, humanitarian, etc. aspects; insists that security issues should be tackled through a broad approach; in this context, regrets with concerns the proposed substantial budget cuts, for example on state building in Afghanistan on development aid in Africa, on humanitarian aid and on contributions to UN programmes, operations and agencies by the US;

26.  Underlines that a transatlantic trade agreement, balanced and mutually beneficial, would have an impact that would go far beyond trade and economic aspects;

27.  States that NATO is still the main guarantor for the collective defence of Europe; Welcomes the reaffirmation of US commitment to NATO and to European security, and underlines that deepening EU-NATO cooperation also reinforces the transatlantic partnership;

28.  Stresses the importance of cooperation, coordination and synergy effects in the field of security and defence; underlines the importance of spending better on defence, and insists in this regard that burden-sharing should not be solely focused on inputs (the target of spending 2 % of GDP on defence) but also on outputs (capabilities measured in deployable, ready and sustainable forces); recalls that this quantified target input, however, reflects a growing sense of responsibility of Europeans for their own security, made indispensable by the deterioration of their strategic environment; welcomes the fact that defence is becoming a higher priority area for the EU and its Member States, which generates more military efficiencies to the benefit of both the EU and NATO, and welcomes in this context the presence of US troops on EU territory; states that NATO is still crucial for the collective defence of Europe and its allies (Article 5 of the Washington Treaty); stresses that NATO's ability to carry out its tasks remains closely dependent on the strength of the transatlantic relationship;

29.  Calls on the EU to strengthen the European Defence Union with a view to building capacities ensuring the strategic relevance of the EU in defence and security, as for example in creating more synergies and efficiencies in defence spending, research, development procurement, maintenance and training between Member States; insists that more defence cooperation at EU level strengthens the European contribution to peace, security and stability, regionally and internationally, and thereby also advances the objectives of the NATO alliance and reinforces our transatlantic bond; supports, therefore, the recent efforts to step up the European defence architecture, including the European Defence Fund and the newly established Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO);

30.  Welcomes the launch of PESCO and supports its first projects, such as military mobility; stresses that PESCO is of common interest to both the EU and NATO and should be a driver for further cooperation between the two organisations in terms of capability development and the consolidation of an EU pillar in NATO, within the context of each national constitution;

31.  Reiterates the need for the EU and the US to enhance their cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and cyber defence, namely through specialised agencies and task forces such as ENISA, Europol, Interpol, future structures of PESCO and EDF, especially countering cyberattacks and jointly advancing efforts to develop a comprehensive and transparent international framework setting up minimum standards for cybersecurity policies, while upholding fundamental liberties; considers it vital that the EU and NATO step up the sharing of intelligence in order to enable the formal attribution of cyberattacks and consequently enable the imposing of restrictive sanctions for those responsible for cyber-attacks; underlines the significance and positive contribution that the US European Reassurance Initiative has for the security of EU Member States;

32.  Underlines that the growing significance of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning requires enhanced EU-US cooperation and that measures should be taken to advance cooperation among US and European tech companies in order to ensure partnering on development and application is best used;

33.  Calls on the US Congress to include the European Parliament in its cyberthreat information-sharing programme with the parliaments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK;

34.  Underlines the need for a common approach to regulating digital platforms and to increasing their accountability in order to discuss the issues of net censorship, copyright and rights of the rightholders, personal data and the notion of net neutrality; reiterates the need to work together to promote an open, interoperable and secure internet, governed by a multi-stakeholder model which promotes human rights, democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression and fosters economic prosperity and innovation, while respecting privacy and guarding against deception, fraud and theft; calls for the deployment of joint efforts to develop norms and regulations and promote the applicability of international law in cyberspace;

35.  Reiterates that net neutrality is enshrined in EU law; regrets the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse net neutrality rules; welcomes the recent vote of the US Senate to reverse this decision; calls on the US Congress to follow the Senate decision in order to maintain an open, safe and secure internet that does not allow discriminatory treatment of internet content;

36.  Stresses the need for proper negotiations regarding standardisation, especially in the context of the increasingly rapid development of technology, especially in the IT area;

37.  Emphasises that an important part of strengthening EU-US counter-terrorism efforts includes the protection of critical infrastructure, including advancing common standards and stimulating compatibility and interoperability, as well as a comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism, also via coordination in regional, multilateral and global forums and cooperation in data exchanges relating to terrorist activities; reiterates the need to support mechanisms such as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and other joint endeavours that can significantly contribute to and make the difference in the fight against terrorism and extremism; reminds both parties that the fight against terrorism must comply with international law and democratic values, fully respecting civil liberties and fundamental human rights;

