Ursula von der Leyen welcomed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Brussels and agreed EU-USA to cooperate on global issues. Mr Blinken vowed a new approach to work closer with European allies.
The visit comes a day before Biden joins a video summit with EU leaders to press home the message that his administration wants to rebuild transatlantic ties. Leaders will discuss transatlantic relations together with US President Joe Biden. He will join the video conference on Thursday evening at 20:45 (CET).
I have invited the President of the US to join our meeting and share his views on our future cooperation. Time to rebuild our transatlantic alliance.
President Biden and Von der Leyen agreed to suspend all tariffs . These were imposed in the context of the Airbus-Boeing disputes for four months. This is a positive and important step. But there are other tariffs still in place, and wider issues to address.
EU-USA to fight together Climate Change
Another important topic will be climate change. Climate change remains the defining challenge of our time. We whole-heartedly commend President Biden for re-joining the Paris Agreement. And we are very much looking forward to preparing the key milestones of this year – this begins with Earth Day at the end of April, COP15 in Kunming in October, and COP26 in Glasgow in November. The European Union and the United States must develop true solutions, enhance innovation, set ambitious objectives, and work together to achieve those.
We share common concerns and we should seek opportunities to work together beyond our respective borders. Stronger joint efforts between us are essential to tackle these challenges effectively.
Borrell, Blinken agreed to strengthen the relations
Also United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated on Wednesday the two sides agreed to strengthen the relationship between Washington and Brussels. They will “coordinate responses to priority foreign policy, security, and economic issues.”
“The United States won’t force our allies into an ‘us-or-them’ choice with China,” Blinken said. America’s top diplomat insisted “there’s no question that China’s coercive behaviour threatens our collective security and prosperity”. “But that doesn’t mean countries can’t work with China where possible, for example on climate change and health security.”
Deeper EU-USA alliance
Josep Borrell and Blinken announced that the two sides will restart an EU-USA formal “dialogue on China”.
We agreed to launch the European Union – United States dialogue on China as a forum to discuss the full range of related challenges and opportunities. We decided to continue meetings at the senior official and expert levels on topics such as reciprocity; economic issues; resilience; human rights – human rights; security; multilateralism; and areas for constructive engagement with China, such as climate change. We share an assessment of China’s role as a partner, as a competitor and a systemic rival – as we are used to say here in Europe.