The EU will call on the US to seize a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to forge a new global alliance, in a detailed pitch to bury the tensions of the Trump era and meet the “strategic challenge” posed by China. A draft EU plan for revitalising the transatlantic partnership, seen by the Financial Times, proposes new co-operation on everything from digital regulation and tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to fighting deforestation.
The paper, prepared by the European Commission, says the EU-US partnership needs “maintenance and renewal” if the democratic world is to assert its interests against “authoritarian powers” and “closed economies [that] exploit the openness our own societies depend on”. The Il-page set of draft policy proposals, entitled “a new EU-US agenda for global change”, includes an appeal for the EU and US to bury the hatchet on persistent sources of transatlantic tension, such as Europe’s push for greater taxation of US tech giants.
It proposes the EU and US join forces to operate on the development and dissemination of Covid-19 vaccines and joint work to reform the World Health Organization.
The blueprint reflects the optimism and sheer relief in Brussels about the prospect of working with the incoming US administration, but also concern that years of scratchy transatlantic relations have given the geopolitical initiative to Beijing. The document backs president-elect Joe Biden’s idea for a summit of democracies, and says that the new transatlantic agenda should be “the linchpin of a new global alliance of like-minded partners”.
The paper, produced jointly by the commission and the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, is expected to be submitted for endorsement by national leaders at a meeting on December 10-11. It suggests an EU-US Summit in the first half of 2021 as the moment to launch the new transatlantic agenda.
One of the acute frustrations in Brussels during the Trump years has been the US administration’s reluctance to co-ordinate the two powers’ responses to China, with the White House opting to pursue unilateral trade measures not only against Beijing but also the EU.
Recommended The paper says: “As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness, even if we do not always agree on the best way to