The strategic and economic partnership between Europe and the United States has never been stronger, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech to the Munich Security Conference on February 5th. "The transatlantic economy accounts for more than half of world trade, and when it comes to investment, the numbers are higher still."
The United States and Europe together are committed to fighting poverty, disease and hunger and are responsible for nearly eighty percent of all international development aid.
In Afghanistan, more than thirty-six thousand Europeans serve alongside U.S. troops as part of the NATO-led, forty-eight-nation strong International Security Assistance Force. "Together," said Secretary Clinton, "we are striving to build a durable peace by training Afghanistan's police and army, and it's a strategy that is starting to bear fruit."
The United States and Europe have also joined to put pressure on Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful. Last year, Russia joined in voting for tough United Nations Security Council sanctions.
The U.S. and Europe are also working together elsewhere -- supporting peaceful and orderly transition to democracy in Egypt and Tunisia, preventing violence during the referendum in Sudan, curbing piracy off the Horn of Africa, taking a unified stand on Belarus to support free and fair elections, and promoting economic growth and democratic governance in the Balkans.
In the meantime, the relationship between the United States and Europe continues to evolve. In an effort to revitalize and update how NATO secures the transatlantic community, the alliance approved a new strategic concept in Libson last year. The United States will maintain the necessary balance of forces and capabilities to meet its enduring commitment to Article 5, the common defense clause.
The most pressing threat faced by Europe and the United States is the proliferation of ballistic missiles. That's why the U.S. has outlined a phased-adaptive approach that will defend against the current generation of missiles. And it will evolve over time as the threat evolves, said Secretary Clinton. This year radar systems will be deployed on land and Aegis ships in the Mediterranean.
The United States and Europe will continue to advance and strengthen their unique, multifaceted partnership.