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Informal General Affairs and External Relations Council 2-3/5/03: Contribution on the issue of EU-USA Relations by Translatlantic Policy Network (TPN)

TRANSATLANTIC POLICY NETWORK
(TPN)

TPN Outreach Project
Interim Report from the Co-Chairs (April 2003)

Executive summary

Since its founding in 1992, TPN has helped shape a broader and deeper transatlantic partnership, responsive to the new global realities of the post Cold War world.  Since May 2002, in response to growing tensions, TPN is now developing a long-term strategy for building such a partnership, to be completed - following further discussions - by a high-level meeting before year-end to mobilise broad support.  US Senator Robert Bennett, Congressman Cal Dooley, and Members of European Parliament James Elles and Erika Mann serve as co-Chairs for this project.

Set out in the attached interim report are emerging points of consensus from a series of meetings in Europe and the U.S., based on TPN’s consistent call for strategic “linkage” between transatlantic political, economic and security interests.

Political:  Strong transatlantic partnership can only be built on common global interests and agreed purposes, as well as willingness to build on the lessons of past experience (particularly Iraq).  Full partnership requires a strong and effective EU, but the EU must not attempt to pursue a strategy of geo-political opposition to the US, which can only fail.  We must improve political dialogue and understanding.

Economic:  Transatlantic economic relations are embedded in the broader political relationship.  The world’s two largest economic players can deal with each other as equals. Our growing bilateral economic interpenetration must be further developed through approximation of market conditions where possible.  Our broader purpose must be to spur global economic growth and development as part of our long-term strategy for a secure and democratic world.

Defence and Security:  Asymmetry in political and operational capacity remains acute.  The potential for future security partnership will depend on Europe’s willingness to invest in relevant military capability progressively over an extended period of time.  The European political will to do this remains unclear.  In the meantime, we must continue to reshape NATO, driven by practical responses to real world conditions, further clarify the NATO/EU relationship, and pursue integration of transatlantic defence industries and markets.

Institutions: Americans may be seen to value institutions for what they can do, Europeans for their durability and continuity. We will need to adapt the existing institutional framework to take account of the rapid evolution of common purposes and priorities. Where the EU has developed its competence and ability to act, it offers the U.S. a more efficient partner interface for effective cooperation. International institutions also need to be reviewed.

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TPN Outreach project :  Interim Report from the Co-Chairs     page 1

1.  POLITICAL

Emerging Points of Consensus

A strong transatlantic partnership can only be built in the context of:

• Common global interests and agreed purposes in a longer-term framework.

• Close linkage between political, economic and defence & security collaboration.

• A strong and effective EU.  But the EU must not attempt to pursue its own further political development in a strategy of geo-political opposition to the US, which can only fail. 

• Partnership strategy must therefore reflect the present and foreseeable degree of symmetry or asymmetry in US/EU competences and capabilities. Viewed in this light:

+  The economic foundations for EU/US partnership are strong.
+  The defence and security foundations for partnership are weak and depend on developments on the EU side.
+  Potential for extended political partnership now exists in areas of vital common interest.  These need to be pursued with enhanced political dialogue at all levels.

• Willingness on both sides to build on the lessons of past experience (particularly Iraq).

Possible actions

• Identify bold, practical steps for rebuilding collaborative trust and momentum, inscribed in the pursuit of longer-term common purposes.  More specifically, create a long-term collaborative framework and action plan for the war on terrorism, based on broad coalitions of linked interest.

• Shift the emphasis from a transatlantic “community of values” to a transatlantic “community of action”.  Develop collaborative strategy and action for:

+  Post-conflict cooperation in Afghanistan and Iraq
 +  Relations with the Arab world
+  A renewed Middle East peace process
+  North Korea
 +  Infectious diseases
 +  Nuclear proliferation
 +  Integration of Russia into the family of democracies

• Measure/articulate the real value of the TA relationship to each partner, and highlight/build on common interests and purposes. Open our domestic political processes to each other, listen to each other, and do not reflexively criticise or ignore each other’s views. 

