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From left to right: European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, George W. Bush and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

A European Union-United States Summit takes place annually, with the Europeans and the Americans alternating venues every year. Every time more frequently, this meeting gives the White House the opportunity to decide the internal debates of the EU and to give its own instructions to EU leaders. It was in this way that George W. Bush, during the June 26th 2004 summit, unsuccessfully tried to force the European Union to engage in the Iraqi conflict through NATO. He did not succeed and the following NATO summit, in Istanbul, was a failure. However, backing the British against the French, he put aside the French candidate to the presidency of the Commission of Brussels and, instead, put José Manuel Barroso in his place. The Portuguese Prime Minister, although he registered record ratings of unpopularity in his country, had one advantage: he had organized the summit of the Azores when the Anglo-Saxons concluded their planning of the Iraqi colonization.

The summit of June 20th 2005 was prepared during the European tour of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, in late May, and during a reception offered later - on June 2nd - in the State Department to three of the five members of the European delegation. The summit also took place under special circumstances after France and the Netherlands voted against the European Constitutional Treaty.

R. Nicholas Burns pointed out the most important elements in the US political agenda:
- Finishing the democratization of Europe unifying Bosnia-Herzegovina, giving Kosovo a definite status (independence or integration with Albania) and judging war criminals with the help of Serbia-Montenegro (term used by the US diplomacy to refer to today’s Yugoslavia).
- Developing the Association for Peace between NATO and the Russian Federation and at the same time supporting internal opposition in Russia (the purpose seems to be, therefore, weakening Russia from the inside rather than trying to take control).
- Supporting the opposition in Belarus to provoke a change of regime.
- Opening the NATO and European Union doors to Ukraine and Georgia.

After a decade, the main topic of the United States-European Union summit is the merger of the North American Free Trade Zone and the European Free Trade Zone into only one transatlantic area. Taking into account the states’ resistance to globalization, the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) advances with the proposals of multinational companies that are members of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). Big entrepreneurs write an annual report that they give directly to the political leaders taking advantage of the summit. The TABD recommendations are generally accepted without further discussions and nobody wonders if they are in the interest of the other main actors of the economy.

The 2005 TABD report makes emphasis on four central elements: protection of the intellectual property; guarantees for trade security; convergence of the accounting norms; and finally, integration of the market capitals. Especially, it asks for the creation of a permanent institution in charge of guaranteeing the convergence of the regulations of both free trade zones - an institution whose work would be, of course, based on the TABD evaluations. This document was given to the official representatives the day before the summit and the decision adopted by the politicians were presented at the end of the summit, during a press conference of the TABD in which the Enterprises and Industry Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, participated.

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With Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union (left)

On June 2, the US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice received her European interlocutors: Javier Solana. General Secretary of the European Council, who is the former NATO General Secretary; Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Foreign Affairs Minister (Luxemburg currently holds the temporary presidency of the European Union); and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Foreign Affairs Commissioner. They analyzed international relations. However, Condoleezza Rice tried hard to convince the Europeans to get involved in the conference in support of the transition process in Iraq, scheduled for June 22nd in Brussels. [1]. As to the rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty, the State Secretary summarized the analysis of the Bush administration: the French voted against the anti-American and anti-democratic policy of President Chirac, not against the Treaty as such. Therefore, it is convenient to go on with the expansion and the liberalization of exchanges. Anyway, if 20 of the 25 European states ratify the Treaty, those reluctant to approve may be asked to reconsider their positions. Thus, the process has to be extended for one year so that, when the French voters get rid of Chirac, they adopt the Treaty in a new referendum.
None of the guests dared to note that the Dutch “No” vote the previous day contradicted this analysis. [2].

There was nothing else to discuss when President George W. Bush received, on June 20th, the European delegation, which by then had been joined by Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, in his capacity as head of the temporary presidency of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission. The summit, that lasted only a few hours, was limited to the signing of nearly a dozen common declarations previously prepared by officials from both parties. They promised to promote peace, democracy, human rights, and prosperity. Later, they promised to fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. They fervently even decided to work in the creation of a Democracy Fund in the United Nations. Then, they swore to fight against the greenhouse effect, to look for renewable sources of energy and to promote the civilization of hydrogen. But nobody believes in that ritual and it will not have any consequences.

The formal script did not exclude, however, real decisions. Leaders agreed on making all efforts to guarantee the success of the conference on Iraq. The most important element is that they approved all the recommendations from the TABD and created the Forum of Cooperation on Regulation, which has a clear agenda. Some of the priorities are: the harmonization of regulations as to authorization for marketing medicines and cosmetics, norms of automobile safety, compatibility of norms in communication and information technologies, labeling of food products and consumers’ rights. Nobody thought it was an appropriate time to tell the French and Dutch voters, who voted for the “No” and against the EU’s expansion and liberalization, about the decision to expand it that was made at the other side of the Atlantic and to start submitting it to the Anglo-Saxons norms. The Forum will be directly managed by the Administration and Budget Office of the White House and the Commission of Brussels.

[1] This conference is an initiative presented by Bush during his European tour of February 2005. Called both by the United States and the European Union, it aims at having as many states as possible recognize the transition government that emerged from the rigged January elections

[2] Holland rejected the European Constitutional Treaty on June 1st, 2005