Joe Biden

Joint Statement by President Biden, President Charles Yvon Michel of the European Council, and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission

October 20, 2023

1. The United States and the European Union and its Member States, representing nearly 800 million citizens, united by our values and bound together by the most dynamic economic relationship on earth, reaffirm our commitment to a transatlantic partnership that delivers for all our people. Since the last U.S.-EU Summit in June 2021, the world has changed in unprecedented ways, and we have taken ambitious steps in response. Together, we are working to secure peace, stability, and prosperity regionally and across the world, including in our steadfast support for Ukraine. We are deepening our cooperation to reflect the pressing challenges and opportunities of our time—strengthening our economic security; advancing reliable, sustainable, affordable, and secure energy transitions in our economies and globally; reinforcing multilateralism and international cooperation; and harnessing digital technologies to work for, not against, our shared values of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are more united than ever.

A. TOWARD A MORE SECURE AND STABLE WORLD

Situation in the Middle East

2. We condemn in the strongest possible terms Hamas and its brutal terrorist attacks across Israel. There is no justification for terrorism. We affirm Israel's right to defend itself against these heinous attacks, in line with international law, including international humanitarian law. We will work closely with partners in the region to stress the importance of protecting civilians, supporting those who are trying to get to safety or provide assistance, and facilitating access to food, water, medical care, and shelter. We are concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It is crucial to prevent regional escalation. We call for the immediate release of all hostages and emphasize our shared view that a two-state solution remains the viable path to lasting peace

Russia's War against Ukraine and Support for Regional Stability

3. The United States and the European Union remain unwavering in our long-term political, financial, humanitarian, and military support to Ukraine and its people as they defend themselves against Russia's illegal and unprovoked war of aggression. We stand together in calling for Russia to end its brutal war and to withdraw its military forces and proxies and military equipment immediately, completely, and unconditionally from the entire internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. We are committed to achieving the widest possible international support for the key principles and objectives of Ukraine's Peace Formula. Any initiative for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine must be based on full respect for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders and uphold all the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

4. We are committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We recognize the urgency of ensuring that Russia does not succeed in collapsing the Ukrainian economy and of intensifying our efforts to help ensure assistance meets Ukraine's highest priority needs. As co-chairs, along with Ukraine, of the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, we are working together with Ukraine as it develops its Ukraine Plan, embedded in its European path, to incorporate a common set of near-term priority economic, rule-of-law, and democratization reforms and a prioritized and well-coordinated approach to recovery and reconstruction assistance and investment. The United States and the European Union, together with other international donors, will continue to provide Ukraine with financing to help achieve these objectives, including to defend, repair, and rebuild its energy sector aligned with EU standards. We acknowledge Ukraine's commitment and progress in their reform efforts, and underline the strategic importance of its EU accession process.

5. Russia must cease its aggression and must bear the legal consequences of all its internationally wrongful acts, including compensation for the damage caused to Ukraine. We are united in our determination to ensure full accountability. In light of the urgency of disrupting Russia's attempts to destroy the Ukrainian economy and Russia's continued failure to abide by its international law obligations, the United States and the European Union, together with our allies, are convening our experts to explore options to compensate Ukraine in a timely manner for the loss, injury, and damage resulting from Russia's aggression. We are exploring all possible avenues to aid Ukraine, consistent with our respective legal systems and international law. We are also working together with the global community to address the energy, economic, and food security challenges caused by Russia's war of choice, which are particularly acute in the most vulnerable developing countries. We condemn Russia's attempts to block food exports and its attacks on Ukraine's grain storage and shipment facilities since its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The EU's Solidarity Lanes remain instrumental in bolstering global food security.

6. As part of our efforts to aid Ukraine, in the short term, we will explore how any extraordinary revenues held by private entities stemming directly from immobilized Russian sovereign assets, where those extraordinary revenues are not required to meet obligations towards Russia under applicable laws, could be directed to support Ukraine and its recovery and reconstruction in compliance with applicable laws.

7. We will deepen our joint work to undermine Russia's ability to wage its war, and maintain and expand its defense industrial base and capacity. Those who help Russia acquire items or equipment for its defense industrial base are supporting actions which undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine. This includes companies supplying certain critical raw materials and high-priority items to Russia, as well as the financial institutions and other entities facilitating such transfers. We will target third-country actors who materially support Russia's war. We will continue to vigorously and jointly enforce our sanctions and export control measures to disrupt circumvention and backfill. Our joint implementation of the G7+ price cap for seaborne Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products supports energy market stability while diminishing Russia's ability to finance its illegal war. We intend to act, consistent with our respective legal authorities, where we have evidence indicating violations or deceptive practices related to the price cap policy.

