Transatlantic relations still under strain as a CEPS symposium and a reception by the US Mission on 25 November mark 50 years of EU-US partnership.
Leaders including Romano Prodi and US former ambassadors to the EU have voiced their opinions on the state of transatlantic relations at various events held to celebrate fifty years of EU-US partnership.
At a CEPS symposium on the “Achievements and Challenges in the Transatlantic Partnership”, the general consensus was that EU-US relations have delivered considerable mutual benefits as the speakers all pointed to a genuine friendship – based on shared democratic values – between the EU and US both among citizens and politicians.
However several speakers regretted that EU-US relations were at such a low ebb on a number of issues and expressed their ideas on how transatlantic initiatives could be re-activated. Disagreements range from issues such as the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the International Criminal Court to how to deal with the Iraq crisis and ‘rogue States’. Trade relations have also suffered from the failure of the WTO Summit in Cancun.
Elsehwere, Commission President Romano Prodi inaugurated the new residence of the US Mission to the EU (featuring a photographic exhibition on EU-US relations). Prodi paid tribute to the constant support of the US to European unity and made a toast to the ‘next 50 years of successful co-operation’.