US And EU Agree 'Single
Without the US there can't be any success in coping with a
globalised world : European diplomat
-- -- The United States and the European Union have signed
up to a new transatlantic economic partnership at a summit in
The pact is designed to boost trade and investment by
harmonising regulatory standards, laying the basis for a US-EU
The two sides also signed an Open Skies deal, designed to reduce
fares and boost traffic on transatlantic flights.
But little of substance was agreed on climate change.
However, EU leaders were pleased that the US acknowledged human
activity was a major cause.
Economics rather than the environment or politics was the focus
of the summit, says the BBC's Europe correspondent, Jonny Dymond,
The two sides agreed to set up an "economic council" to push
ahead with regulatory convergence in nearly 40 areas, including
intellectual property, financial services, business takeovers
and the motor industry.
The aim is to increase trade and lower costs.
Some reports suggest that incompatible regulations in the
world's two richest regions add 10% to the cost of developing
and producing new cars.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the EU's
rotating presidency, said last month that if the US and EU could
set business norms today, they would "secure the markets of
Since she came to office 18 months ago, she has made repairing
damaged relations with the US a top priority.
The Europeans said they were pleased that the US now officially
acknowledged that climate change was happening and that human
activity was a major cause of it.
"We agree there's a threat, there's a very serious global
threat," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
"We agree that there is a need to reduce emissions. We agree
that we should work together."
But behind the scenes, says our Europe correspondent, officials
were saying that not much had changed.
Ms Merkel will try to nudge the US towards a global approach to
climate change before a G8 summit Germany is chairing in six
weeks' time, says our correspondent.
But the US has consistently rejected the European approach of
imposing national limits on greenhouse gas emissions, saying
they would harm the international economy.
The Open Skies agreement will take effect on 30 March 2008 and
will allow EU carriers to fly to anywhere in the US and vice
The deal promises to lower airfares and widen choice for
passengers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The EU hopes to go further and create an "Open Aviation Area"
between the two sides "in which investment can flow freely and
in which European and US airlines can provide air services
without any restriction," said a EU statement.
The EU is also hoping that the US will agree to withdraw its
visa requirement for travellers from a number of EU states.
Story from BBC NEWS:
to comment on this and other articles
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)