TPN Outreach project:  Interim Report from the Co-Chairs    page 2


II.  ECONOMIC
Emerging Points of Consensus

Transatlantic economic relations are clearly embedded in, and sensitive to, the broader political relationship.  Moreover, the U.S. and EU are and will remain the world’s two largest economic players, able to deal with each other as equals - a necessary condition for effective partnership. Beyond that, joint economic action must in future serve - and be seen to serve - the most central political priorities of both partners.  Therefore: 

• Our vast and growing bilateral economic interpenetration must be further developed and linked to the effort to help stabilise and strengthen our broader relationship;

• Common global economic interests and joint action must provide the broader strategic framework, focus and motor for the economic dimension of future Transatlantic partnership. The driver must be a joint leadership commitment to spur sustainable worldwide economic growth and development, as part of a broader common long-term strategy for a secure and democratic world.

Possible actions - bilateral

• Give much greater prominence to the breadth and depth of transatlantic economic interpenetration, particularly its spectacular growth over the past decade.

• To facilitate the next phase of development (and counter possible conflict from “extraterritorial” effects), pursue the approximation of Atlantic zone business and market conditions with an agenda and timetable for step-by-step EU/US joint policy development and action in the following areas:

+  Financial services and capital markets
+  Aviation
+  The digital economy
+  Competition policy
+  The ethical dimension of trade
+  Performance of regulatory systems

• Re-invent the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) to better serve its multiple constituencies and purposes, as a key instrument for economic partnership.

Possible actions - global

• To stimulate global growth and integration of the developing world into the global system, provide stronger joint leadership for:

+  The Doha Development Round
+  The OECD Policy Agenda for Growth

• Jointly re-assess EU and US development aid (and humanitarian assistance) strategy and instrumentality (including Bretton Woods institutions), with particular focus on performance and complementarity.

• Intensify efforts to enhance regulatory cooperation, and the stability of global financial markets.
TPN Outreach project :  Interim Report from the Co-Chairs             page 3

3.  DEFENCE AND SECURITY

Emerging Points of Consensus

Transatlantic asymmetry in military capacity remains acute, and will limit for the foreseeable future politically viable options for linking this dimension into a strategy for full EU/US partnership. There is also asymmetry at the level of strategic planning capability, concept and geopolitical focus.

With a reconfiguration of US forces in Europe under review, the goals of European security policy need to be more clearly defined.  The potential for future security partnership with the US in given areas will depend on Europe’s willingness to invest in relevant military capability progressively over an extended period of time.  The European political will to do this remains unclear. 

Possible actions

• Continue to redefine and reshape NATO, based on the Prague Summit agenda but primarily driven by practical responses to real world conditions (currently centred on a NATO role in Afghanistan, and possibly Iraq).

• Further develop the NATO/EU interface, while continuing to clarify respective future roles and capabilities in the military sphere.

• Pursue integration of transatlantic defence industries and markets, including a policy and regulatory framework allowing for the transatlantic flow of defence technologies.

4.  INSTITUTIONS

Emerging Points of Consensus

Americans may be seen to value institutions for what they can do, Europeans for their durability and continuity. We will need to adapt the existing institutional framework to take account of the rapid evolution of common purposes and priorities.  Where the EU has developed its competence and ability to act, it offers the U.S. a more efficient partner interface for effective cooperation.

Institutions will need to provide an adequate but flexible framework for managing this evolution. It will be particularly important to create ways to link the various processes and dialogues, which is the only practical way to achieve the “linkage” necessary to drive the development of full transatlantic partnership.

Possible actions

• Re-structure the annual TA summit (and process) to provide strategic direction and impetus to the TA partnership agenda; it must not focus on minutiae 

• Create an institutional structure for on-going transatlantic strategic discussion, including for example a prototype annual “Transatlantic Assembly” to initiate a genuine Legislators’ Dialogue.

• Review international institutions, including UN Security Council, G-8 and OECD.

* * * * *


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