Delivered in Plenary - 25th April 2007
The next EU-US Summit will prove a historic one, and I fully support the German Presidency’s initiative for an extensive economic partnership between the EU and the United States, which now represents some 40% of world trade, and in particular Chancellor Merkel’s ambitious aim for a transatlantic market without barriers by 2015 through mutual recognition of the same norms for various industries and services, particularly in the financial sector.
Some in this House would regrettably call this a transatlantic ‘rivalry’ rather than a ‘partnership’, because they view the EU as being in competition with the United States. If that is indeed the case, then America is clearly winning. The healthy long-term prospects of its free-enterprise economy are in sharp contrast to the EU’s gradual decline in a sea of over-regulation, which we must remedy before it is too late. EU-US relations, like EU-India ones – and I especially welcome the visit to our Parliament later on today of President Kalam of India – are a partnership built on our common values of democracy, human rights, freedom and security.
On the world stage we should be grateful to the US that it is willing to bear a disproportionately large burden in fighting global terrorism, with its uncompromising stance on Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb, which now demands a similar response from EU governments. The US has led the way in calling for sanctions on Sudan with regard to the genocide in Darfur and has opposed arms exports to China. America is also helping make Europe more secure through its deployment of missiles and missile shields, and it is now working with the EU to defend the Quartet principles for a lasting Arab-Israeli peace. Its engagement with countries like Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine in an effort to resolve frozen conflicts is also most welcome.
Finally, we must together urge Russia to behave as a reliable energy supplier and uphold its commitments to democracy and human rights.