The expectations of the new US president are enormous. Europe is now oscillating between the re-normalization of relations with Washington, the repair of the Atlantic relationship and the concerns that Joe Biden will not be able to focus more on foreign policy.
According to French-European relations minister Clement Fionn, it is clear that “Europe must take on more responsibility.” The notion of strategic autonomy was equally important during the Biden / Harris administration. “Europe must define its own values and interests. Of course, we must work with the United States, not against the United States.” Peon, who is considered a close ally of French President Macron, hopes the cooperation will be more effective on issues such as climate protection and security and trade policy. “The partnership needs a new impetus.”
Strategic autonomy is not a shame
Emmanuel Macron came up with the idea of ”strategic autonomy” in the relationship between Europe and the United States. An opinion that would not be much to the liking of Berlin and Warsaw. The French Minister for European Relations tries to explain this point better: of course, this does not mean ignoring the United States or NATO, but “the United States will continue to ask for greater autonomy.
In this context, Peon also defends the much-criticized New EU-China agreement: “It would be strange for anyone to believe that the EU has no right to conclude its own agreements.” The deal with China will not run against the new US president, but “Europe must know what it wants and be accountable in every way”.
The Paris government seems to want to maintain greater European independence from the Biden administration through its strategy, which, according to French tradition, views the Atlantic Confederation with more skepticism than the rest of Europe.
Washington is preparing for the inauguration of President Joe Biden
Europe must be part of the solution
Europeans must soon show Washington the break with the Trump administration, says Berlin’s Foreign Relations Council’s Jana Buglier, who believes: “It has been difficult for four years, and now we are back on the same side of the blockade. We welcome the new president with open arms.” Domestically: “We are not subservient to anyone, we can not turn the tide, but we need to show the new US government that Europe is based on diversity and wants to do more.”
According to him, Biden is deeply disturbed by the internal problems of the United States, and he would be happy to see Europe take up many issues, such as the situation in Belarus. “We have to be part of the solution, not the problem.” Jana Buglier supports the idea of a particular strategic autonomy for the Europeans, which will make them better allies. “Paris fears that Europeans’ aspirations for further independence will be postponed again. And there are concerns about Biden’s close victory in Berlin and that the United States will never be there to help Europe.” In any case, it turns out that Europe needs to get stronger and try harder to keep the United States together.
After Joe Biden’s inauguration, Europeans must first address the “light topics” with quick conclusions, Buckley suggests: climate policy, negotiations with Iran, the role of NATO. “A NATO summit will be held in the early summer, signaling a new beginning and a new strategic vision.” On the other hand, one topic that remains very difficult is trade policy, where small steps are recommended. Regarding the EU-China agreement, the expert takes an important position: “We must overcome this failed start represented by policy on China.”
New game in Atlantic Cooperative
German environmental MEP Reinhard Bettikofer says the deal with China is an unfortunate move. “We may have started a better relationship with the new administration.” It would not be a question of asking the US for permission, but of cooperation between the two sides on China and other issues. From a strategic point of view, the unilateral approach of Europeans to relations with China does not make much sense. But there will be enough time to talk about it. The agreement with China will come into force only if it is approved by the European Parliament, and there will still be plenty of room for dialogue before its vote.
Trump has often expressed his views on the Atlantic partnership
According to Pedicofer, the Europeans failed to send an important signal to Washington, Beijing and the rest of the world. That is: “There is a new game, and the Atlantic partnership will be renewed.” The environmental politician believes that climate policy is now at the forefront, followed by trade and security policy. Bettikofer, who puts forward the American view, says that we cannot deal with only one thing Multitasking – Solving multiple tasks at once.
The end of a dream?
Judy Dempsey of Europe says Carnegie is “the end of Trump’s insult to Europe” based on the changes the Biden group is bringing to Europe. In addition, the expert believes that Biden understands Europe very well and knows Angela Merkel well. Dempsey believes Europeans need to do more, especially in security and defense policy. There may be a chance to resume talks on nuclear disarmament.
Atlantic relations must be open on both sides for closer cooperation with other democracies. Countries such as Canada and Japan need to coordinate common trade, security and security positions and strategies against China, India and Latin America. Judy Demsey believes that by renewing trade agreements such as the DTIP between Washington and Brussels, the West can re-impose its common rules and values and rules on transparency and investment.
The dream of the Trump era can only be overcome if it enlivens the populists and members of the right-wing movement and seeks to understand how it can control the functioning of social networks. Judy Dempsey warns that dictatorial regimes will seek to undermine democracy by funding cyber-attacks and such extremist movements. “The Trump administration highlights the impact of democratic institutions, while emphasizing their strengths. What is its legacy – this is an open question.”