With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States today became the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. To mark the occasion, European diplomats were joined by representatives from Congress, the State Department and the District of Columbia when a new name plate was unveiled for the Delegation's offices in Washington, DC.
"This marks an important moment in the history of the European Union," said Angelos Pangratis, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. "The Lisbon Treaty allows the European Union to be more democratic, more open, more accountable and effective. And externally we become more coherent – we will speak with one voice. Our name change today is a direct manifestation of this."
The Lisbon Treaty provides for the creation of a new European External Action Service (EEAS) - effectively a diplomatic corps for Europe.
Congressman Robert Wexler, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, noted that the Lisbon Treaty also enhances the power of the European Parliament, and that the US Congress looks forward to a closer cooperation across the Atlantic. "The success of the EU is America's success and only together can the United States and the European Union, as equal partners in a successful transatlantic partnership, address the economic, political and security challenges we face today," he said.
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