38.  Expresses its concern over the recent appointment of Gina Haspel as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), given her poor human rights track record, including her complicity in the CIA rendition and secret detention programme;

39.  Is very concerned at the US administration's reported dismantling of the limited restrictions to the drone programme, which increases the risk of civilian casualties and unlawful killings, as well as the lack of transparency around both the US drone programme and the assistance being provided by some EU Member States; calls on the US and EU Member States to ensure that the use of armed drones complies with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and that robust binding standards to govern the provision of all forms of assistance for lethal drone operations are established;

40.  Underlines the need for the EU and the US to fight tax evasion and other financial crimes and ensure transparency;

41.  Encourages further enhanced cooperation regarding the fight against tax evasion, tax avoidance, money laundering and terrorist financing, notably in the framework of the EU-US-TFTP (Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme) agreement, which should be strengthened to include data on financial flows associated with foreign interference or illicit intelligence operations; calls, furthermore, on the EU and the US to cooperate within the OECD in the fight against tax evasion and aggressive tax planning by setting international rules and norms to tackle this global problem; stresses that continued law enforcement cooperation is key to enhancing our common security, and calls on the US to ensure bilateral and multilateral cooperation in this field; deplores the partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, as a result of which supervision of American banks has decreased significantly;

42.  Highlights the persisting weaknesses of the Privacy Shield as regards respect of the fundamental rights of data subjects; welcomes and supports the calls for the US legislator to move towards an omnibus privacy and data protection act; points out that in Europe the protection of personal data is a fundamental right and that the US has no rules comparable with the new General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR);

43.  Recalls the widespread transatlantic solidarity in reaction to the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury, resulting in the expulsion of Russian diplomats by 20 EU Member States, Canada, the US, Norway and 5 EU aspirant states;

44.  Reiterates its concern over the rejection by Congress in March 2017 of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to ‘Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services’, which in practice eliminates broadband privacy rules that would have required Internet service providers to obtain consumers' explicit consent before selling or sharing web browsing data or other private information with advertisers and other companies; considers that this is yet another threat to privacy safeguards in the US;

45.  Recalls that the US remains the only non-EU country in the EU's visa-free list which does not grant visa-free access to citizens of all EU Member States; urges the US to bring the five EU Member States concerned (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania) into the US Visa Waiver Program as soon as possible; recalls that the Commission is legally obliged to adopt a delegated act – temporarily suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of third countries which have not lifted the visa requirement for citizens of certain Member States – within a period of 24 months from the date of publication of the notifications in this regard, which ended on 12 April 2016; calls on the Commission, on the basis of Article 265 TFEU, to adopt the required delegated act;

46.  Stresses that the EU is committed to strengthening democracy, human rights, rule of law, prosperity, stability, resilience and security of its neighbours first-hand through non-military means, notably through the implementation of association agreements; calls on the EU and the US to strengthen their cooperation and better coordinate their actions, project and positions in the EU neighbourhood, both Eastern and Southern; recalls that EU development and humanitarian policies around the world also contribute to global security;

47.  Commends the strategic focus and openness of the US towards the region, and recalls that the Balkans represent a challenge for Europe and for the security of the continent as a whole; therefore invites the US to be involved in further joint efforts in the Western Balkans, in particular on strengthening the rule of law, democracy, freedom of expression and security cooperation; recommends more common actions, such as anti-corruption mechanisms and institution-building, in order to provide more security, stability, resilience and economic prosperity to the countries of the region as well as building a role in resolving longstanding issues; takes the view that the EU and US should initiate a new high-level dialogue on the Western Balkans in order to ensure that policy goals and assistance programmes are in alignment, and, furthermore, take relevant measures;

48.  Calls on the EU and the US to play a more active and effective role in the resolution of the conflict on Ukraine’s territory and to support all efforts for a lasting peaceful solution which respects the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and foresees the return of Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine and to urge and support the reform processes and the economic development in Ukraine, which need to be fully in line with Ukraine's commitments and the recommendations made by international organisations; expresses its deepest disappointment at the further lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements and at the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine; states therefore, that the sanctions against Russia are still needed and that the US should coordinate its efforts with the EU; calls for closer cooperation in this issue between the VP/HR and the US Special Representative on Ukraine;