8. We reaffirm our support for the Republic of Moldova's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The European Council decided in June to grant the status of candidate country to the Republic of Moldova. We will continue to support Moldova in addressing the challenges it faces as a consequence of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and in reform efforts on its European path. We remain fully committed to supporting Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and its European perspective. We reaffirm our shared commitment to stability in the Western Balkans and our support to the EU perspective of the region. All partners should continue making the reforms required to progress on their European path. We note the need for Kosovo and Serbia to urgently de-escalate tensions and to swiftly and unconditionally implement the agreement on the path to normalization of their relations and return to the EU-facilitated Dialogue. We remain committed to advancing a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on mutual recognition of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity. We urge Azerbaijan to ensure the rights and security of those who remain in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as for those who wish to return to their homes. We also call for all parties to adhere to the principle of non-use of force and threat of use of force.

Africa

9. The United States and the European Union share a common interest in a thriving, peaceful, democratic, and resilient Africa, and welcome the accession of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20. We will work together to continue to enhance synergies in our cooperation with all our African partners. We are committed to promoting the security, stability and prosperity of North Africa. We reaffirm our commitment to tackle common security challenges in the Sahel, including the fight against terrorism, in cooperation with ECOWAS.

Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific

10. We reiterate our shared commitment to enhancing coordination and cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific with the aim of contributing to the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region, based on the promotion of democracy, rule of law, human rights and international law. Consistent with our respective Indo-Pacific strategies, we will seek opportunities to enhance practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including through the biannual U.S.-EU Indo-Pacific Consultations. This includes expanding maritime domain awareness, encouraging cooperation on connectivity, responding to foreign information manipulation and interference, increasing coordination on cyber cooperation, and encouraging ongoing efforts to uphold fundamental freedoms and human rights. We reaffirm our unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity and our commitment to promoting cooperation in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We also reaffirm our partnership with Pacific Island countries and reiterate the importance of supporting their priorities and needs in accordance with the Pacific Islands Forum's 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

11. We reiterate our support for international law, in particular as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and for the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including under UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms.

China

12. The United States and European Union recall our discussions in other fora, including the G7, on the principles that underpin our relations with China. We stand prepared to build constructive and stable relations with China, recognizing the importance of engaging candidly with and expressing our concerns directly to China. It is necessary to cooperate with China, given its role in the international community and the size of its economy, on global challenges as well as areas of common interest. We call on China to engage with us, including in international fora, on areas such as the climate and biodiversity crisis, addressing vulnerable countries' debt sustainability and financing needs, global health and pandemic preparedness, and macroeconomic stability.

13. With a view to enabling sustainable economic relations with China, we will push for a level playing field for our firms and workers. We are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying. In this context, we will invest in our own economic vibrancy and reduce critical dependencies and vulnerabilities, including in our supply chains. We also recognize the necessity of protecting certain advanced technologies that could be used to threaten global peace and security, without unduly limiting trade and investment. We will foster resilience to economic coercion. We will address challenges posed by non-market policies and practices.

14. We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. There is no change in the one China policy of the United States or of the European Union.

15. We will keep voicing our concerns about the human rights and forced labor in China, including in Tibet and Xinjiang. With respect to Hong Kong, we call on China to honor its previous commitments with respect to Hong Kong under the Sino-Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

16. We call on China to press Russia to stop its war of aggression, and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine. We encourage China to support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on territorial integrity and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine.

Strengthening Cooperation on Security and Defense

17. We will further strengthen and deepen EU-U.S. cooperation and engagement on security and defense. This could include enhancing practical cooperation in operational theatres of mutual interest. NATO remains the foundation of collective defense for its Allies and essential for Euro Atlantic security. We recognize the value of a stronger and more capable European defense that contributes positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to, and interoperable with NATO. We welcome the signature of the Administrative Arrangement between the United States Department of Defense and the European Defense Agency.

