Commission President José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Council and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and US President George W. Bush met at the EU-US Summit on 21 June in Vienna to discuss foreign policy co-operation, energy security, economy and trade, and other global challenges. On energy, leaders decided to step up EU-US cooperation to a strategic level and to promote a set of principles for responsible energy policies worldwide. Iran, the Middle East and the promotion of democracy are dominated the foreign policy agenda.
Other participants at the summit were Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for Trade Mandelson, and Austrian Foreign Minister Plassnik as well as High Representative Javier Solana from the EU side and Secretary of State Rice from the US side.
President Barroso said:
”EU-US relations have strengthened considerably over the last year and we are working together systematically to address common economic, political and environmental challenges. With shared values and interests, the EU and the US are natural partners to take the lead. Our Summit meeting confirmed this productive year and strengthened further our global partnership.”
Leaders adopted a Joint declaration [56 KB] to further strengthen EU-US strategic partnership with priority actions in the following four areas:
Further they endorsed a Progress report on political issues [31 KB] assessing the EU-US relationship in the follow up to the 2005 summit.
Another Progress Report on the Economic Initiative [24 KB] , which was launched at the 2005 EU-US Summit, was endorsed by leaders.
Summit participants also agreed on a Joint Report on the Roadmap for EU-US Regulatory Cooperation [138 KB] and an EU – US Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights [31 KB] (IPR).
On the occasion of the launch of this joint IPR initiative EU Commission Vice President and Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen said:
“Our industry won’t be able to win the global race with rock-bottom prices and low quality. The only way forward is innovation, invention and quality. When ideas or brands and products are pirated, ripped-off and counterfeited, this strategy is doomed. This is why the EU and the US have joined forces to combat the pirating of products in a more effective way.”
Read the full press release on the EU-US IPR strategy and an Op-Ed in the 20 June 2006 edition of the “Wall Street Journal” by Commission Vice President Verheugen, Commissioner Mandelson, US Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez and US Trade Representative Schwab on “Countering Counterfeits”.
The Summit concluded with a final press conference [45 KB] by Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and US President George W. Bush.
A new eight-year Higher Education and Training Agreement was signed between the EU and the US, renewing their long-standing cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training.
In the margins of the Summit, Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian Foreign Minister and Council President in office Ursula Plassnik and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a Higher Education and Vocational Training Agreement aiming at stimulating further exchangesbetween the peoples of the EU and the US and improving the quality of human resource development.
Vice President Verheugen and Commissioner Peter Mandelson and US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez launched a joint EU - US Action Strategy on the global enforcement of intellectual property right. This ground-breaking agreement envisages closer customs co-operation, including more data sharing.
Leaders met for a working session on the morning of 21 June, followed by a working lunch. A Press conference by Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and US President George W. Bush concluded the event.