EU leaders have been offering congratulations to President-elect Biden. After days of waiting for the election to be called one way or another, Europe heaved a collective sigh of relief at the news Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States. In European capitals, many hope Biden will usher in a new, more constructive era of US-EU relations after the Trump years.
Under President Trump, the US and Europe have quarrelled over everything from steel and aluminum tariffs, to NATO spending, to US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. President-elect Biden has signalled he intends to overturn many of the Trump-era executive orders as soon as he enters office in January 2021, including the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization.
Not everyone will be pleased with the Biden win. Trump is deeply unpopular with the public in most European countries, but he remains pretty popular in Poland (and also has popular support in Hungary and Italy). Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had reportedly been “rooting” for Trump to win, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša had even offered his premature congratulations to Donald Trump (and has since been compounding his diplomatic blunder by retweeting baseless conspiracy theories claiming widespread election fraud in the US).
Nevertheless, most Europeans are happy with the result. They hope for a return to multilateralism and an end to the “America First” approach that lead to trade wars, and boosted support for authoritarian leaders worldwide. President-elect Biden (a proud Irish Catholic) is also expected to prioritise the peace process in Northern Ireland when it comes to the EU-UK Brexit negotiations, meaning a US-UK trade deal in unlikely if Britain opts for a hard border with Ireland.
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