U.S. – European Union Summit

U.S. – European Union Summit


President Van Rompuy:
Thank you. Good evening. This has been a pleasure to
welcome President Obama to the EU-US Summit here in Lisbon. It is the first time that as
President of the European Council, along with the
President of the European Commission, I’m hosting this
annual summit on behalf of the 27 heads of state and government
of the European Union just one year after the previous summit. The United States is and
continues to be our closest and most important partner. Both the EU and the U.S. are in
a rapidly changing G-20 world. We share a transatlantic
area of 800 million people, producing almost half
of the world’s GDP. We share the same values,
interests, and objectives. To build on this common
ground it is not enough to simply use expressions
like transatlantic dialogue or strategic partnership. We need to set things into
motion and that’s why our discussion focused on concrete
concerns for our citizens: Jobs and growth, security, and
a world clean and stable. We have had a good
discussion this afternoon. I would like to underline
the following three points: The economy, security
and foreign policy. First at the center of
our ambitions to advance the economic recovery. In global terms this means
engaging constructively together and with emerging economies
on global imbalances. We have a common interest to
ensure that what was agreed last week with difficulties ensued
on this issue will be delivered. On bilateral aspects, President
Barroso will brief you. As regards to EU’s own
economic situation, I underline here as I did
earlier to President Obama that the fundamentals of
our economy are sound. The European Union has much high
levels of economic growth than expected a few months ago. We have low inflation, a
current account of the balance of payments in the Caribbean
and positive prospects for jobs in 2011. A lot of member states are
involved in reform programs to strengthen their economies, to
consolidate their budgets and to prepare the aging
of the population. The Union decided upon a new and
robust framework for economic governments in order to
underpin our common currency and our common markets. And moreover, we have put in
place the necessary instruments of financial support and
the strong conditionality to overcome the current
problems in the Euros. And second, we share
the same vision on the future of security. Both our societies are built
on the free flow of people, goods and information. The networks these flows require
face threats of a new kind: Terrorism, market disruption,
and cyber attacks. The European Union and the U.S.
cooperation has added value here. And that’s why we decided to
develop our partnership on a wide range of security issues. These needs to be founded on
our respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. On cyber security, as also
stated earlier at the NATO Summit is a threat
with an immense impact. EU-US cooperation in
this field can contribute to protect ourselves
against it and, therefore, happy to announce that the
European Union and the United States will enhance their
cooperation by creating an EU-US working group on cyber security. The working group will report
progress within a year. And furthermore, speedy
compromise on a comprehensive EU-US data production agreement
will significantly facilitate all negotiations between
the EU and U.S. on passenger name records, cyber security, fight against terrorism
and against national organized crime. And third and last
on foreign policy, Iran’s nuclear program remains
a grave concern to us all. I recall to President Obama
the EU’s restrictive measures on Iran adopted in June. Without our working
together, the sanctions would be inoperative. I also informed the President
that we believe we now have very good chance to engage
Iran in direct talks under the leadership of the
high representative on December the 5th. On Sudan, we need to ensure
that the upcoming referenda reflect the will of the
population’s concerns. In order to build confidence
in the referendum, the EU is deploying an
electoral observation mission. Regarding to the Middle East, I
expressed the Union’s support to President Obama’s efforts to put
the direct talks back on track. I also recalled the EU’s vital
contribution to the process through our assistance to
the Palestinian authority. And on EU NATO relations we all
welcome yesterday’s agreement on NATO’s new strategic concept. I irritate — reiterate to the
President my belief that we have an opportunity to make
serious progress on the EU NATO Strategic Partnership
while respecting the legitimate concerns of all EU member states
and all EU allies and without discriminating any way. We had, ladies and
gentlemen, a fruitful summit. We saw eye to eye. And, Mr. President, I
wish you a good trip home. Moderator:
President Barroso, please. President Barroso:
Thank you. Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen. President Van Rompuy
presented the main results. I will not repeat them. You have a joint statement that
shows the level of our ambition for this strategic
vital relationship. I will not go into details. Let me just say that we covered
a lot of ground and we have committed to this continued
dialogue and close cooperation. We have tasked our ministers, our
commissioners for concrete work. We have committed to further
consultation and in fact more deep consultation
on many matters, bilateral and also
global issues. My impression, I like to
convey to you my impression about this summit. It was indeed a very intimate,
friendly, focused summit. No one read notes. There was a real dialogue and
I think this is indeed what we are looking for when we discuss
these kind of issues at summit level so that there is a real