49.  Recalls also the importance for the EU and the US to seek a solution to the ‘frozen’ conflicts in Georgia and Moldova;

50.  Recalls that the international order is based on respecting international agreements; regrets in this light the decision by the US not to endorse the conclusions of the G7 Summit in Canada; reiterates its commitment to international law and to universal values, and in particular accountability, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful resolution of disputes; underlines that the consistency of our nuclear non-proliferation strategy is key for our credibility as a key global player and negotiator; calls on the EU and the US to cooperate in facilitating nuclear disarmament and effective measures for nuclear risk reduction;

51.  Stresses that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran is a significant multilateral agreement and a notable diplomatic achievement for multilateral diplomacy and EU diplomacy to promote stability in the region; recalls that the EU is determined to do its utmost to preserve the JCPOA with Iran as a key pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture, with relevance also for the North Korean question, and as a crucial element for the security and stability of the region; reiterates the need to address more critically Iranian activities related to ballistic missiles and regional stability, especially Iran´s involvement in various conflicts in the region, and the situation of human rights and minority rights in Iran that are separate from the JCPOA, in the relevant formats and forums; stresses that transatlantic cooperation in addressing these issues is key; underlines that, according to the multiple reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is fulfilling its commitments under the JCPOA; criticises strongly President Trump's decision to leave the JCPOA unilaterally and to impose extraterritorial measures on EU companies which are active in Iran; stresses that the EU is determined to protect its interests and those of its companies and investors in the face of the extraterritorial effect of US sanctions; welcomes, in this context, the decision to activate the ‘blocking regulation’ aimed at protecting EU trade interests in Iran from the impact of US extraterritorial sanctions, and calls on the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service to take any further measures deemed necessary to safeguard the JCPOA;

52.  Is concerned about US security and trade policy in East and Southeast Asia, including the political vacuum resulting from the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); reiterates the importance of constructive engagement on the part of the EU in East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, and welcomes in that context the active trade policy of the EU in that part of the world and the security-related EU initiatives, in particular as expressed in the Council conclusions on enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia, also for the sake of political and economic balance;

53.  Welcomes the opening of new high-level dialogues with North Korea (DPRK) and the recent summit in Singapore of 12 June 2018, recalls that these talks, which have yet to show any tangible and verifiable results, aim at a peaceful resolution of the tensions and thus at promoting regional and global peace, security and stability; underlines that, at the same time, the international community, including the EU and the US, must maintain pressure on DPRK until it credibly denuclearises by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and permitting the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) and the IAEA to document its denuclearisation; expresses its concern over the insufficient progress towards denuclearisation made by DPRK, which on 24 August 2018 led President Trump to cancel the planned talks in DPRK with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo;

54.  Reminds the US that it still has not ratified the CTBT, despite being an Annex II state whose signature is necessary for the treaty’s entry into force; repeats the call made by the VP/HR urging world leaders to ratify that treaty; encourages the US to ratify the CTBT as soon as possible and to support the CTBTO further by persuading the remaining Annex II states to ratify the Treaty;

55.  Insists on the upholding of international maritime law, including in the South China sea; in this regard, invites the US to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);

56.  Calls for enhanced cooperation between the EU and the US for the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts and the proxy war in Syria, as the lack of a common strategy undermines the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and calls on all parties and regional actors involved in the conflict to refrain from violence and any other actions that might aggravate the situation; reaffirms the primacy of the UN-led Geneva process in the resolution of the Syrian conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, negotiated by the parties to the conflict and with the support of key international and regional actors; calls for the full implementation and respect of the UN Security Council resolutions which are being violated by the countries party to the Astana negotiations; calls for joint efforts to guarantee full humanitarian access to those in need and for the independent, impartial, thorough and credible investigation and prosecution of those responsible; also calls for support for, inter alia, the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) on international crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2012;

57.  Recalls that the EU supports the resumption of a meaningful Middle East Peace Process towards a two-state solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with a secure state of Israel and its other neighbours, and insists that any action that would undermine these efforts must be avoided; deeply regrets, in this regard, the unilateral decision of the US government to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to formally recognise the city as Israel's capital; underlines that the question of Jerusalem must be part of a final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians; stresses that the joint roadmap should be strengthened, and emphasises the need for the US to coordinate with its European partners in its peace efforts in the Middle East;

