Sunday

14th Apr 2024

Biden wins US elections: 'Dark chapter is over'

  • Democratic Party candidate and next US president Joe Biden on the campaign trail (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Joe Biden has won US elections after taking the state of Pennsylvania, ending what some EU politicians have called the "nightmare" years of outgoing president Donald Trump.

The news broke shortly before 6PM Brussels time on Saturday (7 November) after four tense days of vote-counting.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Donald Trump supporter in his hallmark red cap (Photo: Jeff Cirillo)

Biden's triumph, in his home state on the east coast, meant he had 284 votes in the so-called Electoral College in which he needed 270 to secure victory.

He is also winning the popular vote, with 73 million ballots so far in his favour - the most-ever in US history in an election with the highest-ever turnout in 120 years.

The Democratic Party candidate is to become the 46th US president when his inauguration takes place, due on 20 January.

And his incoming vice-president, Kamala Harris, is to become the first-ever woman of colour to win such high office.

Biden has already pledged to reverse Trump's exit from the EU-backed Paris Agreement on climate change.

He is also expected to reconfirm the US commitment to Nato, which Trump put in doubt, and to be friendlier toward Europe on trade, as well as to restore America's allegiance to the liberal values espoused in the EU treaties.

"A very dark chapter in American history is over. Rejoice!", Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia, said in one of the first reactions.

"Whether you're on the left or right: moderation, integrity, seriousness and the mainstream are back," Britain's former finance minister, George Osborne, also said.

But doubt remains whether Trump will go gracefully, or whether he will try to challenge the result via law suits and recounts, or even by calling on his fans to cause civil unrest.

"I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!", Trump tweeted, moments before the Pennsylvania news broke.

He also claimed, earlier on Thursday, that Biden was guilty of fraud, without giving any evidence, in a speech widely condemned, including by his own Republican Party, as well as by leading EU politicians.

"Anyone who continues to pour oil on the fire in a situation like this is acting irresponsibly," German foreign minister Heiko Maas said on Friday.

Meanwhile, even if Trump concedes, Biden will inherit a deeply divided American polity and society, after Trump also won over 70 million votes overall - the second highest number in US records - meaning that Biden might be more busy trying to maintain internal stability than rebuilding the transatlantic partnership that his predecessor all-but destroyed.

"With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation," Biden said in a statement on Saturday.

"It's time for America to unite. And to heal," he added.

Trump doing well in US election nail-biter

The anti-European president Donald Trump won Florida, a historical predictor of the overall outcome, but many swing states still too close to call on Wednesday morning.

Column

Last chance for the West

In the coming weeks and months we will find out to what extent president-elect Joe Biden is willing to consider the transatlantic relationship as a vital US interest again, and put it at the heart of US policy.

Interview

EU should use 'all means' to end war in Gaza: Belgian minister

The EU should use "all means" possible to end the violence in Gaza, including sanctions, a peace conference, and a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, Belgian development cooperation minister Caroline Gennez told EUobserver.

Opinion

The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

Defeated far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has given various reasons for sheltering at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia — none of them make sense.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us