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Brussels, Belgium Text of Remarks at a Meeting of the Commission of the European Communities.

January 06, 1978

Mr. President, and members of the Commission:

I am glad to meet with you today and to continue the discussions that began when my administration was only a few hours old. Before my first week in office was over, Vice President Mondale began his visit to our traditional allies, stopping first of all in Brussels, home of those international institutions that represent our shared hope for a secure and prosperous future.

As the first American President to visit the headquarters of the European Community, I believe this meeting symbolizes America's abiding commitment to a strong and united Europe and to the European Community.

It has been my pleasure to meet often with the Community's leaders. In addition to meeting President Jenkins, both at the London Economic Summit and in Washington, I benefited from meeting with Prime Ministers Callaghan and Tindemans during their countries' term in the presidency of the Council.

As I have traveled in these last 9 days, crossing continents and cultures, discussing different systems of politics and economics, seeing humanity in its full, diverse array, I have reaffirmed certain constant themes time after time. I have stressed the importance of democratic potitical values, and the steps needed to defend them; the economic challenges we face in our relations with the developing world, and the need to cope with problems of our own. We must also open our hearts to improve the chances for peace, while always maintaining the strong right arm of our defense.

I have repeated these themes because they need repetition, because they express to the world the values my Nation most deeply holds.

I am proud today to add another-that the United States welcomes a strong, united Europe as a common force for the values our peoples share.

The United States will do its part to work with you.

Our economy is prosperous and growing, continuing its steady recovery. Because we have confidence in the fundamental strength of our economy, we have confidence in the fundamental strength of the dollar, now and for the future. But we are also aware of the degree to which our own prosperity depends more than ever on international economic cooperation.

We are prepared to work with the Community in a wide variety of ways, in order:
—to promote the economic growth of nations so as to control inflation, reduce unemployment, and achieve monetary stability;
—to reach a rapid and successful conclusion to the multilateral trade negotiations, and thus to expand international trade, create more jobs in all countries, and help us all resist protectionist pressures;
— to work creatively toward mutually beneficial relations with the developing nations;
—to cooperate in providing a role for nuclear technology in meeting our energy needs, without hazarding our children's future through the threat of nuclear proliferation; and
—to find answers together to social and economic problems facing each of our societies.

As I said in Paris 2 days ago, we must use the tools of shared freedom to increase the choices and opportunities in our economic system.

We can share our experience in social development in education, health care, social services, the organization and management of factory and farm.

As the world's largest trading unit, the Community shares with us a clear interest in a successful conclusion to the multilateral trade negotiations. They are progressing well, though much remains to be done.

I welcome the success of the participating nations in reaching the goal set last May in London: substantial progress by the end of 1977. What has been achieved already should enable the negotiations to end this year. Speed is important if these negotiations are to improve the world trading system and remove pressure for protectionism.

We need a broad package of agreements, with major reductions in tariffs and nontariff barriers, and with provisions for agriculture.

We know that each country will face problems of transition to a freer trading system. But those are a small price to pay for the benefits of more open trade. And they are small, too, in comparison to the danger of protectionism if we fail to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Our nations also share concern for developing comprehensive energy programs. Two months ago, I postponed my visit here to Brussels in order to do everything possible to enact an energy program in the United States. My country must waste less energy and develop alternative sources of supply. As soon as I return, I will resume work on this crucial legislation.

I am confident that the United States will soon be setting an example for responsible energy policy.

The European Community and the United States also share a deep interest in promoting relations with developing countries, and our cooperation has led to constructive results.

We must continue to work together to draw these countries more fully into the global economy. They too must be able to share more equitably in the benefits and responsibilities of global economic progress and to play an appropriate role in making global economic decisions.

We in the United States also welcome the growing political and economic role of the Community beyond Western Europe. The role of the Community contributes vitally to reaching goals we share. Most recently, I have been particularly pleased by the close cooperation between us—and by the firm leadership shown by the members of the Community—at the Belgrade Review Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Finally, in stressing our commitment to European unity, I look forward to continuing a close and productive association between the United States and the European Community in the years ahead. And I can think of no more fitting tribute to what you are doing than to cite the words of Jean Monnet, the father of European unity: "You are not making a coalition of states; you are uniting peoples."

Note: The meeting began at approximately 3 p.m. in the Community Conference Room at the Commission's headquarters. Prior to the meeting, the President met with Roy Jenkins, President of the Commission.

The text of the remarks was released at Brussels, Belgium.

Jimmy Carter, Brussels, Belgium Text of Remarks at a Meeting of the Commission of the European Communities. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244465

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