TPN has consistently developed its policy vision through a
series of published documents. Drawn from informal meetings of TPN participants,
they have provided the basis for continuing dialogue among a broadening
transatlantic policy community, with the aim of focusing this dialogue
on TPN's primary objective of strengthening the partnership between the
EU and the US.
AN INITIAL MEASURE OF SUCCESS:
In a short space of time, TPN built a credible "network of networks" linking the political, business and academic communities. It confirmed its value to its members by helping to shape key developments in the EU-US partnership during the 1990s:
- THE NEW TRANSATLANTIC AGENDA OF DECEMBER 1995 – A blueprint for joint action by the US and the European Union across all of the most important political, economic, security and social aspects of their relationship. The Agenda's content reflects input from TPN's report "A European Strategy to the US" - the network's concise analysis of what Europeans needed to do to put relations with the US on a new, stronger footing;
- THE TRANSATLANTIC BUSINESS DIALOGUE – Launched in November 1995 with a specific objective to remove the trade and investment obstacles to the creation of a real transatlantic marketplace. With many corporations participating, this was the first time that the transatlantic business community had begun to explain its common interests to both EU and US governments. TPN assisted in the launch of the TABD and is still actively supporting its development;
- TRANSATLANTIC ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP – In order to extend and enhance the New Transatlantic Agenda, and with encouragement from TPN and its members, representatives of both sides adopted a joint statement on the “Transatlantic Economic Partnership” (TEP) at the London EU-US Summit of 18 May 1998. The TEP identified a series of elements for an initiative to intensify and extend multilateral and bilateral cooperation and common actions in the field of trade and investment, including formal trade negotiations and trust enhancing measures. (Towards Transatlantic Partnership: The TPN Cooperation Report was published in February 1998.)
In the early part of the 21st Century, TPN has continued this work to contribute ideas to deepening transatlantic partnership.
In July 2002, as a concerted effort to strengthen the EU-US
relationship, TPN launched its Outreach Exercise. The Network's ongoing
series of discussion fora were converted into focused Outreach Roundtables
designed to arrive at practical prescriptions for improving transatlantic
ties. These recommendations were released at TPN's December 2003 Leadership
Summit as A Strategy
to Strengthen Transatlantic Partnership, and have since been disseminated
widely among TPN participants and their various networks of high level "multipliers" within
the transatlantic political, governmental, business and academic communities. This was to cover the period 2005-2015.
The ideas contained in these recommendations have had a number
of notable endorsements from the political and business communities on both
sides of the Atlantic:
- POLITICAL SUPPORT – The European
Parliament has voted resolutions in May 2004 and in January 2005
in which the concept of completing the transatlantic market by
2015 is supported. Furthermore, the Parliament also agreed that
the transatlantic partners should update the 1995 New Transatlantic
Agenda, replacing it with a ‘Transatlantic Partnership Agreement". These ideas were further endorsed in
reports by Elmar Brok MEP and Erika Mann MEP approved by the
European Parliament in May 2006. (This line of approach has also been supported by Francisco Millán Mon's report - March 2009).
The US House of Representatives
has also passed a resolution endorsing the concept of a “Transatlantic
Partnership Agreement” between the EU and the US.
- BUSINESS SUPPORT – Leaders of the Transatlantic Business community were present at the launch of the Strategy Document. They have consequently endorsed the idea of a Barrier Free Transatlantic Market and continue to work towards the removal of all barriers to trade and investment. Their reports to the US-EU Summit held in Vienna in June 2006, Washington in 2007, and Ljubljana in 2008 have clearly endorsed this strategic objective.
Given this basis, the President of the European Council at the time, Angela Merkel, launched the concept of the transatlantic market in 2007 during the early stages of the German Presidency of the EU. This resulted in the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) being set up at the EU-US Summit in April 2007. This body now handles a wide range of issues of vital importance to transatlantic business.
The conclusions of the last US-EU Summit
in 2008 can be found at
— see also TPN Newsletter.