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November Summitry: Hands Across The Pond …

  • November 28th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-movement.jpgus-flag-reduced.gifThe convergence of world leaders on Lisbon this month for the NATO summit (19-20.11.10) was an opportunity for further high level contacts valued by the European Union.

The EU leadership met President Barack Obama and other senior US officials, and they attended, and reported on the NATO summit itself – the principal gathering of the moment.

See EUAustralia Online, “NATO Decides”, 21.11.10; “NATO at Lisbon”, 20.11.10; “PM confirms for NATO …”, 7.11.10; “November summitry”, 29.10.10.


On the bilateral meeting with the United States, it was the fist opportunity for a trans-Atlantic parley on security since the ratification of last year’s Lisbon Treaty, which  has set up coordinated action by the EU partners on external affairs, and also the long-foreshadowed “foreign minister” role, that of High Representative, occupied by Catherine Ashton.

Extract from a statement on behalf of the European Council:

“The EU Security Strategy states that ‘the transatlantic relationship is irreplaceable. Acting together, the European Union and the United States can be a formidable force for good in the world.’ …

“It was an important opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the deepening EU-US relationship which, based on shared values and political experience and growing economic interdependence, is vital in bringing prosperity and security to 800 million citizens on the two sides of the Atlantic.”

Those attending, as well as President Obama and Baroness Ashton:- Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

A joint statement was issued following the Summit, focussing on three areas of cooperation: ensuring “strong, balanced and sustainable economic growth and how to create jobs, including in new, emerging fields”; meeting “global challenges” such as climate change and international development; and “strengthening the security of citizens”.


Extract from joint statement:

On the economy and trade: “We highlighted our commitment to reject protectionism as a response to the challenges our economies face. We reiterated our strong commitment to direct our negotiators to engage in across-the-board negotiations to promptly bring the Doha Development Agenda to a successful, ambitious, comprehensive and balanced conclusion. We recognised that 2011 is a critical window of opportunity and that engagement among all negotiators must intensify and expand to complete an agreement that will expand trade and open markets. We also agreed to coordinate efforts to encourage emerging economies to assume responsibilities and adopt policies commensurate with their growing economic strength and role in areas such as trade, protection of intellectual property, regulation, and investment policy.

“We underlined our conviction that we have not yet fully tapped the potential of transatlantic commerce to boost our growth and generate jobs on both sides of the Atlantic in the coming years, and to strengthen our economies for the competitive challenges of the future. We agreed that the most effective way to achieve these aims is to promote innovation, streamline regulation, and eliminate barriers to trade and investment, bringing benefits to business, workers, and consumers in both markets. We recognised the central role of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) in achieving these objectives, as well as facilitating coordinated approaches to other markets on such issues. We tasked the TEC to develop a transatlantic agenda to stimulate growth and create jobs in key emerging sectors and technologies…”

On climate change, “we emphasised that we stand by the commitments we made in Copenhagen last December, including to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…”

On security issues: “We also welcomed our deepening partnership on a wide range of trans-national security issues that affect the citizens of the European Union and the United States. This partnership is founded on our conviction that respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and joint efforts to strengthen security cooperation are mutually reinforcing. We agreed to work together to tackle new threats to the global networks upon which the security and prosperity of our free societies increasingly depend.

“Recognising this, as well as the growing challenge of cyber-security and cyber-crime, we established an EU-U.S.Working Group on Cyber-security and Cyber-crime …”


nato-lisbon-badge.jpgThe supplementary EU- NATO Summit at Lisbon (20.11.10) highlighted the fact that European Union countries are overwhelmingly members of the Western alliance  — including former members of the communist Warsaw pact alliance disbanded at the start of the 1990s.

Herman Van Rompuy attended as first occupant of the newly created EU “presidency”, the post of President of the European Council.

He said Europe’s new strategic architecture would make for more effective collaboration.

“Thanks to the trans-Atlantic alliance, Europe has emerged as a continent of cooperation and integration. There would not have been an EU without NATO. Our two organisations have been in the same boat for decades.

“With the political and diplomatic structures of the Lisbon Treaty in place, we can do even better …”, he said.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, reiterated the EU’s commitment to Afghanistan.

“At this critical moment where unprecedented efforts are being made towards reconciliation and transition to full Afghan ownership, support from the International Community is more crucial than ever”, he said.

“But this is also a critical time to strengthen the Afghan Government’s legitimacy.

“For the next 3 years, the EU will increase its assistance to some €200-million (A$274.75,, 28.11.10) per year to support reconstruction and stabilisation… The EU’s High Representative Cathy Ashton has been working with General David Petraeus on proposals to refine our mission and I would like to pay tribute to her work on this.”


European Commission, Brussels, EU-U.S. Summit 20 November 2010, Lisbon – Joint Statement, MEMO/10/597, 20.11.10

European Council, Brussels, Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy … on the NATO Summit in Lisbon, 19.11.10. PCE 273/10., (28.11.10).

European Union Delegation to Australia, Newsletter No. 294, 23.11.10., (28.11.10).