exchange about the priorities so that we can set
work for the future. And there was in fact a great,
great sense of convergence, common strategic goals and a
willingness to work together on bilateral and on global issues. On bilateral we have agreed that
there is still potentially now a transatlantic economic
relationship so we have tasked now the Transatlantic Economic
Council to do more and to achieve concrete results in
terms of regulatory convergence, eliminating some
barriers to trade, what we can do to create new
sources of growth on both sides of the Atlantic,
growth and jobs, that’s what our citizens
expect from us on both sides of the Atlantic. And I believe there is a great
potential on issues like clean technologies, innovation, many
areas where both the United States and the European
Union can benefit from this increased cooperation. On global action also we
addressed some issues from climate change
to development issues, energy dialogue that took place
yesterday also chaired by Secretary Clinton and her
representative Kathy Ashton where there is also a great
potential for common approaches globally because there
are common challenges. There are some problems
with our borders that we need to tackle together. So let me conclude with
a very personal remark. I have been to many summits. I think to a large extent this
was different because of the intimate, informal way these
matters were addressed. I really have a lot of
admiration, I have to say, by President Obama’s physical
resilience after all of the summits he has been. Still in Yokohama time. And I really want
to thank him for the quality of the exchanges. I think we have now a great
foundation for the work between the United States and the
Europeans for the next years. Together we can do much more
in our relationship that is so important for our people
on both sides of the Atlantic. And I thank you all for the
great contributions for the success of this summit. President Obama:
Well, thank you, very much.
Good evening, everyone. It is a pleasure to be here
with President Barroso and President Van Rompuy. I am proud to be here. I was proud to meet with the
leaders of the 27 European Member States during our
summit in Prague last year. I was pleased to welcome
President Barroso and the EU leadership to the
White House last fall. I have been pleased to work
with both Herman and José at the G-20 context. And today marks our first summit
under the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. So it was also wonderful
to meet Kathy Ashton who is doing outstanding work. You know, this summit was not
as exciting as other summits because we basically
agree on everything. But nevertheless, I value these
meetings for a simple reason: America’s relationship with our
European allies and partners is the cornerstone of our
engagement with the world and it’s a catalyst
for global cooperation, whether it’s creating
jobs for our people, sustaining global
economic recovery, protecting our citizens,
preventing nuclear proliferation, the
United States has no closer partner than Europe. And we’re not simply
united by shared interests; we’re united by shared history,
by shared democratic values, a shared set of traditions that
have endured for generations. That’s why the United States
needs and wants a strong and united Europe. That’s why our summit today
focused on three important areas of mutual interest. First we agreed to take a series
of steps to increase trade and investment which already amounts
to a $4.4 trillion relationship and supports millions of jobs
on both sides of the Atlantic. We directed our Transatlantic
Economic Council to focus on streamlining regulations,
encouraging innovation, eliminating barriers that
hamper trade and investment. And building on the progress
of the G-20 Summit in Seoul we reaffirmed the need for
currencies that are market driven and for countries
with large surpluses to boost domestic demand. Second, we reviewed our
close security cooperation. We saw with the recent security
alerts in Europe as well as the plot that was disrupted to
detonate explosives in cargo flights that we have to work
every day to keep our citizens safe and we will
continue to do so. And from our common efforts to
address Iran’s nuclear program, to our work together in Sudan. We’re also partners in promoting
stability and averting crises around the world. And now that NATO has agreed
that the transition to Afghan responsibility will
begin early next year, to use their role as a major
donor to Afghanistan and a trainer for police forces will
only become more important. Finally, we’re coordinating
on a series of global issues. With regard to climate
change we directed our U.S. EU Energy Council to find
ways to bring clean energy technologies to market faster. And we’re standing by our
Copenhagen commitments to reduce emissions as we
work towards Cancun. And as the world’s source of
most of — as the source of most of the world’s
development assistance, we agreed to better coordinate
our assistance and ensure a more effective division of labor
to avoid duplication and inefficiency as I’ve called for
in our new development strategy. So again, I want to
thank President Barroso, President Van Rompuy for
their strong leadership and their partnership. I am confident that if we
continue to deepen the close cooperation between the United
States and the EU we can deliver greater security and greater
prosperity for our 800 million citizens on both
sides of the Atlantic. And let me just use this
opportunity once again to thank the people of Portugal
for the wonderful hospitality. I plan to come back when
I have fewer meetings. (laughter) Thank you, very much.

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