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US Political Change To Affect Links To Europe?

  • November 3rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

obama-reduced.jpgA senior European diplomat has spelt out an expectation that change in the United States, with the Republican Party gaining control of the House of Representatives (2.11.10) will not alter the main lines of contact with the EU.

Piotr Nowina-Konopka is the head of the newly opened Washington office of the  European Parliament, and he was interviewed for German radio Deutsche Welle.

He said more attention is likely to be paid in Washington  to the European Union, rather than less, certainly in  the near future, now that the distraction  of the US mid-term elections, fought over myriad local issues, will be dying down.

He told Mark Caldwell President Barack Obama was expected to attend an EU-US summit  at Lisbon later this month, (when NATO heads would be gathering), and in December there would be  trans-Atlantic meetings of parliamentarians, “which will give a very good start for re-opening a dialogue, which, until now, has been limited.”

Parts of the radio interview:

“I think America has no choice because both the EU and the US must work together. In a global world, I can’t really imagine that policy can be done without strict cooperation and coordination…

“There are a number of issues. If we start with the front pages of the journals there is the bomb being discovered in a cargo flight. I have no doubt that everything that is connected to the fight against terrorism will remain at the top of the EU-US agenda. You also have issues linked to energy and climate change. These will be hot issues in the months to come. I also think both sides, due to the pace of development of the Internet, will be forced to cooperate more in this sphere.”

Question: “What about climate change?”

“Many people say the Republicans are less sensitive to climate change. Democrats are responding eagerly to climate change questions. But I think it starts with energy. And it’s clear for everybody in America that the country must find a solution to solve its dependence on imported fossil fuels. This is also a problem for Europe. So, objectively, I would say that there is no way to avoid speaking first about energy and then, as a result, about clean energy and then about climate. As time goes on, issues are not getting solved, so I think politicians on both sides of the pond will be getting more and more involved.”

Reference

Mark Caldwell and Joanna Impey, DWE, Bonn, “EU and US ‘must work together,’ says diplomat”, 2.11.10.
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6180297,00.html, (3.11.10).

Picture

President Obama saw his party lose 55 seats, and its majority in the lower house of Congress, and while it kept control of the Senate, its numbers have slipped below the 60 needed to overcome filibuster moves to hold up new laws.

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