The European Union says it's seeking opportunities 'to renew and reinvigorate its strategic partnership with the U.S. based on mutual interests.'
Following a strained relationship with the United States under Donald Trump, the European Union is seeking to repair the damage under a Biden administration.
Twenty-seven ambassadors from the EU met on Monday to discuss ways to work with President-elect Joe Biden, Reuters reported, citing an internal document that said the new incoming administration gives the EU "an opportunity for the EU to renew and reinvigorate its strategic partnership with the U.S. based on mutual interests."
An EU official noted to the wire service that the countries agreed on five key policy areas: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, climate change, world peace and security, and shared values with belief in multilateral rules.
Over the last four years, Trump's "America First" agenda had wrecked relations with Europe, including with many of the United States' closest allies.
Earlier this month, the United States prompted an international outcry when it formally withdrew from the Paris climate agreement — the agreement of nearly 200 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to fight climate change.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo submitted a formal withdrawal notice a year ago.
Michael Brune, Sierra Club's executive director, slammed the move at the time, calling Trump "the worst president in history for our climate and our clean air and water."
"Long after Trump is out of office his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement will be seen as a historic error," Brune said.
Biden has said he will rejoin the Paris agreement and announced last week that former Secretary of State John Kerry, who worked on the agreement, will serve as on Biden's National Security Council as the first special presidential envoy for climate.
In March, the EU blasted Trump's travel restrictions applied to the 26 Schengen-area European countries, which does not include the United Kingdom, which EU Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement was done "unilaterally and without consultation." They noted that the coronavirus pandemic "is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action."
Last October, Trump escalated the trade war against Europe when he imposed up to an annual $7.5 billion in tariffs on European exports.
In a July 2018 interview with "CBS Evening News," Trump called the EU a worse "foe" than China and Russia.
"Well, I think we have a lot of foes, I think the European Union is a foe," he told CBS anchor Jeff Glor. "What they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe."
Glor noted that many "people might be surprised to hear you list the EU as a foe before China and Russia," but Trump responded, "EU is very difficult ... maybe the thing that is most difficult."
"With friends like that, who needs enemies," Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said in 2018 of Trump's international decisions.
In another shocking move that would destabilize the EU, Trump in an April 2018 White House meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron offered France a better trade deal than the rest of the EU if the country leaves the union.
In April of this year, Trump halted funding of the World Health Organization, another move that upset America's allies around the globe. He baselessly accused the organization of "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus." In fact, the organization had been warning of the seriousness of coronavirus pandemic for months, as Trump repeatedly downplayed it.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres criticized the move at the time.
"Now is a time for unity in the global battle to push the COVID-19 pandemic into reverse, not a time to cut the resources of the [WHO], which is spearheading and coordinating the global body’s efforts," he said in a statement.
Biden has said he will rejoin the organization on his first day in office to "restore our leadership on the world stage."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.