EU seeks better trans-Atlantic ties

EU seeks better trans-Atlantic ties
# 27 March 2010 02:22 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The EU called on the U.S. on Friday to upgrade trans-Atlantic relations, insisting that when it comes to crafting a new world order, Europe is a more significant ally than China and other emerging economies, APA reports quoting web-page.
In separate appearances at the Brussels Forum — an annual security conference — three senior EU officials said it was imperative for Washington and the EU to craft a "more dynamic partnership"
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said while the rise of China, India and Brazil may be headline material, it blurs the fact EU-US ties remain the bedrock of the global economy.
Barroso said the U.S. and the 27-nation EU account for half of global economic output and 40 percent of world trade.
He said U.S. investment in Spain alone exceed its investments in China and India, combined.
"In a world of new threats and new challenges ... we need a more dynamic partnership between the two sides of the Atlantic," Barroso told the security conference of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
He said EU-US summits must be "agenda-setting, decision-making events" that focus on strategic priorities such as security matters, energy, development and climate change.
Speaking separately, Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief, and Herman van Rompuy, the EU president, also said emerging Asian nations are no substitute for the shared values and economic clout Europe brings to relations with Washington.
"Thirty thousand (European) troops in Afghanistan is no small feat," Van Rompuy said. "And for all the talk of new global partners, I do not see any time soon comparable numbers of troops from these new global partners patrolling in Kandahar, Kabul or Kunduz."
In recent years, globalization has caused trans-Atlantic ties to lose much sheen. As the EU struggled with reforms that would give it more clout on the world stage, Washington complained the Europeans have been slow in providing troops for Afghanistan.
The relationship hit a low on Feb. 1 when the U.S. canceled a visit to the EU by President Barack Obama. The move was seen as a diplomatic slap in Europe.
Van Rompuy, Barroso and Ashton said the EU and the US must broaden consultations.
"Trans-Atlantic cooperation is required on new front lines," Van Rompuy said. He said that includes sending judges and policemen to conflict areas, as has happened in Kosovo, and joining forces to regulate financial markets and fighting cybercrime.