Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Transatlantic judicial and police cooperation

Delivered in Plenary - 21st October 2009

Madam President

The ECR Group is strongly Atlanticist and seeks ever closer economic, trade and political ties with America, which we consider to be the EU’s foremost ally and not competitor. We also remain in debt to the USA for its contribution to NATO, which is based on our shared democratic values, and we welcome America’s belated commitment to fighting climate change.

However, we should not pretend to agree on everything. I am concerned for instance about the conflicting messages coming out of the US Administration regarding Russia. Washington’s emphasis on resetting US-Russia relations appears to excuse the Kremlin’s blatant interference in its neighbours’ affairs, notably in Georgia and in Ukraine.

The scrapping of the US missile defence shield, due to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic, was also questionable.

The recent discovery of a secret nuclear facility in Iran could well confirm this judgement, but we must now all redouble our efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, as allies of the US, we strongly support their military struggle against Jihadi terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan and their strong efforts to bring lasting peace to the Middle East.