Tag Archives: EU-USA

Borrell heads to Washington D.C.

Brussels 13.10.2021 The European Union top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Washington D.C. from 13 to 15 October for a number of high-level meetings focused on the relationship between the EU and the USA, on advancing the Transatlantic agenda and on pressing international developments. This will be the first official visit by Borrell to Washington since the new US administration took up office. It takes place in the follow-up to a number of contacts already held by the EU diplomat and his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and in the follow-up to the EU-US summit held in Brussels in June.

In his talks with US partners Borrell will underline that strong alliance between the EU and US is key for addressing global challenges, such as pandemic and economic recovery, climate change and democratic backsliding, as well as to continue to uphold common values, ensure global security and prosperity.

On Thursday, 14 October Borrell will meet with Blinken to discuss current foreign policy issues and initiatives to deepen further the EU-US strategic partnership and advance an already close cooperation on foreign and security policy.

Later on, the EU diplomat will hold meetings with the US Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks to discuss how to pursue enhanced bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defence.

EU welcomes US execution moratorium

Brussels 03.07.2021 “The European Union welcomes United States’ Attorney General’s announcement on Thursday, July 1,to impose a moratorium on federal executions until the US Department of Justice reviews its policies on the death penalty. This is a promising first step that we hope will bring a definitive end to this practice at federal level, and pave the way for the nationwide abolition of capital punishment in the US” reads the statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson on halting federal executions.(Image above: EU building).

“The European Union strongly opposes the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity”.

“The European Union continues to work for the universal abolition of the death penalty”.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal executions, a shift from the Trump administration, which had resumed the use of the death penalty in federal cases.

Garland wrote in the memo that the Justice Department would also review its policies and procedures to make sure they “are consistent with the principles articulated in this memorandum.”

“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland announced in a statement. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”

EU-USA-Canada visa free

The progress achieved of full visa reciprocity with Canada and the United States, evaluating the developments over the past five months is reported today by European Commission. The EU and Canada have agreed a clear timeline for achieving full visa waiver reciprocity. However no indications of progress with the United States achieved.

“Guaranteeing full visa reciprocity with Canada and the U.S. remains a priority for the EU. That is why I welcome the commitment and decision of the Canadian authorities to ensure full visa reciprocity for all EU citizens by 1 December 2017= said  Dimitris Avramopoulos Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship Commissioner. – “This progress proves that our diplomatic contacts and negotiations have delivered important results. Similarly, we will continue keeping this issue high on the agenda with the new U.S. administration and will continue reiterating the importance of achieving full visa reciprocity for all EU citizens with the U.S. as well.”

Today’s stock-taking follows the Communications adopted in April and July, in which the Commission noted that full visa waiver reciprocity with Canada and the United States had not been achieved for citizens of some EU Member States and announced that it would report back on further progress made in the discussions before the end of the year.

Following intensive efforts between the EU and Canada ahead of the 16th EU-Canada Summit on 30 October 2016 in Brussels, Canada provided a clear timeline for achieving full visa waiver reciprocity for all EU citizens. The Commission will continue its work to ensure that full visa waiver reciprocity – already applied to all other EU Member States – will be put in place by Canada for all Bulgarian and Romanian travellers by the end of 2017.

Despite the stepping up of political and technical contacts, there have not been comparable indications of progress towards the lifting of visas with the United States as those seen with Canada.

The Commission will intensify its efforts without delay to push for full visa waiver reciprocity in coordination with the five Member States concerned – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – once the new U.S. administration is in place. The next EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial and Senior Officials meeting expected to take place in the first half of 2017 will provide the next occasion to discuss with the new Administration a way forward to achieving this objective.

The Commission will continue to work with the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that the European Union speaks with one voice on this significant matter.

(Source: European External Action Service)

Illustration: EU-Canada Summit 2016, Brussels