58.  Commends UNRWA and its dedicated staff for their remarkable and indispensable humanitarian and development work for Palestinian refugees (in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), which is vital to the security and stability of the region; deeply regrets the decision of the US administration to cut its funding to UNRWA, demands that the US reconsider this decision; underlines the consistent support of the European Parliament and the European Union for the Agency and encourages EU Member States to provide additional funding to guarantee the sustainability of UNRWA activities in the long run;

59.  Encourages further cooperation between EU and US programmes globally, promoting democracy, media freedoms, free and fair elections and the upholding of human rights, including rights of refugees and migrants, women, racial and religious minorities; stresses the importance of the values of good governance, accountability, transparency, and rule of law that underpin the defence of human rights; reiterates the EU’s strong and principled position against the death penalty and in favour of a universal moratorium on capital punishment with a view to its global abolition; underlines the need for cooperation in crisis prevention and peacebuilding, as well as in responding to humanitarian emergencies;

60.  Reiterates that the EU and the US have common interests in Africa, where both must coordinate and intensify their support, at local, regional and multinational levels, for good governance, democracy, human rights, sustainable social development, environmental protection, migration management, economic governance and security issues, as well as peaceful resolution of regional conflicts, fighting corruption, illegal financial transactions as well as violence and terrorism; takes the view that better EU/US coordination, including through enhanced political dialogue and devising joint strategies on Africa while duly taking into account the views of regional organisations and sub-regional groupings, would lead to more effective action and use of resources;

61.  Stresses the importance of the common political, economic and security interests of the EU and the US, with regard to the economic policies of countries such as China and Russia, and recalls that joint efforts, including at WTO level, could be helpful to address issues such as the current imbalances in global trade and the situation in Ukraine; calls on the US administration to refrain from further blocking the nomination of the judges on the WTO appellate body; emphasises the need to cooperate more closely in dealing with China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy, including by developing cooperation in this regard between the EU and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) between the US, India, Japan, and Australia;

62.  Points to the need for better cooperation on Arctic policy, particularly in the context of the Arctic Council, especially as with climate change new navigation routes may open up and natural resources may become available;

63.  Insists that migration is a global phenomenon and should therefore be addressed through cooperation, partnership and protection of human rights and security, but also by managing migration routes and pursuing a global approach at UN level based on respect for international law, notably the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocol; welcomes the efforts made so far in the UN to achieve a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration as well as a global compact on refugees, and regrets the US decision of December 2017 to withdraw from the discussions; calls for a joint policy to fight the root causes of migration;

64.  Advocates enhanced EU-US cooperation on energy issues, including renewable energies, building on the framework of the EU-US Energy Council; therefore renews its call for the meetings to continue; calls, furthermore, for more cooperation on energy research and new technologies, as well as closer cooperation to protect energy infrastructure against cyber-attacks; insists on the need to work together on the security of energy supplies and stresses that further clarification is necessary on how Ukraine’s transit role will continue;

65.  Stresses its concern regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its potentially divisive role in relation to the energy security and solidary of Member States, and welcomes US support for ensuring energy security in Europe;

66.  Regrets the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, but praises the continued efforts of individuals, companies, cities and states within the US that are still working towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement and fighting climate change, and highlights the need for a further engagement of the EU with these actors; takes note that climate change is no longer part of the US National Security Strategy; reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and to the UN Agenda 2030, and stresses the need to implement them in order to ensure global security and develop a more sustainable economy and society, recalls that a shift towards a green economy entails many opportunities for jobs and growth;

67.  Encourages further cooperation in innovation, science and technology, and calls for the renewal of the US-EU Science and Technology Agreement;

Defending a rules-based trading order in troubled times

68.  Notes that the US was the largest market for EU exports and the second largest source of EU imports in 2017; notes that there are differences in the trade deficits and surpluses between the EU and the US for trade in goods, trade in services, digital trade and foreign direct investment; emphasises that the EU-US trade and investment relationship – being the largest in the world and one which has always been based on shared values – is one of the most important drivers of global economic growth, trade and prosperity; notes further that the EU has a USD 147 billion surplus in goods with the US; notes that EU businesses employ 4.3 million workers in the US;

69.  Stresses that the EU and US are two key players in a globalised world that is evolving with unprecedented speed and intensity, and that given the shared challenges, the EU and the US have a common interest in collaborating and coordinating on trade policy matters to shape the future multilateral trading system and global standards;

