Joe Biden: EU and the US ‘have differences’ says Charles Michel
Addressing MEPs in Brussels on Wednesday, Mr Michel warned the EU and the US “need to create a new founding pact for a stronger US and a better world”. He warned President-elect Joe Biden differences between the bloc and America cannot “magically disappear”, adding: “America seems to have changed and how it is perceived in Europe and the rest of the world has also changed.
“Likewise, the way the United States views the European Union may also have to change.
“The EU chooses its course and does not wait for permission to take its own decision.”
But he continued: “Still, what unites us is so much greater than what divides us.
“And the events of January 6 have revealed that we share one particular challenge in common: protecting democracy and the rule of law.
“January 6 was a lesson to us all, a wake-up call that even in our well-established democracies we too often take democracy and the rule of law for granted.”
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Mr Michel then moved on to invite Mr Biden to the next European Council meeting.
He said: “I want to invite Joe Biden to Europe to take part on an extraordinary meeting of the European Council, maybe in par with a NATO meeting.”
“Today is more than a transition. Today is an opportunity to rejuvenate our transatlantic relationship, which has greatly suffered in the last four years. In these years, the world has grown more complex, less stable and less predictable,” he added.
“On the first day of his mandate, I address a solemn proposal to the new president.”
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Mr Michel said the two should work on five priorities – boosting multilateral cooperation, combating COVID-19, tackling climate change, economic recovery with a digital transformation and joining forces on security and peace.
Speaking after the Council President, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Joe Biden will be “a message of healing and hope”.
She added: “This time the ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol will be a demonstration of a lasting democracy.”
“Europe has a friend in the White House,” she said.
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But Von Der Leyen also warned that the bloc would strive to regulate American technology companies, calling for global standards.
“After four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House,” she said, who welcomed outgoing President Donald Trump’s ban on Twitter.
But she added: “This kind of decision must be taken in accordance with laws and rules …not by an arbitrary decision in the power of Silicon Valley CEOs.”
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