EU leaders on Wednesday welcomed US president Barack Obama's re-election to a second term in office. With results in from most states, Obama claimed a close victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Tuesday's election. "On behalf of the European Parliament, I congratulate President Barack Obama on being re-elected today as President of the United States of America", said president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. Europe has recently come under pressure from Washington to resolve the economic crisis looming across the continent. European leaders urged the US administration to "closely" cooperate in fighting the crisis and to 'unlock' the potential of a transatlantic market. "From time to time we felt a certain kind of 'fatigue' in the relationship between the EU and the U.S. of America, the re-election of Barack Obama on the basis of his programme is an encouragement for all of us, for more cooperation on the basis on our common interests in the fight against world-wide speculation, fight against the problems of climate change and in cooperation for peace, justice and development world-wide", said president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. In his victory speech in Chicago, Obama urged Republicans to work with him in reducing the government's budget deficit and reforming the tax code. But with a divided Congress, Obama faces the challenge of continued gridlock in legislation.