The European Union is still the place where economic and social institutions assure a better quality of life, because it guarantees the values that represent humanity at its best. Those values are embodied partly in Europe’s well-developed welfare states, which are an important component of Europeans’ collective identity and a principal point of pride.
Welfare state spending has not declined. Second welfare states provide much more beyond welfare for citizens to come together to balance expectations of personal and societal security with the demand of tolerance and individual liberty.
And Europe is still supporting Member States in reforming their welfare systems and implement long overdue structural reforms, Strengthening the European Social Model, exactly to preserve also inter-generational equity and fairness, exactly to keep and strengthen our European social market economy.The European social market economy is based on a unique social model.
Even with national variations, our welfare state differentiates us from all other major economies and societies, from developed to emerging economies. It is precious for our citizens. A model that embodies the values they adhere to – the unique combination of responsibility for oneself and solidarity with society and across generations. A model that delivers the goals they live up to – such as security in old age and in adversity. And it is only through cooperation and adaptation that we will safeguard our social market economy.
Europe is still the largest economy in the world. With over 500 million consumers, it represents a €12.6 trillion economy. Only the United States is in the same league, worth €11.3 trillion, while even China remains considerably smaller, at €4.6 trillion. Europe is the world leader in a number of industrial sectors and most of these include diverse value-chains in which flagship corporations are linked to a host of small- and medium sized enterprises.
Exports have been the main driver of industrial activity; the EU has been outperforming the U.S and Japanese. Europe delivered a € 365 billion trade surplus in 2012, equivalent to about a billion euros per day.
Thus, Europe remains an economic giant. Beyond mere economics, this success story also shows that individual interests in Europe are better protected by acting together through common institutions. Europe can also count on a stable and strong common currency, the euro, which is now part of millions of people’s daily life and the world’s second reserve currency.
This is one of EU:s most significant achievements, and the most visible symbol of European economic and political integration. Since its creation it has brought many benefits not only to the Europeans but also to our international partners. It has boosted internal cross-border integration and external trade.
The European Union has also been a major exponent of political conditionality as distinctive approach to promoting democracy. The EU´s Copenhagen criteria in 1993 lay down conditions referring to stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for the protection of minorities´for eligibility to join the EU. A strong EU is the best answer to the challenges of 21st century.
A Strong EU is also key to creating a successful security policy, protecting our citizens at home and our interests around the world. The 2003 ESS, which is often seen as a guidebook for European global action, identifies a series of ‘external’ security challenges. First on the list comes terrorism, which ‘puts lives our citizens at risk.
As goes the very first line of the 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS). Peace among European people is generally perceived as the biggest achievement of the EU, and rightly so. This confident assessment is based on the assumption that the EU’s territory is virtually safe from a conventional attack from any third country. In the words of the ESS, ‘large-scale aggression against any member state is now improbable’. This is due to Europe’s own military strength as much as to the US security umbrella, through NATO and its article five.
But above all, this assessment is based on the absence of any perceived strategic enemy. To be sure, countries like Russia and China are difficult, even troublesome interlocutors. The situation in Ukraine and the tensions resulting thereof between the EU and Russia are a stark reminder that ‘strategic partners’ can sometimes become a ‘strategic challenge’. Yet, in all logic, we do not go at war against strategic partners. This is not to say that Europeans can no longer wage war. In fact, European soldiers have been quite active over the last decade in foreign theatres such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali or Libya. European countries stand ready to fight for their interests where they lie, including far abroad.
In this sense, the demand for a European voice in the world is clear. From this perspective, it is not ether difficult to comprehend Europe’s international appeal. Europeans have a new reason for hope as they seek to achieve these Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) goals.
The transatlantic partnership—underpinned by a comprehensive set of democratic, strategic, economic and cultural ties—has been the foundation of global security for over two generations.
The US is the most important trade partner for the EU as measured by exports. In 2011, around 17 per cent of total EU exports were destined to the US market. The US is also an important source of EU imports. It is the third most important (11 per cent of total imports) after China and Russia.
For the US, the EU is also a key bilateral trade partner. The EU was the second most important destination for US exports (after Canada), representing 19 per cent of total exports. It is also the second most important import partner (after China),supplying 17 per cent of total US imports.
The transatlantic trade relationship is a deep one too, rooted in centuries of shared value of peace and economic history. In the post-war period, this fact has been reflected not only in early shared steps leading ultimately to the modern multilateral trading system, but also periodic initiatives to forma regional trade agreement.
