The EU and the US have been and will continue to be strategic partners. Under the Trump Administration, transatlantic (TA) relations have encountered tense moments and have taught us our relationship should never be taken for granted. The election of Biden/Harris last November provided much relief and optimism in the EU as to the opportunities to reset the TA relationship. While the new US administration will have a more cooperative attitude, some diverging interests will remain.
We need to build stronger ties and a more resilient alliance of democracies for reinvigorating the multilateral world order and resisting the assertive authoritarians undermining it. We need to pool energies to fight climate change, build a greener and more robust sustainable growth for a more inclusive society. Democracy, rule of law, environmental goals and labour rights, promotion of peaceful resolution of conflicts and reform of economic governance, by putting the fight against inequalities at its center should be central to our common progressive agenda. At the same time, we should emphasize the importance of visa reciprocity between the EU and the US and encourage both sides to find a solution that would enable a visa-free regime for all EU citizens.
Even though the US transition is not complete, President Biden and his team have already announced and initiated several actions and priorities that show a clear reengagement with multilateralism and willingness to cooperate with traditional allies. When it comes to the approach, there will certainly be a more constructive context to discuss aligning and diverging interests. In this light, we should not aim at repairing the TA relations but we should build them back, better than before. Both bilaterally as well as in multilateral settings, we should join forces whenever we can. At the same time, the EU needs to mature and stand up for its own interests whenever needed.