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Home / World / European Lauds Biden but wonders: What would he want? How long will he stay?

European Lauds Biden but wonders: What would he want? How long will he stay?

BRUSSELS – In the context of “America First” created by President Trump, Joseph R. Biden Jr. is an outdated romantic transatlanticist. So in Europe it feels relieved to have a good friend in the White House who is more supportive than verbally abusive, insulting and insulting.

A former French ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud, said that “every European leader has had a horrifying conversation with Trump”. Referring to the German and former British prime minister, Mr. Araud said: “He insulted Angela Merkel, he insulted Theresa May. He attacked them. It is surreal. And it̵

7;s over. “

But there will still be vigilance among European leaders – about what Mr. Biden might ask of them, especially knowing that he could be president for a term and that the impetus ofism. the populism in which Trumpism operates has hardly disappeared.

Dominique Moïsi, a French analyst at the Paris-based nonprofit Montaigne, says, “We should not underestimate the feeling of relief and we should not overestimate the feeling that everything is. will change a lot. “

Analysts close to the Biden campaign hint that the popularity will be restored, with Biden planning to rejoin the Paris climate accord and stay at the World Health Organization, offering warm words on NATO and its allies and possibly early visits to Germany and possibly Brussels could begin. Mr. Biden himself has said there will be less trade confrontation, less punitive tariffs, and an early effort to create a sort of “global summit for democracy” – especially in the face of a rising China is promoting its authoritarian capitalism – as well as a more united stance against Russia.

David O’Sullivan, a former European Union ambassador to the United States, said he expected an innovation in US leadership – if not past hegemon, then at least “role The role of the United States is the “calling nation” for multilateral initiatives and institutions.

But the world has changed, and so has the United States, where victory in Biden is relatively narrow and not a clear denial of Mr Trump’s policies. A fundamental belief has been broken, and many European diplomats and experts argue that US foreign policy is no longer bipartisan, and therefore unreliable.

Stefano Stefanini, former Italian ambassador to NATO, said: “What is hard to fix is ​​the fear that this might happen again. “If you are worried about a one-term presidential term, you will hold back a lot, that’s why Congress will be important. If the Republican Senate tries to block everything Biden does, Europeans will say, ‘OK, Biden is fine, but let’s be careful.’

Clément Beaune, France’s European minister, who is close to President Emmanuel Macron, said in a message on Twitter, “It is a mistake to believe that everything changes – Europe must, above all, rely on. it’s him.”

The need for more European autonomy and initiative – economic, political, and military – is the message Mr. Macron has repeated for years, even as the his own to tease Mr. Trump was unsuccessful.

A re-election by Trump may have accelerated that trend. But many, like Nathalie Tocci, an advisor to the European Union’s Head of Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles, warn that Biden’s presidency “risks bringing Europe back into the comfort zone of the European Union. me ”.

“Biden is a comfortable way of getting into the sand,” she said, “but we have to realize that the tough and painful choices Trump has given us remains unchanged.”

The French message may not be top-of-mind in a divided Europe, where Merkel sees NATO and its relationship with Washington as important to Germany’s national interests. On Saturday, Heiko Maas, Germany’s Foreign Minister, said the Germans intend to present to Mr. Biden “concrete proposals on how we can close the ranks as a transatlantic community” on China. Country, climate and pandemic Covid-19.

Europe is also divided about Trump, where the less liberal states of Central Europe, especially Poland and Hungary, have strongly supported Trump’s politics, and not only thanked the US military.

Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa, who is close to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, even posted an early tweet and is now heavily mocked congratulating Trump for re-election.

As for NATO allies, there will be no need to conceal prior agreement decisions or announcements as they did with Mr Trump, sometimes with the consent of US officials. Mr. Biden will not threaten to leave NATO, as Mr. Trump did, nor will he think it is a fee club. And Mr. Biden has expressed no special relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia or President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

But Mr. Biden has a history, post-Iraqi, of prudence in the use of US troops – for example, he opposes the rise in Afghanistan and interference in Libya. So while he is likely to extend the New Start nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow, he may not think reducing the number of US troops in Germany is a bad idea.

And there are hints from NATO diplomats that the coalition’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, who was so adept at dealing with Trump that his term was extended, could be replaced first. that’s too long.

There was also some anxiety in the British government about a Biden presidency, backed by Brexit-backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his close relationship with Trump.

Antony Blinken, a senior Biden adviser, tried to reassure British diplomats. He told Chatham House in London in April that US leadership would return. “When Joe Biden sees the world, one thing stands out,” Mr. Blinken said. “For more than 75 years, the United States has played a leading role in organizing the world, setting institutions, writing rules, and setting standards.”

“If we don’t do that,” added Mr. Blinken, “one of two things will happen. It may be someone else, and may in no way enhance our interest and values; or no one else, and that could be even worse. Then, you have a void that tends to be filled with evil before the good. So America is responsible and self-interested in taking the lead with humility.

But less obvious is that even traditional US allies will follow quite confidently as they may have done in the past.

Elian Peltier contributed reports from London.

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