By Martin Banks - 7th November 2012
Our group has been pleased to enjoy a productive relationship with the first Obama administration
Parliament's president Martin Schulz has joined in a chorus of congratulations on Barack Obama re-election as US president.
Obama was looking forward to another term in office after his close-run victory over Republican Mitt Romney.
In a statement on Wednesday, Schulz, a German deputy, said, "The EU and the US are the world's closest allies - our partnership is based on a wide range of common values and shared interests."
"Members of Congress and of parliament must be brought together to ensure the best possible legislation for both sides of the Atlantic.
"Parliament is strongly committed to deepening this relationship, not only at executive-to-executive level, but in the daily business of our two legislatures."
Further comment came from ECR deputy Martin Callanan, who said, "I extend our congratulations to Obama on his re-election.
"As the ECR is a sister organisation to the Republican Party, I naturally supported Mitt Romney. However, our group has been pleased to enjoy a productive relationship with the first Obama administration and we look forward to working closely with the new administration in the interests of strengthening our many common interests.
"The transatlantic alliance is a significant force for peace, prosperity and security across the world. It needs constant effort to maintain and strengthen."
The British Tory added, "One of the EU's first priorities must be to open formal negotiations towards a transatlantic trade deal, and it must be prepared to go that extra mile to get agreement.
"The EU must ensure that the United States does not turn its economic and geopolitical attention towards the Pacific, at our expense."
Elsewhere, Jeffrey Edison, chairman of Democrats Abroad Belgium, said, "Americans faced a clear choice about the direction they wished for their country, and I am proud to see that this decisive election has returned the right man to the job he started four years ago.
"We are very happy with the strong turnout of Americans abroad and at home, particularly after the devastation of 'Hurricane Sandy'.
"Obama faced many challenges during his first four years in office, not least the worst economic crisis the country has faced in 70 years."
Edison added, "The recovering strength of the US economy shows that Obama's policies have put the country on the right course while his historic reform of the healthcare system underlines his commitment to social justice and equality for all Americans.
"There is still a lot to be done, but I am sure that we will continue to see progress."
Meanwhile, the Bertelsmann Foundation said Obama's re-election "provides an opportunity for his second administration to put a renewed foreign and economic policy focus on Europe".
In a statement, the think tank said, "Chronically high US unemployment and his overwhelming support among Europeans places the president in a strong position on both sides of the ocean to push for a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA). Such a move would require little political capital.
"Europe's recent moves towards implementing policies that provide greater balance between austerity and growth closely align with the president's position. His new administration is likely to continue emphasising the need for economic expansion and greater consumption at home and abroad.
"Obama will find among European leaders many allies for his approach, but it could cause friction in German-American relations."