Strong transatlantic dialogue with progressive forces is more important than ever

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A high-ranking S&D delegation just concluded its four-day visit to Washington DC. The delegation, composed of MEPs Victor Boștinaru, Tanja Fajon, Maria João Rodrigues, Jeppe Kofod, Knut Fleckenstein and Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero, met with members of the US Congress from both the Republican and Democratic parties, representatives of Washington think tanks, trade unions, businesses, academia and officials in the US Administration. The focus of their talks was international trade, defence and security, climate change and the political situation in the US and the EU. 
 
Victor Boștinaru, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs who chaired the declaration said:
 
“I trust that this week was a success, it gave a platform to politicians and stakeholders to frankly discuss the many current challenges and threats that concern citizens on both sides of the Atlantic. These are dire times for the Western democracies, and it is obvious that no state can face them alone. The reality is that we are heavily concerned about the latest trends in American politics, and that we share these concerns with many of our interlocutors here. 
 
“At the same time and in spite of the disruptive positioning and actions of the US President, it is more important than ever to keep a strong transatlantic dialogue with the progressive forces in Congress and in American society, and to reaffirm our values and principles in support of democracy, multilateralism and free, fair and sustainable trade. 
 
“We are committed to building a strong progressive agenda on issues of common concern, such as preserving and continuing to build a multilateral rule based system, reassert our common values in the face of populism, and illiberal and undemocratic forces inside and outside our countries. We are also committed to ensure the security and wellbeing of our citizens, but also strengthening our fight against climate change. We strongly support our progressive partners in the campaign for the November midterm elections.
 
“We remain convinced that transatlantic relations are key to both sides and should be preserved. The concrete follow up of our meeting is the decision to further strengthen our exchanges with our progressive partners and foster more people-to-people interaction. Finally, we have decided to hold a ‘transatlantic week’ in early 2019 with great participation from US progressive forces to avoid damage to this long-term important partnership.”