EU and US
The European Union and the US enjoy close ties. Regular consultations take place at government level. At societal level, contacts and dialogue are promoted by a wide range of individuals, groups and associations. The US and the EU are also the two most closely linked economic regions in the world.
EU-US summit in Lisbon on 20 November 2010
The links between the EU and the US have historical roots: America’s decision in 1945 not to withdraw from Europe, as it did after the First World War, provided for an element of stability in Western Europe which enabled it to pursue European integration. Therefore the integration of Europe following the Second World War is both a historic achievement by the Europeans and the result of far-sighted American foreign policy.
Since the 1990 Transatlantic Declaration there have been regular consultations between the EU and the US. These include annual summits. Political leaders from the US and Europe last met in Washington on 28 November 2011. The US was represented by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Treasury Secretary Geithner and National Security Adviser Donilon. The participants on the European side were Council President Van Rompuy, Commission President Barroso, EU High Representative and EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht.
The issues discussed ranged from the current national debt crises to various foreign policy issues such as the Arab Spring, the Middle East peace process and how to deal with Iran. A high-level joint EU-US working group on jobs and growth was established at the summit. It is to draw up proposals on the further expansion of transatlantic trade. In its interim report of June 2012, the working group recommended the conclusion of a comprehensive free trade agreement. The final report is expected in early 2013.
Economic ties and cooperation
The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which met after the EU-US summit on 29 November 2011, also looked at trade issues. The task of the TEC, established in 2007 at the initiative of the Federal Chancellor, is to establish common norms and standards for innovative technologies, boost European and American companies in the global marketplace and foster closer ties between the two regions.
The EU and North America are the most closely connected economic regions in the world. Although they account for just over 10 per cent of the world’s population, they produce more than 50 per cent of global economic output. In 2011, the transatlantic trade in goods accounted for just over 4 per cent of global trade in goods (636.8 billion US dollars, 14 per cent more than in 2010), while the share of trade in services was more than 11 per cent.
Mutual investment does even more to increase our economic links than trade alone. In late 2011, the EU member states had investments amounting to around 1573 billion US dollars in the US, while US direct investments in the EU totalled 2094 billion US dollars.
Last updated 15.01.2013