22nd Annual Congress-Bundestag Seminar

Keynote Speech zum Anlass des 22ten jährlichen Congress-Bundestag Seminars im Restaurant Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique et Litteraire.


Nachfolgend finden Sie den Redetext von Kommissar Peter Mandelson abgedruckt:

  • Your being here together symbolises the need for a close transatlantic partnership that goes beyond trade relations: a dialogue involving people across the Atlantic.

  • I want Europe and America to stand together in the world, not only in our fundamental values of democracy and individual rights, but also in politics. I hope that with the important visit of President Bush to Brussels this February new life has been injected in our partnership.

  • Europe and America need to show joint leadership to tackle the global challenges ahead of us, whether they are in the area of security or wider issues facing humanity, such as poverty, migration, resource shortages and climate change. We have a common global agenda. We need common global responses.

  • This brings me to my job as EU Trade Commissioner, a role I only assumed 4 months ago. The role of the EU Trade Commissioner is a very privileged one. I am the one to negotiate on behalf of the world’s largest single market.

  • But I am watched carefully both by the European Parliament and by the Ministers of our Member States in the Council. They want to make sure that I remain within the mandate given to me for negotiation and that the result of my negotiation reflects the rather heterogeneous interests of our 25 Member States.

  • The job is also demanding because of the many different actors on the scene.

  • This is an important point. Whereas trade policy in the past was driven by a few industrialised economies such as the EU, the US or Japan, we now face a very divergent WTO membership of 148 countries with two-thirds of them being developing countries.

  • Furthermore, whereas multilateral rounds of negotiations under the old GATT structure were conducted behind closed doors, we now face a very interested civil society with a significant number of knowledgeable non-governmental organisations who want to have their say.

  • Also, the issues in trade policy are changing. While it is true that market access is still important, the big new challenge ahead is not in the area of tariff barriers but in the non-tariff barriers to trade, the rules and the standards we apply. And here we have to strike the right balance between legitimate concerns of consumers for their health or for the environment and our approach to innovation and new technology.

  • The Commission of President Barroso has given itself an important “Leitmotiv”: to reform Europe’s economy so as to boost growth and jobs. I am committed to this and I am working with other Commissioners in the Competitiveness Group of Commissioners chaired by my German colleague Günther Verheugen to make this a reality.

  • As a Trade Commissioner I would say that I am both pro growth and jobs in the EU and pro the poor in the world. And trade policy provides tools for achieving both.

  • How am I doing this? My top priority is multilateral trade negotiations. I want to make a success of the ongoing WTO round. I believe that everybody, the developed as well as the developing world, can gain significantly from further multilateral market opening and rule making.

  • We will not succeed in the round if we do not keep our developing country partners committed. And we need to differentiate among developing countries. We cannot ask weak and vulnerable countries such as Bangladesh to commit in the same way as advanced developing economies such as Brazil. We need to encourage South-South trade market opening.

  • Europe and America need to give leadership – even though this should be done in a subtle way. I am ready to engage in a close cooperation on this with the new USTR. I welcome the nomination of Rob Portman and I look forward to working with him.

  • This Round is not an agricultural market access Round only. I will not be able to deliver to my Member States if there is no gain in the important areas of non-agricultural market access and services. There has to be a balanced outcome, in which everybody gives a little to gain a lot.

  • Europe has already put a lot on the negotiating table on agriculture. The reform of our Common Agricultural Policy helps us to reduce trade distorting support. We also said that we would eliminate all our export subsidies if others – including the US – would do the same.

  • It is true that not all important rules issues will be dealt with in the multilateral round in the WTO. This is a shame, since rules are pro-development, and transparency in government procurement or clear structures for investment and competition are key in paving the way for foreign direct investment.

  • So, should we go bilateral instead? There is an increase in bilateral and bi-regional initiatives. I am not per se against Regional Free Trade Agreements. But they should be complementary to our multilateral approach and not replace it. And we must not distract attention from the multilateral process.

  • The EU is pursuing its negotiations with partners such as Mercosur and Gulf Cooperation Council. Both started before the WTO Round. We are currently in a discussion on how to define our trade relations with strategic partners such as Russia, Ukraine, Asia, and last – but not least – the US.

  • The economic relationship between the EU and the US is one of my priorities. I have found that people – in particular the media – tend to focus on the negative. This weekend has been a case in point.

  • As you know, I talked to Bob Zoellick last Friday on the aircraft issue. I am committed to reach an agreement by 11 April to reduce the government support paid in Europe and in the US. I am also ready to have a wide ranged discussion of the whole range of support on both sides of the Atlantic – in all its many forms.

  • I was surprised and disappointed when USTR told the media that the US was withdrawing from the negotiation. I think this is both premature and unnecessary. I hope the US government will rapidly clarify where it now stands. I am ready to return to the table.

  • We also need to work on our positive bilateral agenda. The trade impediments we face in our transatlantic relations are no longer in the area of tariffs. Our respective average tariffs are around 4%. The real challenge lies in the need for better and more convergent regulation.

  • On both sides of the Atlantic, we are consulting stakeholders on areas of possible cooperation. This will then lead to a more forward-looking strategy for the next EU-US Summit in June or July. This might at first sight not look ambitious enough. But if it works, it will deliver much more than any famously-labelled initiative which in the end does not live up to expectation.

  • I want to conclude by underlining the crucial role of Parliamentarians in transatlantic trade. Any step ahead – be it in the area of disputes or on regulatory initiatives – will involve legislators on both sides of the Atlantic. I am acutely conscious of the role the Congress plays in shaping US trade policy.

Zum Kalender hinzufügen


Cercle Royal Gaulois, Rue de la Loi 5, 1000 Brüssel


  • Rt. Hon. Peter Mandelson PC
    • Member of the European Commission
      • Edward McMillan-Scott
        • MdEP

          Dr. Peter R. Weilemann †


          Bereitgestellt von

          Europabüro Brüssel