From Department of State: Excerpt from remarks by European Commission President Manuel Barroso with Secretary of State John Kerry at meeting with European Commission Fellows.
QUESTION: What do you see the future of EU and U.S. cooperation to be with the rise of China and the geopolitical power shift from the West to the East?
PRESIDENT BARROSO: Look, our alliance, if I may say so, and our partnership and friendship between Europe and United States is not against other partners. Our vision, at least European vision of the world, is not a zero-sum game. Some people believe that if two are doing something, it’s necessarily against the others. I completely disagree with that. And Secretary Kerry just told us that he’s also committed to a Pacific, let’s say, trade agreement. We are also making trade agreements with other partners.
Now, there is something special about Europe and the United States. Yes, it’s true. We are open societies. We are democracies. There are a lot of common heritage by history, by culture, by this language that we are speaking today with you that is a European language, in fact. So there are many things that put us extremely closely – closer – Europe and the United States. Now, I think the future is for this to be deepened, because the world is a very risky place.
When I was your age, the world was not so open as it is today with internet, with, let’s say, much more open societies. You have today many more democracies than we had when I was your age – in your age or not – even a little bit younger. Some of – my own country and some of the European countries were not democracies. Europe was divided by an iron wall. So from that point of view, we are much, much better than before. But there are risks also coming from globalization. I think globalization should embrace it. There – it’s a great opportunity for human freedom. I mean, the possibility you have compared to the possibilities people of your age at 20 or 50 years ago are – I mean, are immense. But at the same time, there are things that are unpredictable and very risky. For that, I believe that to have such important powers like our American friends and Europe sharing the same values is a reassuring message to the world, working, also outreaching to others. And this is the way I personally see this very important partnership. (photo: Geert Vanden Wijingaert/AP)