70.  Points to the central role the WTO plays within the multilateral system, as the best option for guaranteeing an open, fair and rules-based system which takes account of and balances the many varying interests of its members; reiterates its support for further strengthening the multilateral trading system; supports the work undertaken by the Commission to further work with the US on a positive common response to the current institutional and systemic challenges;

71.  Stresses the role of the WTO in settling trade-related disputes; calls on all WTO members to ensure the proper functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system; regrets in this regard the United States’ blocking of new nominations to fill the vacancies the Appellate Body, which threatens the very functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system; calls on the Commission and all WTO members to explore ways to overcome this impasse on renewing judges at the WTO Appellate Body, and, if necessary by reforming the dispute settlement system; considers that such reforms could aim at ensuring the highest possible level of efficiency and independence of the system, while remaining consistent with the values and the general approach that the EU has constantly defended since the creation of the WTO, notably the promotion of free and fair trade on a global basis under the rule of law and the need for all WTO members to comply with all WTO obligations;

72.  Welcomes, while regretting the lack of results at the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), the signature of the joint statement on the elimination of unfair market-distorting and protectionist practices by the US, the EU and Japan, which was also highlighted in the G20 statement of July 2017; calls for further cooperation with the US and Japan on this matter to address unfair trading practices such as discrimination, limiting market access, dumping and subsidies;

73.  Calls on the Commission to establish a work plan with the US and other WTO members on the elimination of distorting subsidies in the cotton sector and the fisheries sector (relating in particular to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing); calls for cooperation in advancing the multilateral agenda on new issues such as e-commerce, digital trade, including digital development, investment facilitation, trade and the environment and trade and gender, and in promoting specific policies to facilitate the participation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the global economy;

74.  Calls for the EU and the US to promote cooperation at international level in order to strengthen international agreements in the field of public procurement, notably the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA);

75.  Calls on the Commission to enter into dialogue with the United States with a view to resuming negotiations on the plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA);

76.  Calls for the EU and the US to pool resources to fight unfair trade policies and practices, while respecting multilateral rules and the dispute settlement process in the WTO and avoiding unilateral actions as they are harmful for all global value chains in which EU and US companies operate; deeply regrets the uncertainty in the international trading system caused by the US’s employment of instruments and policy tools (e.g. Section 232 from 1962 and Section 301 from 1974) that were created before the creation of the WTO and its dispute settlement system; notes in this regard that the US decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs under Section 232 cannot be justified on the grounds of national security, and calls on the US to grant the EU and other allies a full and permanent exemption from the measures; calls on the Commission to respond firmly should these tariffs be used as a way to curb EU exports; also stresses that any sanctions that may be taken by the US in the form of counter-measures on European goods following the publication of the Compliance Appellate Body report in the framework of the US complaint against the EU on measures affecting trade in large civil aircraft would not be legitimate, as 204 of the 218 claims put forward by the US were rejected by the WTO and a further report on the related case against US illegal subsidies is still expected;

77.  Takes note of the continuing bilateral cooperation between the EU and the US on a wide range of regulatory issues, as evidenced by the recently concluded bilateral agreement on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance or the mutual agreement on recognition of inspections of medicine manufacturers; calls on the Commission and the Council to fully respect the role of the European Parliament in this process;

78.  Stresses the crucial importance of intellectual property to the EU and US economies; calls on both parties to support research and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic, guaranteeing high levels of intellectual property protection and ensuring that those who create high-quality innovative products can continue to do so;

79.  Calls for the EU and the US to improve market access for SMEs exporting to the US and to the EU, by means of increasing transparency on existing rules and market openings on both sides of the Atlantic, for instance through an SME portal;

80.  Highlights the importance of the US market to EU SMEs; calls for the EU and the US to address the disproportionate effect that tariffs, non-tariff barriers and technical barriers to trade have on SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic, covering not only a reduction in tariffs but a simplification of customs procedures and, potentially, new mechanisms aimed at helping SMEs to exchange experience and best practices in buying and selling on the EU and US markets;

81.  Calls for the EU and the US, in the framework of their bilateral cooperation, to refrain from tax competition with each other, as this will only lead to a decrease in investment in both economies;

82.  Calls for the EU and the US to agree on a framework for digital trade which respects each side’s existing legal frameworks and agreements, data protection legislation and data privacy rules, which is of particular relevance to the services sector; stresses, in this regard, that the EU and the US should work together in order to encourage third countries to adopt high data protection standards;

