The US and European Armed-Forces in a joint Exercise

Rapid Trident the U.S. Army Europe-led Cooperative Training Exercise

From 20-31 July 2015 the U.S Army in Europe conducted a joint Exercise with its European Counterparts. 

Rapid Trident, was part of U.S Army Europe that had its Training intensity on Peacekeeping and Stability Operations.

There were over 1800 members of Armed-Forces from 18 EU States as well as Canada.

Participating Armed-Forces were from:  Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukrainian and the U.S.

 

©The US Army Europe

By Catherine Stella Schmidt  (Copy righted material) 

 

 

United Kingdom and the EU Reform

Britain’s four-point package for EU reform

By the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Philip Hammond

LONDON — Right across the continent, anti-EU parties have made huge gains in recent years — in local, national and European elections. We need to respond by making the EU more democratic and far better equipped to help deliver the growth and jobs its citizens expect.

Since the UK joined, the EU has changed beyond recognition. The fall of the Iron Curtain has seen the EU expand with 16 new countries becoming members; the Euro has been created, and EU rules now regulate our affairs across a huge area stretching from environment to social policy.

There is no doubt that EU membership has brought clear benefits to Britain in some areas. But in others it has led to loss of national sovereignty and an increase in bureaucratic burdens on business that has resulted in the British people’s consent for membership wearing wafer thin.
So what does the UK government want from this negotiation? To restore the confidence of the British people in the EU we need to work with our European partners to agree a package of reform that will ensure the EU is fit for the 21st century; reforms that will benefit not only the UK, but all 28 member states.

First, on jobs and growth, the uncomfortable truth is that the EU’s growth rate is far below that needed to reduce unemployment to acceptable levels and is being challenged not only by Asia, but also by the US. If we are to preserve European living standards, we need to empower our businesses to compete more effectively in the world by enhancing the single market, especially in services, digital, and energy. We have to be open to world trade and complete trade agreements with the US, Japan, and other developed economies, as well as with the fast growing economies of Asia and South America. And we must create a regulatory framework that supports, not hinders, business to create the growth and jobs we need.

Secondly, we seek reforms that will allow those countries that want to integrate further to do so, while respecting the interests of those that do not. This applies most clearly to the Eurozone where the UK does not seek to prevent further euro-integration — indeed supports it — but does need guarantees that the interests of those not in the euro will be protected. This concept of a two-pillar Europe, with a properly defined relationship between the Eurozone and non-Eurozone within a single market, and sharing the same institutions, builds on the existing architecture of Schengen and Banking Union and is good for everyone. It allows Eurozone integration to progress, respecting the interests of the non-Eurozone Member States. And it recognises that, while the concept of ever-closer union appeals to some Member States, it is not right for all.
Thirdly, we think national parliaments must have a greater say, both in connecting citizens to EU decisions and in properly implementing the concept of subsidiarity — the idea that decisions should be made as close as possible to the citizens they affect. All too often the EU has exercised power in areas where decision-making could be done at national, regional, or local government level without interfering with the operation of the single market or the effective functioning of the EU. We want to strengthen the role of national parliaments, for example, by allowing groups of them to be able to block regulations in future. The EU must respect the layers of government that are closest and most accountable to European citizens. We agree with the Dutch Government: “Europe where necessary, national where possible.”
Fourthly, while we accept that the free movement of people to work is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU and these negotiations do not seek to curtail this freedom, we do want to protect the UK’s welfare system from abuse and reduce the incentives that encourage highly skilled workers to travel to the UK to do low-skilled jobs. This undermines economic growth in their countries of origin and belief in the fairness of free movement in destination countries. We must also develop the other freedoms, in particular freedom of movement of services and of capital, to ensure that it is not just free movement of people that contributes to convergence of living standards across Europe.

We approach these reforms in a positive and engaged manner, listening to our partners and intending to agree reforms that will help all Member States to thrive in the 21st century.
We will negotiate a package of reform and will then ask the British people their view, in a straightforward “in or out” referendum by the end of 2017, and earlier if we can.

The stakes are high: the UK is a large and open economy with a long history and a significant role on the world stage which can contribute hugely to Europe’s success. If we can resolve the issues that have so troubled the British people and achieve a

“Yes” vote in the referendum, we will settle the question of Britain’s place in Europe and enable the UK to play a fully engaged role in a more competitive, prosperous, outward-looking and confident EU in the future.
That is an outcome that really will be in the best interest of Europeans on both sides of the English Channel.

This Article was originally published in Politico.EU on June 2015: http://www.politico.eu/article/britains-four-point-package-for-eu-reform/

 

Transatlantic-Relations

Transatlantic-Relations

March 9th, on his first Official trip, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk travelled to Washington DC to meet with President Obama and the U.S Congress for highlighting the importance of Transatlantic Partnerships, and to discuss various global crisis that are posing threats to the U.S and European Values, Security and Prosperity alike.
The two Leader also discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Climate Changes, Energy Security, and the Fight against terrorism.

Welcoming President Tusk President Obama emphasized also the multifaceted deep partnerships between U.S-Europe and concluded by saying: 
                “Transatlantic Unity is as strong as it’s ever been.”

President Obama and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Washington DC 9 March 2015 President Obama during his meeting with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Washington DC 9 March 2015 ©Delegation of the European Union to the USA

Press statement by President Donald Tusk on the importance of US-European Partnerships and Unity.

Good afternoon.
First let me thank President Obama for inviting me, in my new role as President of the European Council, to Washington. Thank you, Mr. President.

We have much to discuss, however I would like to pay special attention to three topics, namely the critical relations with Russia in the context of Ukraine, the threat of terrorism and actions of the so-called Islamic State in the context of Libya, and lastly, our negotiations on TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Although these are three very different challenges, they have a common denominator, the need – maybe greater than ever before – for unity of Europe and the United States.
We are witnessing today the calling into question, attacking even of our fundamental values, freedom, prosperity, liberal democracy and geopolitical order. Our enemies who use propaganda, commit acts of violence and violate the sovereignty of our Neighbours want to weaken the political community of the Western world.

Today we can see with full clarity that they are trying to divide us, inside of Europe as well as Europe and America. But when we are united, we will be able to put a stop to the aggressive policy of Russia against her neighbours. The past has shown that when we were united, we were able to successfully fight against terrorism.

And also thanks to the fact that we have acted together in the field of liberal economy and free trade, we achieved success.
When it comes to TTIP, getting agreement will not be as difficult as people think. Of course the result of the negotiations must be balanced and we have to bring the public on both sides of the Atlantic with us but I have no doubt that TTIP will keep America and Europe strong in the world in terms of prosperity, growth and jobs, also with reference to geopolitical security.

Second, we need to prevent violent extremism from spreading in Africa. We must help Libya. We cannot have a failed state, run by warlords and fanatics, slipping into anarchy only 100 miles off the southern coast of Europe. Last, on Ukraine. We are united on the need for full implementation of the Minsk agreements and on our determination to maintain the sanctions on Russia until Minsk is fully implemented.
Brutal history has returned to us. History and the politics of faits accomplis.

That is why it is so important that Europe and the U.S not only speak in one voice but also that they act, in unison. Because who we are tomorrow depends on what we do today.

I deeply believe in some kind of Renaissance of faith in our Community. You, Americans, expressed this need in the most convincing phrase I know, United We Stand Divided We Fall.

Thank you.

©Delegation of the European Union to the USA

 

By Catherine Stella Schmidt  (Copy righted material) 

 

The United States of America and Europe

Remarks by Ambassador O’Sullivan on EU-US Global Leadership as 2015 Priority

©Delegation of the European Union to the USA

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