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EU-US Summit: Strengthening Strategic Partnership

EU-US Summit In Slovenia To Discuss Further Strengthening Of Strategic Partnership

This year's EU-US Summit will take place in Brdo, Slovenia on Tuesday 10 June. The Summit will cover the full gamut of global and regional issues where the EU and the US seek to act in partnership.

Issues for discussion will include assisting the development of Kosovo, following up on the Middle East peace initiative launched last year at Annapolis, shaping a comprehensive and binding post-2012 global agreement on tackling climate change, and working together to promote energy efficiency as well as energy security through the diversification of supply sources and the development of sustainable new forms of energy.

Furthermore the EU and the US will discuss the strengthening of the economic and regulatory cooperation and the deburdening of enterprises on both sides of the Atlantic, following the cooperation in this field in the framework of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). The EU will also be asking the US for an update on progress towards its commitment to bring further EU Member States into the US Visa Waiver Programme.

Prior to the Summit, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, said: "Over the past four years the EU-US Partnership has proven that it can deliver transatlantic responses to the big challenges of our day. We believe that it is particularly important to work with the US on climate change. The current oil and food price rises also show how important the EU-US cooperation is at a global level."

Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for Enterprise and Industry Policy, stated: ''The European Union and the United States have already committed themselves to reach the common objective of economic integration and a barrier free economic area. The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) is of key importance to achieve this objective. Within short time the TEC has delivered steady progress towards a better regulatory environment and has dealt with issues of concern of both sides. Mutual confidence and trust in each others commitment to remove barriers remains crucial for succeeding in the transatlantic economic cooperation."

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner added: "In the Middle East, both the EU and the US play a vital role in supporting the talks between Israel and the PA. Peace and stability in the Middle East region is our common goal. And our joint efforts in Afghanistan are just another example for the good cooperation between the EU and the US in the international arena. As to bilateral matters, we will be listening eagerly for confirmation that several further EU Member States are to be brought into the US Visa Waiver Programme this year. It is only right that citizens of all the US's EU allies be given the opportunity to travel visa-free across the Atlantic."

The Summit will also establish a forward-looking perspective for the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which was created at last year's EU-US Summit. The TEC has already chalked up significant progress on a broad agenda, for instance on promotion of open investment regimes and equivalence of EU and US accounting standards.

The European Commission will be pressing for the future work of the TEC to include key issues such as the mutual recognition of certification for electrical equipment, and potentially trade-disruptive US legislative proposals for the scanning of all US-bound containers.

Participants from the side of the Commission will be the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Peter Mandelson.

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