The European Union and NATO in search of a “new partnership” with Washington

The Irish Paschal Donohoe, president of the Eurogroup, intervenes by video, on November 30 in Brussels.

That, at least, is a certainty: Joe Biden will be welcomed with open arms in Brussels, no doubt in the spring, perhaps before, for a meeting with the leaders of the European Union and NATO. Everywhere, at the European Council (which brings together the Member States), at the Commission, at the headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance, the calls of the foot and the ideas for a “new partnership” are flourishing. It is decidedly a question of making forget as quickly as possible the four Trump years and their turbulence. And don’t let the hope of another relationship slip away.

The “reset” of this has also become the new leitmotif of the Brussels institutions. On Monday 30 November, the ambassadors of the 27 member countries examined a short text which will serve as a basis for the discussions of the European Council on 10 and 11 December. Five major themes, areas of possible cooperation, are discussed: the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic; multilateralism, climate change; peace, security and common values; and economic recovery.

In a neighboring building, the Commission brainstormed to produce a much longer text and, it seems, ” complementary “. He suggests a “Global alliance”, reported, Monday, the Financial Times. Regulation of the digital economy, protection of personal data, fight against cyber threats, development of vaccines, union of democracies against authoritarian powers, antitrust policy: this new transatlantic agenda is already well filled.

“Constructive dialogue” with Beijing

Added to this is the proposal for a common policy towards China, whose assertion on the international scene, the policy of investing in foreign companies and technological development (in 5G, for example) a “Strategic challenge”. Refusing any anti-Chinese crusade, European diplomacy however hopes that the Democratic administration will help it counter a China which has become for it a “Systemic rival”, while preserving the channel of a “Constructive dialogue” with Beijing.

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Much to its enthusiasm, Brussels is sweeping away any possible differences with the United States or betting on a change of course of the latter – about the trade confrontation with China or the revival of the World Trade Organization, paralyzed by Donald Trump who blocked his dispute settlement body. It is not known at this stage what his successor will do. The taxation of digital giants is another subject of uncertainty: Europeans must, in principle, vote on this issue in March, when the new US administration is expected to determine its position.

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