European leaders welcome Biden administration

21 January, 2021

By ECCT staff writers

Leaders across Europe have expressed hope for improved relations with the United States following the inauguration of President Joe Biden on 20 January.

In her speech to the European Parliament Plenary, European Commission President said that “after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House… . Joe Biden's oath will be a message of healing for a deeply divided nation. And it will be a message of hope for a world that is waiting for the US to be back in the circle of like-minded states. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner. And this is why the Commission recently has adopted a new, forward looking transatlantic agenda. And it focuses on where we can together join forces to push for global change – based on our common values, interests and global influence. From climate change to health, from digitalisation to democracy – these are global challenges that need renewed and improved global cooperation. And the European Union and the United States must lead from the front and bring an alliance of like-minded partners with us.”

In his speech, European Council President Charles Michel said: “The United States has been our closest ally in defending democracy and rule of law. American democracy has stood strong and often served as an example for advocates of freedom around the world. This is why the events at the US Capitol shocked us so much. But the darkness of violence will never dim the light of democracy. Law, order and democracy have prevailed over this disgraceful attempt to overturn the election… . Today is more than a transition. Today is an opportunity to rejuvenate our transatlantic relationship, which has greatly suffered in the last four years.”

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament also stated that Joe Biden's arrival at the White House marked “the beginning of a new era for transatlantic relations”.

Both NATO and the European Union have invited Biden to participate in a leaders’ summit in Brussels in 2021.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed President Biden’s decision to bring the US back into the Paris Agreement on climate change. According to a tweet by Macron: “We are together, we will be stronger to face the challenges of our time, stronger to build our future, stronger to protect our planet.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed the sentiments, saying that “America’s leadership is vital on the issues that matter to us all”, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously congratulated Joe Biden on his election win saying that she is looking forward to working with Joe Biden, calling the trans-Atlantic friendship “irreplaceable.”

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