EU-US Agenda for Global Change
On 2 December 2020, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy put forward a joint proposal for a new EU-US Transatlantic Agenda. The Agenda sets out guiding principles of cooperation for a transatlantic partnership.
The first key issue addressed by the Agenda is the development of a global response and cooperation for a healthier world, especially with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, the Agenda proposes that the EU and the US ensure funding for the development and equitable global distribution of vaccines, tests, and treatments. Another suggestion is the development of a pandemic playbook for preparedness and response and to step up cooperation and data sharing between theT respective agencies. The EU and US should work together to facilitate trade in essential medical goods, starting by joining the Trade and Health Initiative under the WTO. Both partners should also work together to support the World Health Organization and design and deliver a joint reform proposal.
The second key issue proposed by the Agenda is the protection of the planet and economic prosperity. To achieve this aim, first steps identified by the Agenda include the coordination of positions and leading efforts for negotiating global agreements. The Agenda further suggests a new transatlantic green trade agenda, including a Trade and Climate Initiative within the WTO and measures to avoid carbon leakage. Additionally, a transatlantic green tech alliance should be formed to ensure greater cooperation in developing clean and circular technologies and in creating lead markets. Another suggestion is to design a global regulatory framework for sustainable finance in order to consolidate efforts in the fight against deforestation and to step up ocean protection.
The third key issue suggests ideas on how to work together on technology and trade. According to the Agenda, the EU and US should work together on solving bilateral trade irritants by negotiating solutions, and they should lead WTO reform efforts. The establishment of a new EU-US Trade and Technology Council would help, facilitate, trade, and develop compatible standards and promote innovation. A transatlantic dialogue on the responsibility of online platforms and Big Tech should be opened, for instance, to find global solutions for fair taxation and against market distortions in the digital economy. Furthermore, a common transatlantic approach could be developed to protect critical technologies in light of global economic and security concerns.
The fourth issue involves possibilities to work together towards a safer, more prosperous, and more democratic world. The EU is committed to playing a full part in the Summit for Democracy proposed by President Joe Biden, aiming for joint commitments to fight the rise of authoritarianism, human rights abuses, and corruption. Further ideas include coordinated responses to promote regional and global stability, i.e., by strengthening policies in Eastern Partnership Countries and the Mediterranean. To strengthen transatlantic and international security, a new EU-US Security and Defence Dialogue should be established. The suggestion was made to hold an EU-US Summit in the first half of 2021 to launch the Agenda.