May 10, 2021 Committees / Intergroup

Picula presented Report on Relations with the United States: There is no going back

Croatian Member of the European Parliament and EP Rapporteur for Relations with the United States, Tonino Picula, presented his "Report on the Future of EU-US Relations" at a meeting of the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee.

He stated that the EU and the US share a number of new common challenges such as responding to the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, promoting global health, fighting climate change, fighting global criminal networks, and digital and green transformation as means of sustainable modernization. He also mentioned that the EU and the United States maintain one of the world's strongest bilateral relations in trade and investment, and jointly promote an extremely intertwined economic relationship. Picula particularly emphasized and supported the introduction of visa reciprocity for all citizens of the European Union as prescribed by European legislation.

"In close cooperation with the United States, the European Union should use its credibility and be ready to develop better, more effective initiatives. A mere return to the past is neither possible nor desirable. The EU must therefore strive to redefine 'equal to equal' relations. This also requires greater investment on our part, but also a more determined support for the new positive initiatives of Biden's administration related to accelerating health and economic global recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, " Picula said.

In this context, he emphasized the need for a new transatlantic agenda that prioritizes multilateral cooperation aimed at a healthier world, combating climate change, promoting peaceful conflict resolution and economic policy reform, focusing on the fight against inequality. In his presentation, he called for enhanced coordination of the use of sanctions mechanisms for human rights violations and for the launch of a transatlantic dialogue on security and defense. He also stressed the common need to defend global democracy from growing authoritarianism, also within the transatlantic community.

"Within this draft, I place special emphasis on establishing stronger legislative structures to promote inclusive transatlantic dialogue. An invitation was also sent to the US Congress to authorize the Inter-Parliamentary Group of the USA and the European Union. We should also consider cooperation between members of the European Parliament and members of Congress in different thematic areas. This would enable the exchange of best practices on global, but also domestic, local challenges. In short, a renewed transatlantic agenda should combine old elements with new challenges. At the points of agreement, cooperation is necessary, while at the points of disagreement it is necessary to negotiate differences and achieve mutually beneficial solutions", Picula concluded in his presentation.

The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee will vote on the report on 12 July, with a plenary debate and a vote scheduled for September.

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