THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 18, 2000
HIGHLIGHTS OF U.S.-EU COOPERATION
UNDER THE NEW TRANSATLANTIC AGENDA
Washington, December 18, 2000
The United States and the European Union have worked during the six
months of the French Presidency to realize the goals of the New
Transatlantic Agenda: promoting peace, democracy and development
throughout the world; expanding world trade; responding to global
challenges; and building bridges across the Atlantic.
Foremost was our close and successful cooperation in supporting the
advance of peace and democracy in South East Europe, described in our
Concerned at the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process and
the ongoing violence, we have urged both sides to comply fully and without
delay with the commitments undertaken at the Sharm-el-Sheikh Summit and to
relaunch negotiations. To this end, we will continue to support the
We have supported Russian reforms to strengthen democracy, the rule of
law and market economy. We have called for a political solution in
Chechnya, the return of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE) and accountability for reports of humanitarian abuses.
The United States welcomes the results of the Nice European Council,
which marked a very important step in the development of European security
and defense policy. In particular, the commitments made by the EU member
states concerning military capabilities will, as they are implemented,
strengthen both the EU and the European pillar of the Atlantic alliance.
The U.S. also welcomes the proposed arrangements for consultation and
cooperation with NATO adopted at Nice, which received a positive response
at last week's North Atlantic Council. The U.S. and the EU commit
themselves to work together and with all Alliance members to implement and
complete these arrangements and thereby forge a strategic partnership
between the two organizations in the management of crisis. In this regard,
the U.S. notes with appreciation the arrangements offered by the EU for its
relationship with NATO European allies. The U.S. looks forward to working
with a European Union playing its full role and assuming its full
responsibilities on the international scene.
We have issued a joint statement on the responsibilities of States and
on transparency regarding arms exports.
In Ukraine, we provided approximately $ 900 million or 1 billion euros
to help close the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. The power plant ceased
operations on December 15.
We have continued, as agreed at our last summit in Queluz, to address
the full range of issues of concern in biotechnology. We have intensified
our cooperation on regulatory and other issues, including making progress
on means to facilitate trade flows for conventional and biotech
(genetically-modified) crop varieties approved in both the U.S. and the EU.
We also invited twenty eminent, independent experts from a broad
cross-section of our societies to work together in the U.S.-EU
Biotechnology Consultative Forum to examine the wide range of issues
related to food and agricultural biotechnology. We welcome the report that
the Forum has just submitted and will give it careful consideration. We
thank the members for their hard work.
As agreed at our last summit, we have worked together in many African
countries to improve and accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and
tuberculosis, described in our separate statement.
The U.S. and EU enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment
relationship in the world. While disputes concern a small proportion of
U.S.-EU trade, their resolution has been a high priority for us. In this
light, we continued our discussions on the various disputes currently
before us, either in the context of formal WTO dispute settlement
proceedings or through other channels.
We have worked to reduce barriers to trade while maintaining high
standards for public health and safety, and the environment. Under the
Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP), we adopted a plan for cooperation
in the area of metrology to facilitate trade and made progress on
establishing guidelines and principles for regulatory cooperation and
transparency. We have made substantial progress on an agreed text for a
mutual recognition agreement (MRA) on marine equipment, which we aim to
finalize in early 2001. Under the U.S.-EU MRA, we implemented the sectoral
annexes on recreational craft, telecommunications equipment and
electromagnetic compatibility, and pursued implementation of the medical
devices annex. We discussed the MRAs in the electrical-safety and
pharmaceutical sectors with a view toward their full and timely
We agreed to intensify contacts and cooperation on energy-related
issues by re-establishing regular U.S.-EU consultations.
