The EU remains firmly committed to the Iranian nuclear deal, and it wants the US to permanently exempt the bloc from steel tariffs. Those were the key takeaways from chairman Donald Tusk’s speech at the climax of the EU-Western Balkans summit on Thursday.
"On Iran nuclear deal, we agreed unanimously that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it. Additionally the Commission was given a green light to be ready to act whenever European interests are affected," Tusk told a news conference.
The European Council president added that free trade talks with Washington in some areas would not begin until they issue permanent exemptions on aluminium and steel tariffs for the EU. German carmakers, including BMW and Volkswagen, are likely to be hardest hit by the import levies as the US is their second-largest market below China.
Leaders of the EU and Bulgaria addressed the media following the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, where they discussed US trade, saving the Iran nuclear deal and bringing Western Balkans closer to the Union.
The summit marked the first meeting of EU and Western Balkans leaders in 15 years.
It was aimed at reaffirming the EU's commitment to its Western Balkans partners, strengthening links between the two in areas such as infrastructure, digital and human connectivity, and encouraging greater cooperation on security, migration and geopolitical developments.