European Council President Charles Michel said on Sunday that Donald Trump’s tenure had damaged transatlantic relations but that the election of Joe Biden would mean a return to “respectful” dialogue.
“What is certain is that the last few years have damaged relations with the United States … Unfortunately, it is not a joke, the previous president has spoken more with North Korea than with Europeans “, declared Michel during a interview on radio Europe 1.
“With Joe Biden, we have the prospect of a more normal, more respectful dialogue … and on several projects such as the climate, to have a strong objective alliance, which is rather positive and fascinating”, he added. .
Biden has already announced a series of executive actions to sweep away many of Trump’s policies and bolster US climate efforts, ranging from the return of the Paris Climate Agreement to the revocation of a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
But Michel said he was “very realistic” that Trump’s impact had not completely gone away.
“On the subjects of trade, relations with China… and perhaps the big Internet companies, we will not spontaneously have concordant positions. But there will be at least, I believe, a space for more dialogue, for an exchange of arguments, for more common sense, for more rationality ”, declared Michel.
Work is underway to organize an extraordinary meeting between Biden and EU leaders later this year, as well as a meeting at NATO, Michel said.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian echoed Michel’s take on a damaged transatlantic relationship.
It won’t be the same as before, because… maybe indirectly linked to Trump, the EU has gained self-confidence, the EU has grown, the EU is out of its naivety, ”said Le Drian at France Inter Radio.
“The EU has said it could, in terms of security, start to take a stand [that doesn’t rely on Washington]He said, adding that the rules on trade “must not be abused”. On a number of major industrial issues, the EU “could have its own sovereignty,” Le Drian said.
“The Europe that exists today is not the same as it was four years ago.”