European People´s Party Secretary General and MEP Antonio López-Istúriz made the following statement after taking part in a transatlantic study group in Washington, DC organised by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the European Ideas Network, the International Republican Institute and the Hudson Institute: “Transatlantic relations with our partners and main allies are now, in the context of Brexit, an even greater priority for the EPP and the European Union”.
During his time in Washington, the EPP´s Secretary General participated in a number of debates and bilateral meetings with prominent members of the US Congress. All agreed on the importance of strengthening EU-US cooperation in order to face common challenges such as terrorism and migration and to make progress on TTIP, the EU-US free trade agreement currently under negotiation.
López-Istúriz said that TTIP “will provide an opportunity for European SMEs to create more and better jobs and to become more competitive. At the EPP, we are working both to have the best deal for our companies and to guarantee high-quality European standards”.
The Secretary General also referred to terrorism “as a global threat before which we should remain united and strong in our collaboration, both at the European level as well as with our American allies and partners. The events of the past few days have reminded us again that terrorist atrocities know no borders”.
López-Istúriz met with several US lawmakers, including former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, with whom the Secretary General discussed the current situations in Cuba and Venezuela. He also met with the respective chairmen of the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. In these various meetings, López-Istúriz expressed his belief that the upcoming US elections are of “vital importance” for transatlantic relations and thus for the EPP.
The EPP Secretary General is now in New York, where he will hold meetings with major US media outlets before traveling to Philadelphia next week to attend the Democratic Convention.