President Barack Obama recently welcomed European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to the White House. President Obama stressed "the fundamental bonds that exist between the European Union and the United States. Our common values, our common belief(s) in the rule of law, in democracy, in freedom, in a free market system – all those things bind us together."
Much of what the three leaders discussed was how to grow the economies of the United States and Europe and create more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The Eurozone crisis was a central part of that discussion, and President Obama said the U.S. stands ready to do its part to help Europe resolve this issue.
"This is of huge importance to our own economy," he said. "If Europe is contracting or if Europe is having difficulties, then it's much more difficult for us to create good jobs here at home because we send so many of our products and services to Europe." European Union and U.S. trade and investment generates millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
The U.S. and Europe also cooperate closely with regard to security. All three leaders committed to continue pressing the Iranian regime to stand down when it comes to the development of nuclear weapons.
The U.S. and Europe have a shared stake in continued progress in Afghanistan, where the EU serves as a leading donor.
With regard to the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. and EU pledged to continue to support democratic transitions, transparency, and economic development. The aspirations of the people of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, must be met with economic opportunity, said President Obama.
The U.S. and EU also stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Belarus in their quest for a return to the rule of law and democratic reforms. And in Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU agree that the country must continue down a path of reform and turn its back on politicized justice.
The United States and the European Union remain committed to promoting economic growth and fundamental rights. When given a choice, people everywhere choose freedom over oppression, democracy over tyranny. These are the values that continue to drive the U.S.-EU relationship.