83.  Appeals to the EU and the US to scale up cooperation on climate change; calls for the EU and the US to make use of current and future trade negotiations at all levels to ensure the application of internationally agreed standards such as the Paris Agreement, to promote trade in environmentally sound goods, including technology, and to ensure global energy transition, with a clear and coordinated international trade agenda, both to protect the environment and to create opportunities for jobs and growth;

84.  Believes that a potential new agreement on EU-US trade and investment relations cannot be negotiated under pressure nor under threat, and that only a broad, ambitious, balanced and comprehensive agreement covering all trade areas would be in the interest of the EU; notes, in this regard, that the establishment of a possible specific and permanent regulatory and consultation cooperation mechanism could be advantageous; calls on the Commission to resume negotiations with the US under the right circumstances;

85.  Highlights that trade flows increasingly require new, faster, and more secure ways of moving goods and services across borders; calls for the EU and the US, as key trading partners, to collaborate on trade-related digital technology solutions to facilitate trade;

86.  Recalls the importance of the existing EU-US dialogue and cooperation on science and technology; recognises the role of EU-US endeavours in the field of research and innovation as key drivers of knowledge and economic growth, and supports the continuation and expansion of the EU-US Science and Technology Agreement beyond 2018, with a view to fostering research, innovation and new emerging technologies, protecting intellectual property rights, and creating more and better jobs, sustainable trade and inclusive growth;

87.  Shares the US’s concerns about global steel overcapacity; regrets, at the same time, that unilateral, WTO-incompatible measures will only undermine the integrity of a rules-based trading order; underlines that even a permanent EU exemption from US tariffs cannot legitimise this course of action; calls on the Commission to cooperate with the US in strengthening the efforts to fight steel overcapacity within the framework of the G20 Global Forum, in order to exploit the huge potential of multilateral action; reiterates its conviction that joint and concerted actions within the rules-based trading systems are the best way to solve such global problems;

88.  Reasserts the importance for the EU and the US of addressing, in a coordinated and constructive manner, the necessary modernisation of the WTO, with a view to making it more effective, transparent and accountable, as well as ensuring that, in the process of elaborating international trade rules and policies the gender, social, environmental and human rights dimensions are adequately integrated;

89.  Points out that the EU stands for an undistorted market economy, as well as open values and rule-based and fair trade; reiterates its support for the Commission strategy in response to the current trade policy of the United States while complying with the rules of the multilateral trading system; calls for unity among all EU Member States, and calls on the Commission to develop a common approach in addressing this situation; stresses the importance of preserving the unity of EU Member States in this respect, as joint EU actions in the framework of the common commercial policy (CCP) and the EU customs union at international level, as well as bilaterally with the US, have proven to be far more effective than any initiative undertaken by individual Member States; reiterates that the EU stands ready to work with the United States on trade-related issues of mutual concern within the rules of the multilateral trading system;

90.  Regrets President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the JCPOA and the effect this decision will have on EU companies doing business in Iran; supports all EU efforts aimed at preserving the interests of EU companies investing in Iran, in particular the Commission’s decision to activate the Blocking Statute, which demonstrates the EU’s commitment to the JCPOA; believes that the same statute could be used wherever it is appropriate;

91.  Calls for the EU and the US to reinforce cooperation and efforts to implement and expand due diligence schemes for enterprises in order to reinforce the protection of human rights internationally, including in the area of trade in minerals and metals from conflict-affected areas;

92.  Deplores the US’s disengagement from the protection of the environment; regrets, in this respect, President Trump’s decision, when the US is the largest importer of elephant hunting trophies, to lift the ban on imports of such trophies from certain African countries, including Zimbabwe and Zambia;

93.  Calls for the EU and the US to continue and strengthen transatlantic parliamentary cooperation, which should lead to an enhanced and broader political framework to improve trade and investment links between the EU and the US;

94.  Expresses its concern that the US and China might reach an agreement that is not fully compatible with the WTO, which could also undermine our interests and cast a pall over transatlantic trade relations; stresses, therefore, the need for a more global agreement with our principal trading partners, given our shared interests worldwide;

o   o

95.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the EEAS, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the accession and candidate countries, the US President, the US Senate and House of Representatives.

(1) OJ L 309, 29.11.1996, p. 1.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0068.
(3) OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 226.
(4) OJ C 117 E, 6.5.2010, p. 198.
(5) OJ C 153 E, 31.5.2013, p. 124.
(6) OJ C 65, 19.2.2016, p. 120.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0435.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0493.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0492.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0042.

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