BRUSSELS (EJP)---The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has invited newly-elected US President Barack Obama to address the European Parliament on an early visit to Europe, possibly in April 2009.
"It would give an excellent message to the people of the European Union if Barack Obama were to make a speech in the European Parliament during his first visit to Europe. This way he could address the almost 500 million citizens of the European Union, “ he said in a letter congratulating the new president on his election.
In the letter, Poettering wished the new president "every success in the challenging new role which you take on at this critical time.”
He said that the election result "has proved once again the extraordinarily capacity for renewal which has so often been evident at difficult moments in American history".
Poettering welcomed the opportunity for a fresh start to EU-US relations,” putting them on a stronger and more vibrant footing" and said he looks forward to the US and EU "working together in effective partnership on many of the global issues facing decision-makers in our both continents, for example climate change".
The last time a US President addressed the European Parliament was when Ronald Reagan spoke in Strasbourg in May 1985.