Sunday

14th Apr 2024

EU keen to repair damage of Trump years

  • Victory of US president-elect Joe Biden was "a once-in-a-generation opportunity", the EU said (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The EU has set out how to undo the damage caused by four years of US president Donald Trump's rule, by trying to "make multilateralism great again".

The phrase, contained in an EU strategy paper on US relations, out on Wednesday (2 December), poked fun at Trump's slogan of "make America great again".

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

The paper noted that Trump's jingoism had left a lasting mark on transatlantic relations, by pushing Europe to seek "greater strategic autonomy".

It also noted that the rise in Chinese economic power had changed the global landscape.

"We should not embark on a nostalgic search for the global order of past decades ... The US and the EU have changed, as have power dynamics and geopolitical and technological realities," it said.

But it placed hope in US president-elect Joe Biden, saying there was, once again "a commonality of outlook ... between the incoming US administration and the European Union".

And it described Biden's victory as "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design a new transatlantic agenda".

Trump had torn up plans for an EU-US free-trade pact designed to contain Chinese power.

He also attacked the World Health Organisation's (WHO) efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, walked out of a UN climate-change deal, and an EU-brokered Iran nuclear disarmament treaty, as well as insulting EU leaders and championing Brexit.

The EU's new agenda called on Biden to join the EU and WHO in trying to ensure global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and the UN on creating carbon neutrality by 2050.

It looked forward to Biden's proposed "Summit for Democracy" in which Europe would "seek joint commitments with the US to fight the rise of authoritarianism, human rights abuses, and corruption".

It also said the EU and US should hail their new partnership at a bilateral summit in the first half of 2021.

It made no mention of reviving the free-trade pact, but said it would "work closely with the US to solve bilateral trade irritants".

It also spoke of teaming up with the US against China on development and regulation of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and '5G' data networks, by creating a regular "EU-US Trade and Technology Council".

"We expect things can be improved on all fronts - on climate for sure, on the Iran nuclear deal also," EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told press in Brussels on Wednesday.

He proposed new talks at foreign-minister level on the Iran pact even before Biden took office in January and new talks on China shortly afterward.

"I think it [reviving the Iran deal] is the only way to avoid Iran becoming a nuclear power," he said.

But he said it was "crazy" to say the EU and US aimed to lock out China from the global market in new technologies.

"We want a level playing field, reciprocity [with China]," he said.

He said Europe's bid for greater economic and military "self-reliance" was not designed to compete with US power, but to make the EU a more effective ally.

But he also echoed the strategy paper in saying it would be impossible to reset the clock to pre-Trump days.

"The past few years [of Trump] were a bumpy road and we're not going to go back to where we were before," Borrell said.

EU scolds Trump on his WHO 'finger-pointing'

EU commission has accused US leader of undermining multilateral cooperation, after his latest threat to permanently cut off World Health Organization funding.

Opinion

What does Trump's 'coup' mean for Europe?

If Trump is still alive, healthy, free and tweeting politics by 2023, I think we all can officially start to worry. Not only for the American democracy, but for democracies in Europe and the rest of the world.

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?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  2. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries
  3. European Citizen's InitiativeThe European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary school students in the EU.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region is stepping up its efforts to reduce food waste
  5. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  6. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us