Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
February 17, 2005
U.S.-EU Foreign Policy Cooperation
The United States and the European Union (EU) are vital partners in promoting freedom and democracy around the world. We maintain a robust agenda of cooperation on a number of vital issues, including the Balkans, Ukraine, the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.
In the Western Balkans, the U.S. and the EU work closely in strengthening democracy, ensuring stability, and promoting the region's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Last December, we welcomed the EU's leadership in the launching of its "Operation Althea" in Bosnia, which also demonstrated a successful implementation of the Berlin-plus agreements between NATO and the EU. In Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU consulted closely during the presidential election campaign and especially following the flawed November first-round vote, and we applauded efforts by many EU leaders to resolve the post-election crisis.
The U.S. and the EU are close partners within the Quartet, alongside the United Nations and Russia, in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. The EU has made significant contributions to our mutual goal of promoting good governance, democracy, and strong civil societies throughout the Middle East. Since the January 2005 Palestinian elections, the U.S. and the EU have each pledged more than $300 million to support reform in the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. and the EU also work together in promoting reform through the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative.
We share a commitment to the future of a federal, democratic, pluralistic, and unified Iraq. The U.S. and EU supported preparations for Iraq's January elections and will continue to cooperate to support Iraq's democratic institutions. In Afghanistan, the EU has also been a close partner in supporting democratic development and reconstruction. Most notably, in 2003 the EU pledged to provide one billion euros (roughly $1.3 billion) to Afghanistan over a five-year period to support reconstruction and development.
The U.S. and the EU cooperate on many African issues, including supporting efforts by the African Union to restore peace in the Darfur region. The U.S. welcomed the EU peacekeeping mission in the Great Lakes region, and welcomed the EU joining the Tripartite Commission as an observer. The U.S. consults regularly with the EU on assistance programs, including efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other concerns, throughout Africa.
In order to maximize cooperation, periodic presidential summits and regular meetings by the Secretary of State with European counterparts provide special opportunities for discussion of important foreign policy issues and global challenges. In addition, senior State Department officials also meet regularly with counterparts to review the full range of transatlantic issues.
At the working level, during each six-month EU presidency, the U.S. and EU hold approximately 20 meetings, which focus on specific regional and functional issues in order to ensure a regular exchange of views and coordination on policy. Topics at separate functional working group meetings include the full range of arms control, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and human rights issues.