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EU looks to rekindle transatlantic alliance under Biden

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EU looks to rekindle transatlantic alliance under Biden

Josep Borrell - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - Following the Trump years of bilateral tensions and unilateral tendencies, the EU put forward a strategy Wednesday to strengthen ties with the United States after US President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

The European Commission and the EU's foreign policy chief said that the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, combined with 'a more assertive and capable European Union' and a new geopolitical and economic reality, present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design a new transatlantic agenda for global cooperation 'based on our common values, interests and global influence'.

“With our concrete proposals for cooperation under the future Biden administration, we are sending strong messages to our US friends and allies," said the EU's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell: "Let's look forward, not back. Let's rejuvenate our relationship. Let's build a partnership that delivers prosperity, stability, peace and security for citizens across our continents and around the world."

The EU's proposal for a new, forward-looking transatlantic agenda for global cooperation is centred on the principles: stronger multilateral action and institutions, pursuit of common interests, leveraging collective strength, and finding solutions that respect common values.

The agenda spans four areas, highlighting first steps for joint action that would act as an initial transatlantic roadmap, to address key challenges and seize opportunities.

On COVID-19, the EU is looking to the US to join its global leadership role in promoting global cooperation, and wants to work with the US to ensure funding for the development and equitable global distribution of vaccines, tests and treatments, develop joint preparedness and response capacities, facilitate trade in essential medical goods, and reinforce and reform the World Health Organization.

On recovery, the EU says that climate change and biodiversity loss require systemic change and global cooperation. It is proposing to establish a 'comprehensive transatlantic green agenda', to coordinate positions and jointly lead efforts for ambitious global agreements, starting with a joint commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. A joint trade and climate initiative, measures to avoid carbon leakage, a green technology alliance, a global regulatory framework for sustainable finance, joint leadership in the fight against deforestation, and stepping up ocean protection all form part of the EU's proposals.

On technology and trade, the EU wants to work closely with the US to solve bilateral trade irritants through negotiated solutions, to lead reform of the World Trade Organization, and to establish a new EU-US Trade and Technology Council. It also is proposing to create a dialogue on the responsibility of online platforms and Big Tech, work together on fair taxation and market distortions, and develop a common approach to protecting critical technologies.

Finally, the EU is looking to partner with the US 'to support democratic values, as well as global and regional stability, prosperity, and conflict resolution'.

The EU is also looking to coordinate joint EU-US responses to promote regional and global stability, strengthen transatlantic and international security, including through a new EU-US Security and Defence Dialogue, and strengthen the multilateral system.

Joint Communication: A new EU-US agenda for global change

Factsheet: A new EU-US agenda for global change

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