The EU and the US co-operate on an even wider range of areas, broadening and deepening the Transatlantic Partnership. Even though relations have recently gone through a period of strain, both sides are firmly committed to demonstrating that the EU and the US have a relationship that works and produces concrete results with direct positive effects for our citizens, and also jointly take up global and regional challenges.
It is expected that this Summit will lead to concrete results in important areas such as the signing of the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and Extradition Agreements and the launching of negotiations on a Transatlantic Open Aviation Area Agreement. The MLA will be the first ever agreement on legal co-operation in the fight against crime that the EU signs with a third country. Negotiations with the US on a Transatlantic Open Aviation Area Agreement mark a historic development in the Community's aviation policy as for the first time, representatives of the two largest aviation markets in the world will discuss opening up their markets and investment rules directly (see IP/03/806). The EU and the US will also launch joint research efforts promoting the Hydrogen economy. In addition, it is expected that there will be joint statements on container security and customs co-operation as well as a joint initiative in the fight against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Finally, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue will be relaunched, in a new streamlined format.
Discussion at the restricted meeting between leaders (see below) are likely to focus on joint efforts in the context of implementing the Quartet’s Road Map for peace in the Middle East.
The Plenary Meeting will start with a Presidency presentation of the results of the Thessaloniki Council, notably with regard to the EU Constitution and the Security strategy. Further items on the agenda are Iraq, Afghanistan, non-proliferation, the fight against terrorism, and possibly Galileo and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Transport security and the financing of terrorism and judicial co-operation will also be addressed.
The working lunch will be entirely dedicated to trade and economic issues such as the forthcoming WTO Ministerial in Cancun, transatlantic co-operation under the Positive Economic Agenda -- notably the financial markets dialogue-, one of which successes is the implementation of the Guidelines for Regulatory Co-operation and Transparency, as well as research in the energy sector and air transport negotiations. Leaders will also review some of the more sensitive topics such as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), compliance with WTO dispute settlement rulings, US Bilateral Investment Treaties with countries acceding to the EU, and the relaunching of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD).
Format of the Summit
The Summit will start at 10:30 hours in the White House Oval Office with a meeting among President Bush, Prime Minister Simitis and President Prodi and will be followed by a plenary session lasting from 11:00 to 12:00 hours in the Cabinet Room, leading to a working lunch. A joint press conference of the three principals will take place at 13:20 hours at the White House Rose Garden. An EU press conference will be held subsequently by Mr. Simitis and Mr. Prodi at the Carlton-Ritz Hotel. Both press conferences will be transmitted by EbS.
On the margins
A series of events will take place on the margins of the Summit. On 24 June President Prodi will address the German Marshall Fund’s think tank conference on "EU-US Co-operation or Competition" at the US Congress and will give a speech on the EU Constitution in Philadelphia. On the same day, Vice President and Commissioner for Transport and Energy Loyola de Palacio will participate in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and sign the Charter for a « Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Initiative ». She will also take profit of the summit to agree with her American counterpart the following steps in the negotiations for an Transatlantic Open Aviation Area Agreement with the US. Vicepresident de Palacio said: "Our co-operation with the US must be based on concrete issues and I am pleased to see that new very important progress is going to take place in energy and transport issues. This will have a broad impact at the whole world level."
Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen will participate in the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD and Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) leaders will hold a policy dialogue with senior EU and US officials on 25 June. Commissioner Liikanen said: "The business-community is an important driving force of trans-atlantic economic integration. The TABD has long brought trade-barriers and frictions to the attention of governments and urged them to find solutions to these problems. TABD has contributed positively to the improvement of transatlantic economic relations through innovative ideas that have advanced trade opening. The new Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue will be a lean and focused business-driven process developing policy recommendations to administrations. The EU and the U.S. have joined in commitment to review and implement recommendations coming from the TABD."
EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy will address the Global Business Dialogue, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Foreign Trade Council in addition to a number of others meetings, notably on Capitol Hill. He will also address the Transatlantic Journalist Forum. Before leaving to Washington Commissioner Lamy said: "The EU and the USA have a solid relationship on trade which we use to promote a positive agenda, to work together in the WTO Doha Development Agenda and to address and where possible, solve, our differences. The depth and breath of the areas where we work closely together shows there is no alternative to engagement."