Following the Queluz Summit, we have worked extensively through
expert- and political-level meetings to expand transatlantic cooperation in
the information society. We have agreed on a joint statement on building
consumer confidence in e-commerce and the role of alternative dispute
resolution. We are jointly working on high-speed scientific research
networking. We have also identified a number of other key areas in which
to focus our future efforts such as: enhancing electronic government,
combating high-tech crime, measuring the digital economy, researching the
societal benefits of information technology and reducing the digital
To minimize the impact of maritime disasters, we have begun sharing
information about vessel safety through the European EQUASIS system, a
database that contains lists of all ships, records of inspections and
safety violations. We have joined in support of a proposal in the
International Maritime Organization to phase out all single-hulled tankers
in favor of double-hulled tankers.
We agreed to a common approach to the final negotiations of a global
UN Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which contributed to their
successful conclusion in Johannesburg on December 10.
We renewed the U.S.-EU Higher Education and Training Agreement that
established a framework for educational exchanges and joint projects and
agreed to promote joint research on on-line education.
We strengthened our science and technology cooperation in the areas of
climate change research, including the ARGO project (a system to monitor
changes to the temperature in the world?s oceans), nanotechnology,
biotechnology, e-learning and the mitigation of natural and man-made
disasters through disaster information networking. We agreed to intensify
scientific cooperation in non-nuclear energy and to explore research
proposals on prions. We also upgraded our respective science and
technology websites to offer more complete information on possibilities for
cooperation and exchanges.
Together we contributed to the successful negotiations on the UN
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its related Protocols.
As we look forward to the Swedish Presidency of the EU, we will
continue to pursue this broad agenda. Specific priorities will include the
resolution of outstanding trade disputes, and stability and economic
renewal in Southeast Europe. We will help Russia implement its
non-proliferation and disarmament commitments, in particular the
destruction of its chemical weapons and the disposition and management of
its excess weapons plutonium. We will strive for an early conclusion of
the Agreement on the Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Program in the
Russian Federation (MNEPR). We will continue to look for other ways to
further enhance our cooperation on non-proliferation and counterterrorism,
including implementation of UN sanctions on the Taliban and relevant UN
Conventions. We will also focus on development, environment protection and
health in the northern regions, in line with the EU?s Northern Dimension,
and the U.S. Northern Europe Initiative. We will also jointly work for
stability and economic reconstruction in Moldova and Southern Caucasus. We
will continue to support the efforts towards further normalizing the
relations between North and South Korea. We will also intensify our
dialogue on the peace process in Colombia.
We will continue to work together to support the efforts of the UN
Secretary General to achieve a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus
consistent with relevant UNSC Resolutions.
We remain committed to the various understandings and agreements
reached at the May 18, 1998 London Summit and, conscious of their
importance, will continue to attach a high priority to the effective and
prompt implementation of all their aspects.
Global climate change is one of the biggest environmental challenges.
We will continue to take steps to bring the Kyoto Protocol into force as
soon as possible, including working to reach an agreement at the resumed
session of COP VI in May/June 2001 in Bonn.
We will continue to work together in the fight against money laundering
to bring an end to harmful practices identified by the Financial Action
Task Force (FATF). We will also reinforce international standards in this
fight and involve new professions, e.g. lawyers, accountants and other
We will cooperate on Justice and Home Affairs issues, including the
fight against illegal synthetic narcotics and other illicit drugs,
trafficking in human beings and high-tech crime. We will continue our
cooperation to combat child pornography on the Internet. Another priority
is to continue the on-going dialogue on asylum and migration issues with a
view to reporting to the U.S.-EU Summit in June 2001. To ensure continuity
on Justice and Home Affairs issues of common interest, we will work towards
a multi-annual approach within existing structures.
We will continue to work together to build consensus for the launch of a
new trade round in the WTO at the earliest opportunity. A new Round should
address the interest of all WTO members, in particular the poorer
countries, and should strengthen and develop the rules-based system of the
WTO. We agree that securing the launch of an inclusive and balanced Round
during 2001 is of the highest priority. We will continue to work to this
end and to seek to narrow differences that remain between us on the agenda
of the Round.
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