Joe Biden in ‘pivot’ to Brussels as ‘indispensable’ EU eager for US relations reset

Joe Biden realises Europe is ‘indispensable partner’ says expert

Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, from the German Marshall Fund, believes the European Union will emerge as the “core” of President Joe Biden’s new foreign policy agenda. The expert suggested in key areas such as coronavirus response, economic recovery and climate change we can expect to see a “natural pivot” towards Europe from the post-Trump White House. The analyst also spoke of the bloc’s “increasing influence” over the “big issues” Mr Biden is looking to tackle during his presidency meaning America will look increasingly to deal directly with Brussels.  

Ms Hoop Scheffertold Euronews that Biden sees strong US-EU relations as a priority.

“I think he realises that in terms of international priorities, Europe is the indispensable partner.

“When you look at Biden’s priorities today, be it the COVID crisis, economic recovery or climate change, we have both seen him sign an executive order to signal that the United States will be re-engaged in the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a significant decision that he took and that obviously Europeans are extremely happy about,” she explained.

“But on all of these key policy areas, Europeans are at the core of that agenda and so what I see happening is definitely a quite natural pivot to Europe when it comes to designing US foreign policy.”

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She also told Euronews that Biden will be looking to work directly with the EU on the big issues.

“There is going to be an interest in dealing directly with Brussels, with the EU institutions on three big issues that are in fact priorities for Biden. Number one climate change, number two, of course, the COVID crisis and number three digital issues where the EU has an increasing influence.”

It comes as a top EU official accused Mr Biden’s predecessor of having spent more time talking to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un than with leaders from the European Union.

The astonishing claim was made by Charles Michel, the President of the European Council. 

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Relations between the US and EU deteriorated sharply during Mr Trump’s presidency. 

In an interview with French radio station Europe 1 on Sunday, Mr Michel said: “I say this, and it is not a joke, the previous president spoke more with North Korea than with the Europeans.”

The former US President met the North Korean dictator on three separate occasions, in an attempt to persuade Kim Jong-un to abandon his nuclear weapons programme.

However, despite Mr Trump’s best efforts, no agreement was forthcoming.


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EU officials are hopeful that they will be able to strengthen transatlantic relations on global issues such as climate change, now that there is a new occupant in the White House.

But Mr Michel cautioned that relations between Brussels and Washington were unlikely to return to the previous status quo.

He said: “I know perfectly well that the impact of Donald Trump has not disappeared. Subjects like trade, in particular the relationship with China, are subjects for which we will not spontaneously have a matching position.”

He added: “But there will be at least a space for dialogue.”

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