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Brussels, 3 November 2009

EU-US Summit in Washington puts global challenges at centre of discussion

The first EU-US Summit with the new US Administration will take place on Tuesday, 3 November in Washington D.C. At the Summit, the Leaders will discuss how the EU and the US can co-operate to tackle global challenges, like economic recovery and growth, climate change and effective assistance to developing countries. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East and Iran are expected to be the major foreign policy issues. An important outcome of the Summit will be the launch of the EU-US Energy Council which will hold its first meeting the day after the Summit. While looking at global energy security, new technologies and research the Energy Council will aim at stepping up political interaction in this field.

Prior to the Summit, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, said: “ The EU-US relationship is an essential source of stability in a fast-changing world. We must work together to find the right policy mix for global economic recovery, creating new jobs, rebuilding the world financial system, improving energy security and advancing free trade. And we must tackle together the challenge of climate change which threatens our livelihood and security. It is paramount that we push our negotiators to find solutions at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.”

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner added: “This year’s EU-US Summit will reflect the new energy our strategic relationship has thanks to even more intense cooperation with the new US Administration. Our Summit meeting will carry a heavy agenda ranging from regional issues with a direct link to our security, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Middle East Peace Process, about the nuclear ambitions of Iran, to non-proliferation, disarmament or energy security. It also comes at a moment when the EU is close to undergoing the most extensive changes in its foreign policy structures which will make us a stronger, more coherent and more efficient partner in the world.”

Reflecting our joint goal of a more strategic approach to EU-US foreign policy co-operation, a foreign ministers meeting’ with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will take place the next day. It will aim at a more in depth discussion of regional challenges.

Participants from the side of the Commission will be the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The EU Presidency will be represented by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt assisted by SG/HR Javier Solana.

The Summit will adopt a Joint Declaration covering the whole range of policy issues of mutual interest.

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