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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Remarks by President Barroso following the EU-US Summit
Brussels, 26 March 2014
First of all, President Obama, it's great to have you here in Brussels, the capital of Europe, in the headquarters of the European institutions.
Your visit sends a very strong signal. First of all to the European citizens, in the sense of how important this transatlantic relationship is for Europe and for the United States of America; to the American people – and I would like to say to the American people that you can count on us as your best friends and allies; and also to the rest of the world. We remain committed and open. We are decided to engage in all global issues, from free trade to achieving the millennium development goals and to climate action. But at the same time we will also be firm in defending our common values: values of peace, freedom, of the rights of the individual, the rule of law, of international law.
The European Union and the United States are working together to make sure that actions that are unacceptable will bear serious consequences. And in fact we can say that it is in this spirit that we have not only been working on issues like Iran or the Middle East peace process, but most recently on the crisis of Ukraine. We have discussed this again today, we are determined not only to safeguard and to support the independence, the prosperity of that country, but also to show that some kind of unacceptable behaviour cannot continue.
We also discussed – linked to this aspect, but not only linked to this issue – the importance of energy, of energy security, at ministerial level. Our teams are going to meet already next week to discuss some issues in terms of energy cooperation between Europe and the United States.
A very concrete, probably the most concrete example of the deepening of our relationship, is precisely the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, not only because it is the agreement that we are preparing for the most important economic relationship in the world. Every day, there is trade of 2.2 billion euros between the two sides of the Atlantic. It is not just because of the huge dimension of this agreement, but because it will be an agreement among equals. Not only are our economies equal in size, but our societies are equal in values. And I believe that to both our economies a new impulse of this Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will be very important to give a decisive injection of dynamism. And indeed even increase the potential for growth, not only for big business, but also for small and medium-sized businesses, for every household there are great potentials in terms of job creation on both sides of the Atlantic, if we do it right. And today we have confirmed that we are determined at the highest level to make it happen and to make it a success, not only for us, but also for the global economy.