The Vice President from Brussels to Madrid
May 11, 2010
03:55 PM EDT
Last week, Vice President Biden traveled to Belgium and Spain. In a major address to the European Parliament, the Vice President talked about the relationship between the U.S. and Europe:
What began as a simple pact among a half-a-dozen nations to create a common market for coal and steel grew into an economic and political powerhouse; a community dedicated to free thought, free movement, and free enterprise; a Europe that one historian has called, not so much a place but an idea.
And I’m here to reaffirm that President Obama and I believe in this idea, and in a better world and better Europe it has already helped to bring about; a Europe where all member states benefit by negotiating trade agreements and fighting environmental degradation with one unified voice; a Europe that bolsters the cultural and political values that my country shares with all of you; a Europe that is whole, a Europe that is free, and a Europe that is at peace.
As President Obama said in Prague a little more than a year ago, a strong Europe makes a stronger partner for the United States, and we need strong partners. That is why we will do everything we can to support this great endeavor of yours. Because the past 65 years have shown that when Americans and Europeans devote their energies to common purpose, there is almost nothing we are unable to accomplish.
During his first stop in Brussels, the Vice President met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, leaders of the European Parliament, and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme. The Vice President also attended a lunch meeting with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, and a dinner meeting with all 28 allied Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council.
While in Madrid, Vice President Biden met with King Juan Carlos to discuss the ongoing cooperation between the United States and Spain to address major global challenges. On Saturday, the Vice President and Spanish President Zapatero spoke to the press about the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Spain and visited Spanish troops where the Vice President told them, "Our country is proud and grateful to be partners with all of you, with Spain - a partnership we are committed to strengthening and deepening in the years ahead."