On 26 March, the President of the United States Barack Obama met with the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, on the occasion of the annual EU-US summit in Brussels. The topics of the discussion included the current developments in Ukraine, as well as other international issues, among others the progress in the talks with Iran. The presidents agreed that cooperation on peace and security issues between the USA and the EU is of critical importance. The leaders announced that since the G8 summit in Sochi has been canceled, the G7 will hold a meeting in Brussels in June.
Concerning economic issues, the presidents stressed that reinforcing growth and job creation is the main task for politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Both the USA and the EU have taken steps to overcome the crisis, the EU being in the process of establishing its banking union. The leaders renewed their commitment to a strong Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and to a visa-free regime for citizens of all EU Member States when travelling to the USA as tourists. An umbrella agreement concerning data protection is also under preparation between the USA and the EU to tackle European citizens´ concerns about their privacy.
The presidents for the EU also welcomed the prospect of US exports of shell gas to the EU in the future since this would decrease Europe´s dependence on Russian imports and would benefit the EU and its strategic partners.
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