Protecting the value-based partnership with the US

Resolution submitted by JEF Political Commission 3: External Affairs and Global Governance.
Adopted by the European Congress in Paris on 27 October 2019. Re-adopted by the Federal Committee in Luxembourg on 10 April 2022.

EU-US diplomatic relations date back to 1953 and remain one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. The substantial defence and security role in Europe played by the US during the two world wars and the Cold War and the support at all relevant stages of European integration shows how close the common principles and values are. However, the growing interest of the United States in other relevant areas of the world, the deterioration of relations with China and Russia and, at the same time, the permanent demand to redistribute the cost of European defence security among the members of NATO open a new chapter in the bilateral partnership.

JEF Europe,

  • Acknowledging the long-standing US commitment to European integration, supported by both Democratic and Republican administrations, starting with the Marshall Plan, as guarantor of a peaceful, prosperous and secure Europe inextricably linked by shared values to the US;
  • Still recognising that the shifting balance of power between isolationism and internationalism has always been a part of US politics;
  • Regretting the rapid backsliding of US democracy shown in several indices, the worrisome situation with its political stability, the increased polarisation, rise in hate crimes and the seemingly lost respect for democracy and the rule of law in the US in part of its society;
  • Expressing support for the commitment of both the EU and the US to the promotion and enforcement of multilateralism as a basis for bilateral and international relations;
  • Acknowledging the commitment of the US and the EU as leading global actors in safeguarding human, civil, and political rights and calls for greater engagement across international institutions for global democracy, peace, and sustainable development, as well as international law;
  • Recognising that the EU and the US have been allies in developing, protecting and advancing rule-based international cooperation and norms of international law as a prerequisite for multilateralism;
  • Acknowledging the global shift towards bipolarity with the mutual partnership between Russia and China getting stronger as a counterbalance to the EU–US alliance and the promotion of democratic values across the world;
  • Noting the limited focus on cooperation on higher education and vocational training between the EU and the US in the Erasmus+ programme;
  • Recognising the mutual benefit of scientific and technological cooperation between the US and the EU in the Horizon Europe;
  • Recalling the leading and decisive role of the EU and US to reach a global consensus on the Paris Agreement that offers the world a framework for protecting our planet and fighting climate change, despite its temporary withdrawal;
  • Taking into account that Europe and the US form the largest economic zone in the world accounting for one-third of global trade and almost half of the global gross domestic product;
  • Acknowledges the concerns on questions over transparency and the investor-state dispute settlement;
  • Disappointed by the differential treatment of EU Member States by the US regarding visa liberalisation, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania;
  • Welcoming a shift toward the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but deplores that the WTO’s Appellate Body still cannot operate due to the lack of quorum since the Trump administration;
  • Recalling the resolution “Establishing a European Security and Defense Union” and calling for a solid common European Foreign and Security policy, which fuelled by common defence capabilities, could represent, with NATO alliance and within the UN framework, a pillar to prevent crises throughout the world and contribute to building a safe and prosperous international society.

Therefore, JEF Europe,

  1. Calls on the EU and its Member states to offer a closer relationship to the US administration based on our shared values and principles including democracy, the rule of law, safeguarding human rights and freedom of the press in accordance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  2. Urges all EU Member States to stand in solidarity and unity vis-a-vis the US and to object to calls for direct bilateral relations that ignore EU institutions;
  3. Also urges the U.S. and EU to make real progress for the international economy by advancing their multilateral commitments, resolving the dispute settlement mechanism, and concluding advanced trade agreements and economic partnerships with other international actors;
  4. Calls on the EU to reopen negotiations on a new value-based trade and investment agreement between the EU and US, which does not compromise on EU standards and is conditioned to true environmental and climate commitments, as laid out in the Paris Agreement;
  5. Calls on the EU to increase cooperation on higher education and vocational training in the Erasmus+ programme in order to promote mutual understanding between EU and US citizens;
  6. Calls on the EU to increase EU-US scientific and technological cooperation in the Horizon Europe programme, especially in research and innovation areas contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals;
  7. Calls on the EU’s Member States to substantially boost a common EU Foreign Policy through increased resources and to safeguard regional and global cooperation by taking over more responsibility, particularly in the neighbourhood;
  8. Calls on the EU Member States to maintain their coherence with regard to Russia and the sanction regime, making clear that EU and its Member States stand with Ukraine and its reform process and to be prepared to take the driver’s seat in upholding the sanctions regime in the future with all relevant international partners; and similarly to increase their commitment to the Eastern Neighbourhood as a whole;
  9. Demands from the EU and its Member States to articulate clearly and visibly our belief in the rule of law and democracy on the national and international level, and calls on the US to promote with the EU this guiding principle also against internal pressure and opposition;
  10. Underlines the urgency of the European Union to build a European Security and Defence Union, which would enhance the influence of European Member States within NATO, allow a stronger capability of defending European countries and promoting EU values independently from the US engagement in the long term;
  11. Calls on the EU and the US to take effective coordinated action in the UN Security Council and General Assembly to address global policy issues, increase their annual contribution to the UN budget, and prepare for the prospect of the EU’s single-seat.