With China and Russia on the offensive, a renewed and reliable transatlantic partnership is the key to maintaining international and legal order and peace. The EESC supports the idea of an Alliance of Democracies, ensuring that civil society has a significant say in the joint defence of universal values and rights.

In an own-initiative opinion adopted at its December plenary session, the EESC stressed that, together, the EU and the US should be gatekeepers for the rule of law and human rights for all, while also making clear the importance of transatlantic relations for Europe's place in the world.

Christian Moos, rapporteur for the opinion, underlined: "The idea of universal human rights continues to unite large parts of the EU with the free democracies of the world, above all the United States of America."

Peter Clever, co-rapporteur, added: "The universal character of human rights is expressed in this comprehensive self-commitment of all in the implementation [of these rights]. This is what makes them valuable as a basis for dialogue and understanding".

The EESC strongly underlines that only a vibrant civil society can create enthusiasm and safeguard values, and urges the EU to set-up a transatlantic platform for organised civil society with contact points in North America and Europe. In addition, transatlantic civil society dialogue should be based on a range of topics, including civil rights, disinformation and climate action.

The EESC strongly supports the idea of an Alliance of Democracies and calls on the EU to join a united front with the US and the world's other democracies to pursue a 'strategy of cooperative containment' towards China that respects and safeguards legitimate Chinese interests, but results in clear, robust diplomatic responses when rights are violated, as in the case of the Uighurs and Hong Kong protesters. (at)