BRUSSELS – The European Union is grasping the imminent arrival of the incoming Biden administration as a moment to reset relations with the United States after four years of trans-Atlantic acrimony under President Donald Trump.
With a series of initiatives, the 27-nation bloc is seeking to rekindle the spirit of cooperation between Washington and Europe that has long defined global diplomacy. But the EU also acknowledges that future relations will have to adapt to a multi-polar world where China is an ever bigger player.
“It is time to reconnect," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.
The EU is glad to be shedding the Trump years. The president has often criticized European allies for cowering under the U.S. defense and security umbrella while seeking economic advantage through subsidies and other trade tactics.
“Let’s look forward, not back. Let’s rejuvenate our relationship,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Both sides face major challenges, including beating the coronavirus pandemic and containing climate change.
During the four years of unraveling trans-Atlantic relations, China and Russia have gained influence, and the EU is looking for the strongest partner possible.
EU partners are seeking a change from Trump's go-it-alone credo and back a multilateral approach to better deal with global crises.