How will relations between the EU and the US change with Biden ?: “It is advisable to moderate illusions”

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Joe Biden’s victory in the United States elections has opened a new stage. But it should be approached with great caution. For now, until January 20 Donald Trump will remain president and the doubt about a peaceful transition remains in the air. Biden, on the other hand, is already working for the next four years, escorted by a Kamala Harris who will have a lot of visibility. The EU watches the “change” in the US from a distance, with somewhat restrained optimism. In Brussels they know that things are not going to go from black to white because there is a change of powers in the White House

Now that the US elections have yielded a conclusive result, articles continue to appear about how good Biden’s arrival in the White House is going to be for the transatlantic relationship. Well then, “illusions should be tempered, even if it is true that prospects are manifestly better than if Donald Trump had been re-elected“, comments the 20minutos Salvador Llaudes, Fellow Associate in the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

“In the first place, it is convenient to moderate the illusions because the outgoing president, Trump, is going to do everything possible (and even impossible) not to lose his post. Thus, for the moment he has not accepted his defeat and has started a legal battle in numerous states “, clarifies the expert. His weapon is polarization and he wants his own to not accept defeat either. “We’ll see if they don’t give in to Trump’s impulses.”

Second, illusions should be tempered because even if Biden’s arrival in the White House is confirmed, “the The Democratic president’s agenda will be tremendously loaded and the EU will not logically be his priority number one “. While it is true that Biden’s impulses are multilateralist (in matters of health or climate policy, for example) and his policy towards the EU will resemble what traditionally” has been an American policy of alliance with its allies “(and in the case of Brexit, for example, those allies are not exactly the British), that will not be a fundamental axis.

Map of US results, updated as of November 13.

At the end of the day, their priorities will be at home, on the domestic agenda. “A priority for the new administration will be to re-stitch society, depolarizing the situation with the Republican representatives will be its great (and tremendously complex) task.” All of this in a coronavirus context that entails an unprecedented health and economic crisis in modern times. ”

“There are elements of American foreign policy that Europe dislikes and that will not vary with Biden.”

Third, illusions should be tempered because there are elements of American foreign policy “that Europe and Europe dislike. that they will not vary with Biden“: examples of this are a continuous demand for greater spending on European defense, a trade policy far from European priorities or a policy in the technological-digital field that forces Europe to position itself against China.

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