On 26 July 1995, the European Commission launched a strategy paper laying down the groundwork for a substantial deepening of relations between the European Union and the United States. This Communication to the Council of Ministers will form the basis for the six months of intensive preparations leading up to the Madrid EU-US Summit, equipping EU leaders with the material they need to design a "roadmap" for future transatlantic ties at the end of the year. Concrete proposals in the document include: - The eventual creation of a Transatlantic Economic Space; - The launching of a joint EU-US feasibility study into the pros and cons of a transatlantic free trade area; - The systematic discussion of NATO and European security developments during every transatlantic ministerial meeting; - The identification of areas for common EU-US action on humanitarian aid, as well as action to combat drugs, international crime and tackle asylum and immigration problems; - Rationalisation of contacts and meetings to improve their effectiveness. Sir Leon Brittan, Commissioner for transatlantic relations, made the following statement: "The close relationship between Western Europe and America has guaranteed peace, stability and prosperity ever since the Second World War. It has stood the whole world in good stead. Indeed, it has been the most important such relationship in the world. I believe it is essential, and entirely feasible, for it to remain so. But circumstances have changed and we need to look again at all aspects of the relationship if we are to strengthen it and modernize it". The Commission's Communication studies how the EU-US relationship should be revisited, reinforced and updated so that the US and the European Union can sustain and improve their capacity to think and act together in a changing world. It looks, in particular, at cooperation in the areas of security, foreign policy, trade and economy, and macro-economic cooperation. The Communication also proposes strengthening cooperation in the areas of the environment, information technology, science and urban regeneration, as well as consulting parliaments on both sides as to the feasibility of the creation of a joint parliamentary forum to improve EU-US ties.