Baroness Catherine Ashton
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
On EU and U.S. Ties: "Both in the European Union and in the United States, there’s a kind of reassessment and refocus that’s been going on. The partnership we have between us, based on history and culture—but more than anything, based on shared values that we hold—is what makes this partnership between the European Union and the United States so critical to everything that I believe that we do."
On the EU’s Role in Global Security: "We live in difficult economic times, but that doesn’t mean for me that we should do less. It means that we have to do better with less, and that the European Union especially has to retain its commitment to shoulder its part of the burden of dealing with issues that I would frankly call global security issues."
On Sharing Resources in the Face of Budget Cuts: "When we look at the challenges we’re facing in terms of budget reductions, getting the necessary capabilities in these difficult times is even more important, and the key to doing that is to do more together. We spend in Europe about $200 billion on defense every year, and we need to maximize the output from what is really significant expenditure. That means we need to find new initiatives. In Europe, we call them “pooling and sharing,” which is: how do we work together with the twenty-seven countries to make sure that we pool and share our capabilities in the right way?"
On Partnerships: "I would argue that today, more than ever…there’s very little that we do without working in partnership somewhere. Virtually nothing [we] do can I think of as doing on our own; we are in partnership with someone. And that is a good and positive aspect of how we all need to operate in the world: building on the partnerships and doing what we’re all good at as effectively as we possibly can, together."
On Building the Relationship Between the EU and the United States: "There is no partner that matches the partner of the United States. President Obama said America has no better partner than Europe. Well, I’d turn that around and say that Europe has no better partner than the United States. [...] Last year we signed a framework participation agreement, which means we work more closely when the European Union is doing its common security and defense missions. And that’s an important step in the right direction because it enables future U.S. participation and engagement with us in a different way."
On NATO’s Role in Building Democracy: "Our success in this relationship in the twenty-first century will depend even more on our capacity to work together to preserve and to promote those shared values and principles, and I believe by working together in our joint diplomatic action as we’ve seen on many, many issues—not least on Iran, which we’re engaged with now—we will be even more successful in supporting the aspirations of people all over the world who want what we have: democracy as everyday life."
"Our success in this [transatlantic] relationship...will depend even more on our capacity to work together to preserve and to promote [our] shared values and principles."”
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