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How EU-US Relations Work

In 1990, the Transatlantic Declaration formalized relations between the EU and the US. Five years later, the New Transatlantic Agenda outlined a new framework for our relationship, including four areas for joint action: promoting peace, stability, democracy, and development; responding to global challenges; contributing to the liberalization and expansion of world trade; and improving communication and ensuring a long-term commitment to our partnership. 

2014 Summit

The most recent  EU-U.S. summit was held in Brussels on Wednesday March 26, 2014, following an invitation by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to U.S. President Barack Obama. This was President Obama’s first visit to Brussels and to the EU institutions. Talks centered on major global challenges, including:  sustaining the economic recovery; stemming climate change and ensuring energy security; meeting the challenges of the digital society; and, addressing a number of foreign and security policy issues, most prominently Ukraine. Leaders also took stock of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, characterizing TTIP as a unique opportunity to create jobs and promote growth in Europe, the U.S., and the world.

EU-US Summit, Brussels, March 26, 2014

Ongoing EU-US Dialogues

Thematic dialogues ensure that many actors contribute to the transatlantic political process by encouraging legislators, businesspeople, consumers, scientists, academics, and citizens’ groups to build links with counterparts across the Pond.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Negotiations were launched in July 2013 for the trade and investment agreement known as TTIP. EU and U.S. negotiators meet alternately in Washington, DC, and Brussels, Belgium for talks aimed at removing trade barriers (tariffs, unnecessary regulations, restrictions on investment, etc.) in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier for EU and U.S. companies to trade goods and services with each other and to invest in one another’s economy. Read more…

The Transatlantic Economic Council advances EU-US economic integration by bringing together governments, the business community, and consumers to work on areas where regulatory convergence and understanding can reap rewards on both sides of the Atlantic.

Chaired by the EU Trade Commissioner and the US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs, the TEC provides a high-level forum to address complex areas like investment, financial markets, accounting standards, and secure trade, along with more technical issues.

The Transatlantic Consumers’ Dialogue, made up of EU and US consumer organizations, develops consumer policy recommendations and promotes consumer interests in EU and US policymaking. Conferences take place once a year, alternately in the US and the EU, and produce recommendations related to food, nanotechnology, trade, health, and intellectual property issues.

The Trans-Atlantic Business Council (TBC), created on 1 January 2013 as the result of a merger between the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) and the European-American Business Council (EABC), helps establish a barrier-free transatlantic market to serve as a catalyst for global trade liberalization and prosperity. TABD members include leading American and European companies, both large and small, with strong transatlantic credentials..

The Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue fosters dialogue between the European Parliament and the US Congress, including biannual meetings and teleconferences organized on specific topics of mutual concern.

Other important dialogues include the EU-US Development Dialogue, the EU-US Education Policy Forum, the EU-US Energy Council, and the EU-US Task Force on Biotechnology.

In addition to such formal mechanisms above, Americans and Europeans are in daily contact at the working level on issues of mutual interest.  Bilateral agreements cover issues ranging from agriculture to technology, and most areas in between.

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