Partnering with Emerging Economies and Developing Countries

18. The United States and the European Union are committed to accelerating progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and to mobilizing additional financing for development. To this end, we are committed to advancing reforms for better, bigger, and more effective multilateral development banks to address global challenges and countries' core development needs. This includes the implementation of critical financial reforms and a review of the climate finance architecture to make it more effective and efficient. We commit to raising the level of ambition to deliver more headroom and concessional finance to boost the World Bank's capacity to support low- and middle-income countries addressing global challenges, with a clear framework for the allocation of scarce concessional resources, and to provide strong support for the poorest countries. The United States and the European Union will step up efforts to deliver substantial contributions to this end.

19. Given the massive scale of need, greater private capital mobilization must play a significant role in meeting our objectives. We will continue to champion efforts to unlock private capital and will work with G7 partners through respective actions, to scale the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, including the European Union's Global Gateway strategy, and mobilize $600 billion in quality infrastructure investments in low- and middle-income countries by 2027. Building on the discussions on U.S.-EU collaboration on the Trans-African Corridor and the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor, we are working towards identifying additional regional economic corridors to cooperate on to unlock inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

20. The United States and the European Union will also continue their efforts to promote digital inclusion and trustworthy information and communication technology and services supply chains around the world and pursue cooperation to develop a common vision and industry roadmap on research and development for 6G wireless communication systems.

B. STRENGTHENED U.S.-EU ECONOMIC COOPERATION

21. The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is the key forum for our cooperation on trade and technology matters. We commend the progress made and encourage advancing joint work in the run up to the upcoming TTC ministerial meeting later in 2023.

22. The United States and the European Union are committed to strengthening the transatlantic marketplace to support decent jobs and economic opportunities with an emphasis on mutually beneficial resilience and sustainability of our supply chains. We will advance the implementation of the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade focusing on facilitating mutually beneficial trade across the Atlantic of products and technologies that underpin the transition to a climate-neutral economy.

Building the Sustainable and Resilient Economies of the Future

23. The United States and the European Union are deepening our collaboration to address the urgent and interdependent crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and urge ambitious action by all other major players. We will work expeditiously to implement the Paris Agreement, halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity globally and protect the ocean. We will intensify our outreach to third countries, notably in view of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), making every effort to keep a 1.5 degree Celsius limit on global temperature warming within reach. We are committed to working together and with others for COP28 to reach bold commitments to dramatically increase global renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency while supporting a global shift away from unabated fossil fuels, including an end to new unabated coal fired power plants. We will continue to lead efforts to cut methane to support achieving the Global Methane Pledge and look forward to a robust Methane Finance Sprint announcement at COP28.

24. Together, we will work to build climate neutral, circular, resource efficient and resilient economies, to promote internationally recognized labor rights, and to improve the resilience and sustainability of critical supply chains. We will continue our work to advance the energy transition to climate neutrality and bolster energy security through the Joint Energy Security Task Force and U.S.-EU Energy Council.

25. We are making bold public investments in our respective economies, and will continue to also expand research collaboration, to ignite a clean industrial revolution and, with it, good jobs, and make our industries more sustainable and competitive. We will continue ongoing cooperation toward this end, and work openly and transparently against zero-sum competition to maximize clean energy deployment, including through our Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue.

26. We have made progress toward a targeted critical minerals agreement for the purpose of expanding access to sustainable, secure, and diversified high-standard critical mineral and battery supply chains and enabling those minerals extracted or processed in the European Union to count toward requirements for clean vehicles in the Section 30D clean vehicle tax credit of the Inflation Reduction Act. We look forward to continuing to make progress and consulting with our respective stakeholders on these negotiations in the coming weeks.

Expanding Technology Cooperation and Exchanges

27. The United States and the European Union are stepping up our joint efforts to promote an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, secure, innovative, and competitive digital ecosystem. We are cooperating to manage the risks and harness the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), working alongside our partners in the G7, OECD, and other multilateral fora. We affirm our continued work through the TTC Joint Roadmap on Trustworthy AI and Risk Management to further guide the development of tools, methodologies, and approaches to AI risk management and trustworthy AI. We confirm our joint intention to endorse a code of conduct for organizations developing advanced AI systems as part of the G7 Hiroshima process in the near term. We confirm our commitment to use AI for Public Good, particularly in the areas of agriculture, extreme weather prediction, emergency management and response, electric grid optimization, and health and medical research. As new and more advanced AI systems emerge, we plan to build on work done to promote responsible AI and work with industry, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders to enable trustworthy development and uptake of those technologies, and to advance our shared vision of responsible innovation in line with our shared democratic values. We recognize the importance of expanding research collaboration between the European Union and the United States for critical and emerging technologies such as AI, quantum, renewable energy, and other key areas, including by enabling transatlantic research funding activities that allow for both U.S. and EU researcher leadership while considering reciprocity in access to respective U.S. and EU research programs and ensuring symmetry in managing intellectual property. We commit to working together to finalize an agreement on quantum-related items for the upcoming TTC meetings.

