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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 April 2014

President Barroso received representatives of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Atlantic Basin Initiative

The President of the European Commission has met ten representatives of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Atlantic Basin Initiative. Among others, José Maria AZNAR, former Prime Minister of Spain and Chair of the Group, Jerzy BUZEK, former President of the European Parliament, Jean PING, former President of the United Nations General Assembly and Miguel Ángel RODRÍGUEZ, former President of Costa Rica, have presented the “Atlantic Declaration” to President Barroso.

This Declaration and a call for action "Generating Growth, Human Development and Security in the Atlantic Hemisphere" were adopted last month. Five areas were identified to strengthen the Atlantic framework: energy; economic growth and human development; the common heritage of the Atlantic Ocean; Human Security and to cultivate cultures of lawfulness and effective democratic governance.

At the meeting, President Barroso thanked the Group for this initiative and reaffirmed the support of the European Commission.

President Barroso said: “The Atlantic region is an area made up essentially of democracies, countries that have embraced human rights and a market economy; however it does not have yet a geopolitical identity, or any structures enabling deeper cooperation between all the Atlantic countries in Europe, the American continent or Africa. The Atlantic has become a real microcosm of globalisation, and our ability to resolve problems together will shape the very nature of the globalisation phenomenon.”

President Barroso suggested: “we must look at how we can incorporate the wider Atlantic approach - by definition broader and more comprehensive than other ongoing agendas - into the current political and diplomatic scene. It is a huge challenge, but one that is worth taking up”, he added.

Background:

The Atlantic Basin Initiative is to support sustainable growth, human development and security in the Atlantic Hemisphere. It is facilitated by the Center for Transatlantic Relations and spearheaded by CTR Distinguished Fellow and former President of the Government of Spain Jose Maria Aznar; former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo; Governor of the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckmin; former Governor of New Mexico and U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson; and scores of former Presidents and Prime Ministers, ministers and legislators, CEOs, governors, scholars and think tank executives.

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva (+32 2 298 81 55)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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