US President-elect Joe Biden is preparing for international assignments. In his first message to the Allies, he clearly distances himself from Donald Trump’s motto “America first”.
Elected US President Joe Biden has promised Germany and other European allies a revival of the severely damaged transatlantic relationship. After phone calls with Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, he said on Tuesday: “First of all, I will let you know America is back. We’re getting back in the game. about America. ”This clearly distinguished himself from Trump’s” America first “principle of foreign policy.
Among other things, Trump had threatened the US withdrawal from NATO, canceled international treaties such as the Paris climate protection agreement and repeatedly attacked allies such as Germany. Biden said on Tuesday that the responses he has received from allies and friends around the world have been positive. He is confident that it will be possible to turn the US back into a respected partner.
Biden goes to work
The 77-year-old spoke in his hometown of Wilmington in the US state of Delaware. The Democrat was declared the winner on Saturday based on surveys and predictions from the US media. Trump has so far refused to admit defeat. He speaks of election fraud and is suing in several states of the US – so far without any evidence.
Biden is not confused by this and is preparing for international tasks. On Monday he first called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then Tuesday with the European allies. His team announced that he promised Merkel to strengthen relations with Germany and to work closely with her. Common challenges included fighting the corona pandemic, protecting the climate and revitalizing the global economy. “He also welcomed the opportunity to work with the EU on a common agenda,” the Biden team said.
Merkel wishes a trusting cooperation
According to German government spokesman Steffen Seibert, Merkel wanted a close and trusting cooperation in the telephone conversation with Biden. Both agreed “that transatlantic cooperation is of great importance given the multitude of global challenges”. Merkel also sent her congratulations to Kamala Harris, who was elected vice president.
The chancellor had already congratulated Biden in writing on Saturday. In a public statement on Monday, she offered him a stronger German commitment to security issues. “We Germans and we Europeans know that we have to take more responsibility in this partnership in the 21st century,” said the CDU politician.
German-American relations had plunged to an all-time low in four years of Trump. The federal government is now hoping for a significant improvement.
Johnson said on Twitter that he had been on the phone with Biden for 25 minutes. “I look forward to deepening the partnership between our countries and working towards common goals – such as fighting climate change, strengthening democracy and getting out of the pandemic better.”
Biden cares about peace in Ireland
Johnson did not mention Brexit and his controversial plans to reverse the current Brexit agreement with the EU with a law in his statement. It remains to be seen what effect the US elections could have on further negotiations for a trade deal between the EU and Britain.
Biden announced in the fall that peace between Ireland and Northern Ireland should not become a “victim of Brexit”. That the Irish Prime Minister was one of the four Europeans he called first could be a sign of that too.
With the international phone calls just a few days after his election victory, Biden kept a promise of the election campaign. Then he had said, “The first thing I have to do, and I’m not kidding, if I get elected I have to call the heads of state and say America is back, you can count on us.”
Von der Leyen offers the United States a comprehensive new partnership
Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, has now offered the US a comprehensive restart of relations. “That should include everything from security to sustainability, from technology rules to trade, from adjusting global competition conditions to strengthening global institutions,” von der Leyen said in a speech to EU ambassadors on Tuesday.
According to diplomats, Charles Michel of the EU Council is planning a video conference with Biden and later a summit in Brussels. Possible dates for this have not yet been announced.
Von der Leyen mentioned overcoming the corona pandemic, climate protection and strengthening and reforming international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization WTO as specific points of cooperation. “Our international system has been held hostage for too many years,” said von der Leyen. “It is time to reverse this trend.”
It is important to revive important multilateral agreements and forge new alliances. “Such an alliance is necessary for the digital world,” said the President of the Commission. She linked this to rules for online platforms, for example in the fight against hate speech and terrorist propaganda. The European Commission will propose a broad reform here, the so-called Digital Service Act.
Other issues include data protection and fair taxation for large digital companies. For the time being, the goal remains to reach a consensus within the framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But: “The new deadline until mid-2021 must be the last,” said von der Leyen.
The commissioner had already congratulated Biden on Saturday on the election victory over President Donald Trump. Now she said, “I believe that differences can always be bridged and wounds healed. But the change in priorities and attitudes is much deeper than just being a politician or government.” You did not leave with this choice. “Our focus should be on showing leadership together without looking nostalgically at yesterday’s world,” said von der Leyen.