There is a period in American history, around two hundred years ago, that is known as ‘The Era of Good Feelings “At a time when we are about to negotiate an unprecedented trade agreement between the EU and the US, it’s good to remember that the reason why the British finally accepted the terms of peace was not merely military, moral or diplomatic but largely economic”, said President of the European Commission Barroso (in speech at Bloomberg & European American Chamber of Commerce Conversation New York 12 April 2013).
When Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon’s army in 1815 put an end to Napoleon’s ambitions for the last time at the Battle of Waterloo near the end of Madison’s presidency, and Napoleon war ended so did the War of 1812 too. And an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity began, which was called the Era of Good Feelings.
This Era of Good Feelings started in Europe, with an agreement signed in a place not far from Brussels, the Treaty of Ghent of 1814, that ended the war between Britain and the United States.
With Europe finally at peace, the Era of Good Feelings described the prosperity and relatively equable political environment.
And Madison’s reputation as President improved and Americans finally believed the United States had established itself as a world power.
The policy process is in some sense a trail and error problem solving process. Problems arise, citizens complain, and police makers offer a policy solution. On the strong side, the theorist assumed that western states had, on the whole, created effective national and international institutions in slow process of trail, error, compromises, and consolidation.
At least for large-scale political processes lead to several different paths. For example students of international relations commonly assume that some time between the treaty of Augsburg (1555) and the treaties of Westphalia (1648), Europeans supplanted a web of overlapping jurisdictions with system of clearly bounded sovereign states that provided the context for war and diplomacy up to the present.
More recent reforms have continued that trend. Governments in the 70s and 1980s generally tried to change the concepts. At the time, Europe’s common market was not yet a single market. Then, a historic convergence of national interests and ideological positions, from François Mitterrand’s Socialists to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives to Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democrats, occurred.
With great foresight, Europe’s leaders concluded that it was their economies’ lack of integration that was keeping Europe from growing as strongly as the US and Japan.
In many ways Europe is as rich as it is because of the E.U. But the single market is not yet completed. Also here, Europe is work in progress.
The European Union is a to large extent a policy based on rules and legal integration and in world politics, a trend towards legal rules and institutions, including an emphasis of human rights, by engaging in processes for stability and peace defined by partnership and ideological suasion.
The fact is that one of the EU’s main successes has been its gradual enlargement, its willingness to project and root democracy, security and shared prosperity across most of the continent, across “Europe as a whole”, as Churchill said. In any event, the most important element of the federation by exception would possibly be its strong democratic anchor. With ”more integration”.
Today, the European union remains a union of sovereign nation states, and it´s progress of integration accelerates with changes in the external environment and in the structure of the European economy and policy. With the rising importance of global and regional production chains and international firms, the logic for a regional, transatlantic agreement seems compelling.
Together, the two economies account for roughly half of world output and world trade. They are, mutually, each other’s most important investment partners as well. The discussions regarding the possible deepening of these links are on-going. This study (Final Project Report March 2013) reviews the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and provides computable general equilibrium (CGE)-based estimates for the economy-wide impact of reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs).
The comprehensive option includes two scenarios: a less ambitious agreement and an ambitious scenario. The results indicate positive and significant gains for both economies. Both the Commission and the US Administration have different systems in place to assess the impacts of regulations and regulatory initiatives.
The shift towards greater transatlantic collaboration is endorsed at the top of both the US and EU governments. On June 14, 2013, EU Member States gave the European Commission the green light to begin negotiating with the United States on the TTIP agreement.
The overall objective of the accord is to increase trade and investment between the EU and the U.S. by realizing the untapped potential of a truly transatlantic marketplace, generating new economic opportunities for job creation and growth through increased market access and greater regulatory compatibility, and paving the way for global standards.
Indeed, the (HLWG) Group’s final report, released February 11, 2013, states that the agreement “should be designed to evolve over time,” moving “progressively toward a more integrated transatlantic marketplace.” a comprehensive agreement that addresses a broad range of bilateral trade and investment issues, including regulatory issues, and contributes to the development of global rules, would provide the most significant mutual benefit of the various options. Specifically, the group recommends establishing “an on-going mechanism for improved dialogue and cooperation” on regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers, as well as a “framework for identifying opportunities for future regulatory cooperation.”
