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2007 U.S.-EU Summit

President Bush Meets with EU Leaders,
Chancellor Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany and
President Barroso of the European Council and President of the European Commission

Rose Garden

April 30, 2007

1:18 PM ET

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you all, please be seated. Welcome to the Rose Garden. I want to welcome Angela Merkel and José Barroso here. Thank you all for your friendship, thank you for what has been a serious set of discussions.

I told the Chancellor and the President that the EU-U.S. relations are very important to our country, that not only is it important for us to strategize how to promote prosperity and peace, but it's important for us to achieve concrete results. And we have done so. I thank the Chancellor and José very much for the trans-Atlantic economic integration plan that the three of us signed today. It is a statement of the importance of trade. It is a commitment to eliminating barriers to trade. It is a recognition that the closer that the United States and the EU become, the better off our people become. So this is a substantial agreement and I appreciate it.

We also talked about Doha. And I thank Peter Mandelson and Susan Schwab for briefing us. The first thing I told the group in the Cabinet Room was that I am firmly dedicated to a successful Doha round. I believe it's in this country's interests that we reject isolationism and protectionism and encourage free trade. I'm under no illusions as to how hard it will be to achieve the objective, but the first thing is there must be a firm commitment by the leadership to get a deal.

Secondly, I reminded the people that this country is dedicated to working to eliminate poverty and disease, and the best way to help the developing world is through a successful Doha round. We told our trade ministers work hard, work often, work constructively, and I believe we can be successful. We're committed to reducing our agricultural subsidies in order to advance the process. We expect others to follow suit and market access.

Anyway, I am optimistic we can achieve the objective and today's meetings gave us a chance to discuss a way forward.

We talked about the visa waiver program. We talked about Iran and the need for our nations to continue to work closely together to send a unified message to the Iranians that their development of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable to peace.

We talked about Darfur. We talked about Afghanistan and Iraq. And I appreciate very much the EU support of the international compact that will be meeting on Iraq here in Sharm el-Sheikh. We talked about Cuba and the importance for Cuba to be a free society, a society that respects human rights and human dignity, a society that honors the rule of law.

We also talked about climate, and here we share a common interest: One, we recognize that we have a problem with greenhouse gases; two, we recognize we have a problem with a dependence on oil; three, we recognize that we can use technologies to help solve this problem; and, four, we recognize we have an obligation to work together to promote the technologies necessary to solve the problem, and encourage the developing world to use those technologies.

And so I found the discussion refreshing and interesting, and I appreciate the candid conversations we had.

Full Transcript

2007 U.S. - E.U. Summit

We, the leaders of the United States of America and the European Union, met today in Washington to deepen our strategic partnership. This partnership is based on common values, in particular on the deeply shared conviction that peace, prosperity and human development depend upon the protection of individual liberty, human rights, the rule of law, economic freedom, energy security, environmental protection and the growth of strong, democratic societies.

Our partnership has achieved much over the years, and today we have reviewed our work over the past year. Yet we continue to face major challenges, at home and abroad. Consistent with our commitment to work together to advance our shared values and interests, we have today:

  • Adopted a framework on transatlantic economic integration which lays a long-term foundation for building a stronger and more integrated transatlantic economy, in particular by fostering cooperation to reduce regulatory burdens and accelerating work on key "lighthouse projects" in the areas of intellectual property rights, secure trade, investment, financial markets, and innovation. We also reaffirm our strong desire to reach a prompt agreement in the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations that is ambitious, balanced and comprehensive and creates meaningful new trade flows in agriculture, industrial goods and services among and between developed and developing countries;
  • Adopted a declaration on political and security issues, including commitments to concrete actions to strengthen liberty, prosperity, security, peace and human rights and address regional challenges, in particular regarding Kosovo, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Iraq, Sudan, Latin America, and efforts to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to work towards visa-free travel for all EU and U.S. citizens by creating conditions by which the Visa Waiver Program may be expanded;
  • Adopted a joint statement on energy security and climate change that underlines our mutual interest in ensuring secure, affordable, and clean supplies of energy and tackling climate change. We will broaden and reinforce our activities to improve energy security and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting economic growth;
  • Welcomed the signing of a first stage Air Transport Agreement which is an historic advance in liberalizing transatlantic air traffic. This agreement will bring real benefits for consumers and airline companies on both sides of the Atlantic. We reaffirm our commitment to pursue, as a matter of priority and no later than 60 days after March 30, 2008, negotiations to conclude a second stage agreement in order to achieve further liberalization.