The EU and the US patch up differences

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The EU and the US patch up differences

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The first top-level summit between the European Union and the United States in a year has resulted in declarations of friendship all round.

Differences of opinion and strategy on a range of issues – especially how to shake off the economic crisis – were all apparently resolved in just two hours of talks in Portugal.

President Barack Obama told reporters afterwards: “This summit was not as exciting as other summits because we basically agree on everything. The United States needs and wants a strong and united Europe.”

They were welcome words for the EU as it looks for assurances Obama is still paying attention to Europe while he forges ties with emerging economies such as China and India.

But there is no escaping the importance of trans-Atlantic trade for both parties.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso explained: “Growth and jobs, that’s what our citizens expect from us on both sides of the Atlantic. And I believe there is a great potential on issues like clean technologies and innovation, many areas where both the United States and the European Union can benefit from this increased cooperation.”

And there were agreements on streamlining trade relations and the need for market-driven currency rates.

Euronews’ correspondent Jose Miguel Sardo says: “Security but also the economy dominated this summit which concluded 48 hours of intense diplomatic activity in Lisbon. In the USA they labelled this meeting jobs, jobs, jobs: one out of every 10 posts in the States depends on economic ties with the EU.”