Europe greets Biden’s inauguration with relief and muted hopes

Europe greets Biden’s inauguration with relief and muted hopes

European officials greeted this week the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden as the welcome end of four years of roller-coasting trans-Atlantic relations. But they also sounded eager to get on with dealing with the problems that have accumulated in the meantime.

  • “Europe stands ready. To reconnect with an old and trusted partner, to breathe new life into a cherished alliance,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter

    on Wednesday morning.

  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said he would work “hand in hand” with the new U.S. president, and added he was “looking forward to working closely with his new administration” to defeat COVID-19 and “build back better” after the pandemic.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron used a speech to the armed forces on Tuesday to state that he was “sure that the new U.S. administration will take decisions in the coming weeks showing greater commitment and awareness of the nature of the fight against terrorism” in the Middle East region.

Read: Biden announces day one executive orders

The outlook: Europeans know that many contentious issues will be dealt with in the short term — Biden, for example, has already said he would rejoin the Paris agreement on climate change. Beyond that, European Union leaders also know that the two sides’ interests, notably on trade and economic matters, won’t always coincide.

The EU and the U.S. may not see eye to eye on how to deal with and regulate the power and influence of big U.S. technology companies such as Facebook

or Google
And in the short term, it may take some time to come to compromises on matters such as a global digital tax, or the continuing tariff war triggered by the subsidies dispute between plane makers Boeing

and Airbus

Read: Biden likely to tighten COVID travel restrictions from these countries

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