February 24, 2021 Parlament Activities

Picula obtains EP mandate for US relations recommendations

Tonino Picula, Croatian Member of the European Parliament and EP standing rapporteur for US Relations, met with William Keating, Chairman of the US Congressional Committee for Europe, Energy, Environment and Cyber Security, on 23 February, following a decision by the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the MEP’s outset for recommendations on EU-US relations

“Relations between the European Union and the United States have experienced their lowest level since the establishment of our global multilateral order and Euro-Atlantic partnership over the past four years. Before that, for seventy years, the international order based on democratic values, open societies, protection of human and minority rights was the result of joint efforts of the United States and the EU”, Picula said at the beginning of the conversation with Keating.

Welcoming Picula's initial assessment, Keating said neither the US nor the EU could be successful if they did not work together: “We have returned to the Paris Climate Agreement, but we must do more than that. There is a lot of work ahead of us.”

Picula also welcomed the US intention to return to Iran's nuclear programe, following Iran's adherence to it, and said that this was the basis for work on establishing stability in the Middle East.

Regarding relations with Russia, Picula pointed out that different vaccine strategies and Russia's active role in disinformation campaigns and support for anti-European options are all challenges to which the EU must set a common and comprehensive action strategy.

Speaking on the topic of the Western Balkans, Picula pointed out that the greatest successes in the region have always been the result of joint efforts. He stressed that the EU's strategic interest is to join its neighbors. Keating agreed and announced greater US engagement in the Western Balkans, expressing concern over the possible continuation of the collapse of democratic institutions.

Speaking about the common defense policy within NATO, Picula said that the EU must strengthen its diplomatic, security and defense capacities: “I believe that a self-confident and self-sufficient EU will be a more reliable and stronger partner in protecting multilateralism and the international order.”

Picula also touched on the European Green Deal, as the most ambitious European project, saying that climate change is not only an environmental, but also an economic and social challenge that needs to be addressed exclusively in a socially just way. Stressing the importance of the sea and oceans in the fight against climate change, he called on the United States to fight together on both sides of the Atlantic, in which he received Keating's support.

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