The benefits for the EU and US would not be at the expense of the rest of the world. On the contrary, liberalising trade between the EU and the US would have a positive impact on worldwide trade and incomes, increasing global income by almost €100 billion.
Today On February 28, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosts Frank-Walter Steinmeier for a Statesman’s Forum address on the value of transatlantic relations for future generations.
Speaking at Brookings live webcast of “Transatlantic Ties for a New Generation: A Statesman’s Forum: In his remarks, the minister, said…
EU-U.S Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a huge opportunity to shape the rules of the next phase of globalization together.
The goal is to agree on high-level standards that can serve as a benchmark for other countries.
In his view, TTIP is a landmark for free trade worldwide – not a retreat into bilateralism. In our view, TTIP will inspire our diversity – not reduce us to uniformity.
And we also need global rules for our environment and natural resources. Climate change is a threat to our children’s prosperity, health and increasingly to their political security. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
However, as the world becomes more globalized and multipolar in the digital age, some on both sides of the Atlantic have begun to question the enduring value of this alliance, especially among the younger generations.
To the generation of tomorrow, the value of the transatlantic partnership is in no way as self-evident as it is to our generation.
The first value in Steinmeier speech, that we need to put to work is “opportunity”. In his State of the Union a few weeks ago, President Obama said: “Opportunity is who we are”. Enlarging opportunity across borders is what drives the European Union today.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier also explore how Europe and the United States must continue to develop their strategic partnership to ensure that civil rights are protected and to clarify what rules apply in the future to both governments and businesses.
Our single biggest lever of opportunity is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. What TTIP will do is more than cutting tariffs. It will cut the red-tape and the special interests that stand in the way of innovation. Most of all, this will benefit the small and medium-sized firms.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is finally on the table, “European-American Dream”promising to boost growth in the EU and the US alike. In mid-July, the first round of negotiations on a future free trade agreement between the EU and the US were held in Washington DC, from July 8 through 12.
Round Two were held in in Brussels October 7 through 11, a week-long negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Continuing from where they left off in the first round in July. A good atmosphere and the active involvement of regulators from both sides meant significant progress was made. The third round of EU-US TTIP was held in Washington, between 16 and 20 December 2013.
The simulation with the limited scenario indicate that trade with the US from Sweden as well as the rest of the EU countries (EU28) would increase substantially.
For Sweden, the agreement could mean that our exports to the US increase by 17 per cent, while US exports to Sweden could increase by 15 per cent. In addition, it is expected that Sweden’s GDP would increase by 0.2 per cent. The US and Sweden also close business partners who share intrepid vision defined by peace, security and respect for human rights.
But more impressive the future agreement between the EU and the U.S is expected to be the broadest and deepest ever entered into by the EU within the area of free trade. The idea is that it should serve as a guide for other countries and regions. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman gave his first major address on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) at GMF in Brussels on September 30, 2013.
While TTIP promises to make trade and investment between the United States and Europe more efficient, Froman explained one of its primary aims is to be more global in nature. As leaders in the global economy, the United States and Europe have the capacity to set standards for trade that can be adopted at a global level, which will ultimately lead to greater liberalization of the global trading order.
Despite its global reach, however, the deal is not an attempt to contain other economic powers or disenfranchise any sector. Froman called for more transparency in the rules creation process, citing the existing processes in the U.S. as an example of good practice. He explained that U.S. regulations and standards have benefited from the information provided through multiple consultations of the private sector, civil society, and other partners before they were decided upon.
This process leads to more informed decision making and makes the enforcement of rules easier. (See more at gmfus.org). There’s a global desire for more transparency and participation in formulation of EU regulations. The best thing TTIP can contribute to global trade is setting an example for standards and regulations. US and EU may also do more to increase commitment to rules based trade on a global level.
The EU and the US are relatively open towards each other in terms of investment and trade, as reflected in relatively low levels for tariffs. The magnitude of the trade relationship between the EU and the US, and the importance of the two economies as bilateral partners, suggests that an FTA that would reduce obstacles and costs to trade between the two could have significant impacts on trade and on their economic performance. EU-US ambitious TTIP agreement will offer new technology and managerial know-how that allow SMEs to leap ahead in innovation.
The TTIP is being considered a gold standards of future agreements, (a guide for other countries and regions) and will be used as a blueprint for future deals. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade has a dedicated TTIP website that includes information on the EU’s negotiating team as well as a number of the EU’s initial TTIP position papers on various aspects of the negotiations.