What Does a Biden Presidency Mean for Europe: How Will Biden Shape EU US Relations – TLDR News
Will the US and Europe be able to restore relations after the differences that arose during the Trump administration??
President Joe Biden took office on Wednesday, January 20th. During his election campaign and during the transition period, both the 46th President of the United States and his team have repeatedly emphasized the importance of restoring allied ties with Europe and strengthening transatlantic relations..
The day after Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations and The German Marshall Fund of the United States hosted a round table on US-EU Relations 2021 and further – what can be expected from the Biden administration? ” Experts from both sides of the Atlantic expressed their views on whether US-European relations can be strengthened again and in which foreign policy areas close cooperation between the parties is possible..
George Mason University of Virginia Professor Ellen Lypson (Ellen Laipson, George Mason University) emphasizes that while restoring transatlantic relations will be one of the priorities of the Biden administration, its main focus will be on internal problems..
“In his inaugural speech, Biden spoke of six crises facing the United States, two of which have a deep transatlantic component. One is climate and the other is America’s improvement in the world. But I think it is important for all of our friends and allies around the world to realize that Biden’s overwhelming priority will be a series of internal crises, ”Ellen Lypson said during the discussion..
“Biden has an amazing foreign policy team that can pick up where they left off four years ago,” the professor adds. However, at the same time, she emphasizes, the Biden administration will have to take into account that both Europe and other US allies have changed their positions on many issues since that time..
According to Lypson, the United States and Europe have common interests in relation to Turkey, which, as a NATO member, demonstrates an “anti-democratic” course, the problems of Iran and the return of the United States to the “Iran deal” and the resolution of the conflict in Libya. However, they disagree on a number of issues, including in their views on interaction with China – if Washington opposes economic cooperation with expansionist and authoritarian Beijing, including because of its opaque economic practices, then Europe is not so categorical. So, shortly before the inauguration of the new US president, Brussels agreed with China on the main points of a major trade and investment agreement..
Russia will become another foreign policy topic around which there may be incomplete agreement, the professor adds: “Russia will be a really interesting topic because there are many hardliners towards Russia in the Biden administration. So I think we’ll see a lot of tough rhetoric and see how many European countries like it. “.
“When we realized that Biden would indeed be the 46th President of the United States, I think people all over Europe breathed a sigh of relief,” said German Member of the European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer. The German politician adds that in Europe “there is still a great willingness to trust the return of the United States,” however, the authority of the United States “in most European countries is rather weakening.”.
If during the presidency of George W. Bush. Many Europeans were also disappointed with Washington (in particular, because of the war in Iraq – Ed.), then with the arrival of Barack Obama in the White House there was a “new surge of openness and unity” in relations, notes Butikofer. But after Donald Trump’s harsh criticism of Europe, it will be more difficult for Europeans to restore confidence in the reliability of transatlantic relations for the second time..
According to the German politician, many Europeans say that “Biden is an excellent leader,” but they are wondering what to expect from Washington in the next four years. In Berlin, he adds, many are beginning to realize that countering Nord Stream 2 was not just President Trump’s “crazy idea,” but that the Biden administration will also take action against the pipeline. Nevertheless, Europe and the United States can cooperate on many issues, including on strengthening and reforming international institutions, adds the MEP.
Sven Biscop (Sven Biscop), professor at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, in turn, notes that the Biden administration will closely interact with NATO, however, since a large number of topics are the future of international institutions, the role of China, multilateral trade or climate change – not under the jurisdiction of the North Atlantic Alliance, an extensive dialogue with Brussels is needed.
“We need direct consultations between the EU and the US on all these topics. Of course, this only makes sense if the Europeans act as a single European Union, ”he says..
“The European Union is a strategically autonomous, independent player in international politics, in the economic sphere, in the political sphere, but only to a very small extent in the sphere of security and defense,” the professor adds. In his opinion, Europe should strive further towards strategic autonomy, regardless of who is in the White House, and, among other things, to strengthen its security..
“Europeans should be able to independently solve any security problem,” emphasizes Sven Biscop. Even within NATO, he notes, the first line of defense and containment on both the southern and eastern fronts of the alliance is in Europe. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen not only the North Atlantic Alliance, but also the role of Europe itself in the field of security and defense. “We need to send a signal to Russia that even if there was no American presence in Europe, they would not be able to win the traditional war against the Europeans quickly.”.
Also, the professor adds, the EU and the US “do not look at the world in exactly the same way” and, although Europe remains an important region for the latter, the Asia-Pacific region is becoming the main “theater of action” for the US..
Voice of America journalist. Prior to that, she worked for international non-governmental organizations in Washington and London, in the Russian-language version of the Estonian daily newspaper “Postimees” and as a spokesman for the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Interests – international relations, politics, economics