28. We aim to build a more secure cyberspace together. We endeavor to cooperate to promote high cybersecurity standards to protect consumers and business and decrease vulnerability to cyberattacks. To that end, we commit to work together on achieving mutual recognition for our government-backed cybersecurity labeling programs and regulations for Internet-of-things devices aiming at a Joint CyberSafe Products Action Plan. We will work for consumers in Europe and the United States to have an easy and reliable way to assess whether devices they bring into their homes, offices, and schools are secure.

Promoting Rules-Based Trade and Countering Unfair Competition

29. The United States and the European Union have a shared interest in reforming the WTO so that Members can better achieve the WTO's foundational objectives and address modern-day imperatives. We will work towards substantial WTO reform by MC13 in 2024 including by conducting discussions with the view to having a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all WTO Members by 2024.

30. On 31 October 2021, we announced that we would negotiate within two years an arrangement—known as the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (Global Arrangement)—to address non-market excess capacity and emissions intensity of the steel and aluminum industries, including to foster undistorted transatlantic trade. Throughout these two years, we have made substantial progress to identify the sources of non-market excess capacity. We have also achieved a better understanding of the tools to address the emissions intensity of the steel and aluminum industries. We look forward to continuing to make progress on these important objectives in the next two months.

Strengthening Economic Resilience and Economic Security

31. The United States and the European Union are continuing to cooperate to enhance the resilience of our economies and advance our economic security interests, underpinned by a rules-based system, while preserving an open economy and a global level playing field. We will de-risk and diversify where we assess there are risks through proportionate, precise and targeted measures to address economic security challenges. We will continue working together to reduce excessive dependencies in critical supply chains, in close cooperation with partner countries. We share concerns about the challenges posed by, among other issues, economic coercion, the weaponization of economic dependencies, and non-market policies and practices. We will continue this work through inter alia the TTC, and with the G7 and other partners to diversify our supply chains and increase our collective preparedness, assessment, deterrence, and response to economic coercion.

32. We have a shared interest in protecting those advanced technologies that could be used to undermine global peace and security, and are developing our respective economic security toolkits to ensure our companies' capital, expertise, and innovations will not be used to do so. Recognizing that outbound investment measures are necessary to complement its existing economic security toolkit, the President of the United States has issued an Executive Order to address risks from outbound investment and is consulting stakeholders on the U.S. rules. The European Union and its Member States are similarly exploring, based on a risk assessment, whether outbound investment measures could complement its existing toolkit. Export control regimes are central to maintain international security and stability, and necessitate cooperation between actors—including in multilateral fora—to ensure our dual-use technology protection ecosystem is continuously improved upon and cannot be exploited. We will cooperate and share lessons as we work to maximize the effectiveness of our economic security toolkit to achieve our shared interest.

33. Foreign information manipulation and interference is a borderless threat that poses a risk to democratic values, processes, and stability. We will expand collaboration based on common principles, such as dedicated strategies, internal organizational structures, capacity, civil society and multilateral engagement. This cooperation should aim to support like-minded partners in countering foreign information manipulation and interference, including via U.S. and EU coordinated activities, while safeguarding freedom of expression together with partner countries.

Expanding People-to-People Contacts

34. To preserve the strength and longevity of our transatlantic relationship, the United States and the European Union also endeavour to increase vital people-to-people exchanges. We will work to achieve visa-free travel between all EU Member States and the United States. Together, the United States and the European Union intend to provide additional resources to increase the number of transatlantic academic exchanges. The European Union will increase its funding to the Erasmus+ programme, and will double EU support to the Fulbright-Schuman programme, and across all Fulbright Commissions in EU Member States. The United States plans to increase its funding to all Fulbright Commissions in EU Member States, including the Fulbright-Schuman programme. This collective support will significantly increase the number of transatlantic academic exchanges between our citizens over the next five years.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

Joseph R. Biden, Joint Statement by President Biden, President Charles Yvon Michel of the European Council, and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367301

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