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EU-USA Summit on Transatlantic Cooperation and Global Issues

The European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) confirmed the progress made in transatlantic relations and committed themselves to further strengthening the strategic partnership. The EU-USA Summit was an opportunity to exchange views on topical regional and security issues; both sides also paid great attention to global challenges, such as climate change and energy security. A Joint Declaration was adopted at the Summit highlighting the most important challenges requiring close cooperation between the European Union and the United States.

At the Summit, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and current President of the European Council, Janez Janša, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, underlined the importance of the strategic transatlantic partnership and expressed their commitment to coordinated cooperation in addressing regional and global issues. Both sides attached particular importance to stepping up economic links.

In a more restricted meeting, the leaders discussed the most topical regional issues, such as the Middle East peace process, the Western Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Iran.

At the plenary session, a wider group of participants exchanged views on important regional issues and global challenges, such as climate change, energy, negotiations within the World Trade Organisation, development, global health and security, free trade and the free movement of persons. The Progress Report of the Transatlantic Economic Council, established at the 2007 EU-USA Summit in Washington, was also presented at the Summit. The Progress Report was presented by the Co-Chairmen of the Council, the European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry and Vice President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen, and the Assistant to the US President for International Economic Affairs, Daniel Price.

The Summit also unanimously adopted a Declaration consisting of four parts:  introduction, regional and security matters, transatlantic partnership and global issues. In the introduction the Declaration stresses the strategic partnership and common values and highlights the major challenges on which the EU and the USA are successfully cooperating (promotion of peace in the world, democracy, human rights, combating terrorism while protecting fundamental rights, prevention of post-conflicts and post-conflict renewal, promotion of open and competitive transatlantic trade, free movement of persons, capital, services and goods, combating climate change and promotion of energy security and energy efficiency). The regional and security issues dealt with in the Declaration involve joint commitments to cooperation in combating international terrorism and protecting peace and human rights. Both sides are committed to security and stability in Kosovo as well as to cooperation aimed at ensuring a smooth transition from the UNMIK mission to EULEX. The European Union welcomes the cooperation of the United States in the EULEX mission.

Within the transatlantic partnership, both sides will continue to make every effort to achieve progress in the field of integrating the EU Member States in the Visa Waiver Programme which facilitates visa-free travel to the USA. They also undertook to sign the Aviation Agreement at the earliest possible opportunity as this Agreement will further liberalise transatlantic air transport. Scientific and technological cooperation on energy and climate change, to which both sides pay the utmost attention, will also be intensified. Both sides advocate reaching, in accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, an agreement by the end of 2009 which will provide an overall, effective and sustainable implementation of the Convention, including post-2012.

At the press conference after the conclusion of the Summit, the current President of the European Council and Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Janez Janša, said that the common goals of the European Union and the United States are providing a safe future, preserving jobs and combating protectionism. He stressed the shared responsibility of the EU and the United States in facing global problems. "We are at the beginning of a new industrial revolution," said Prime Minister Janša, further pointing out that effective solutions for present and future generations need to be found as soon as possible. "History teaches us that we must be ambitious. We must create a strong alliance," he said. The President of the United States, George W. Bush, assessed the cooperation between the United States and the European Union as very important. He too underlined the importance of joint efforts in combating climate change, and added that the United States is more than prepared to participate in a joint strategy. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, highlighted the importance of partnership relations, which are necessitated by the global situation in the area of safety, as well as economics and policy.


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Date: 13.06.2008