WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue, and U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will travel to Europe to meet with European officials in Berlin and Brussels to discuss and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Europe.
The delegation will travel to Berlin on November 25th, before continuing on to Brussels on November 26th. They will meet with members of the German Bundestag and European Parliament, and European Commissioners to discuss broadly how to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Europe, as well as recent allegations regarding the scope of U.S. intelligence gathering operations in Europe. Sen. Murphy and Rep. Meeks will participate in a panel discussion in Berlin on those issues, and Rep. Diaz-Balart will join them in Brussels for a meeting of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Both events will be open to the press.
“Over the last several months, our European allies have raised legitimate concerns about the nature and scope of U.S. intelligence programs, and I agree that at times, U.S. surveillance programs have not been conducted with the appropriate restraint and security, both in the United States and in Europe,” said Murphy. “However, the importance of the ties between our countries goes far beyond these issues. My goal for these meetings will be to help cement the overall relationship between the United States and Europe as we discuss trade and investment negotiations, counterterrorism cooperation, and other critical issues in the wake of these allegations.”
“I look forward to joining my colleagues on the CODEL next week,” said Diaz-Balart. “Our visit is crucial to maintaining and strengthening the transatlantic relationship with our European allies. I’m grateful to Senator Murphy for inviting me to join the delegation and look forward to important discussions regarding trade, investment, and the future of our alliance.”
“I am confident that the relationship between the U.S. and our European allies is strong enough to surmount valid concerns about far reaching U.S. surveillance programs,” said Meeks. “I look forward to critical discussions about U.S. intelligence collection that will help us move forward and further deepen our ties. This trip will also include meetings that will address the broad spectrum of issues that represent the longstanding cooperation between our nations particularly at a time when we are advancing globally unprecedented trade negotiations.”