Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU-US summit of 28 November 2011

Delivered in Plenary - 16th November 2011

Madam President

The unique and historical relationship between the United States and the European Union is based on shared values, such as free market economics and a long-standing commitment to fundamental respect for human rights and democratic forms of governance. A close and integrated relationship between the EU and the US is essential, given the interdependence of the transatlantic economic partnership, the biggest in the world.

It is from this base that a significant proportion of global trade can actually take place and, due to this close relationship, vast levels of global wealth are constantly being formed in a well-regulated environment, which is rule-based and transparent for all.

America is also an essential ally militarily. It brings to the international arena a unique and unparalleled military capability, as we saw recently in action over the Libyan theatre. As the leading NATO power, it is indispensable to European security. I welcome, for example, the recent announcement that a joint EU-US cyber security exercise will be conducted by the end of this year, helping prepare the way against a potential terrorist cyber attack on businesses and national infrastructures.

It is also extremely important that a coordinated approach across the Atlantic, between the USA and EU Member States, continues to be taken to many of today’s most pressing foreign policy questions – from containing Iranian nuclear ambitions to dealing with troublesome North Korea, and of course the promotion and support for the UN Quartet, of which the EU and the US are members, as a meaningful mechanism to deliver peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The EU-US partnership is also essential to dealing with global climate change and energy security, particularly making sure that countries from which we draw our energy supplies are stable and secure in the Middle East, South America, Africa and elsewhere, as well as the economic challenges posed by the rising phenomena of BRICs, the economic powers of today and the future, and in particular the challenge posed by massive China, both militarily and economically.

EU-US collaboration has borne many mutually beneficial fruits in the past. In my view and in the view of the ECR Group, it will long continue to do so in future.