Europe's week: Brussels eager for a new start after Biden inauguration

Europe's week: Brussels eager for a new start after Biden inauguration
By Euronews
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"This new dawn in America is the moment we have been waiting for, for so long," said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.


It was a day that many European leaders had been waiting a long time for - Joe Biden's inauguration.

Wednesday, saw the 78-year-old sworn in as the new US president, signalling an end to the unpredictability of the Donald Trump era.

Politics doesn't have to be a "raging fire that destroys everything in its path", Biden said, words that were music to the ears of a large proportion of the political class in Europe.

And in that, nobody was clearer and more honest than European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

"This new dawn in America is the moment we have been waiting for, for so long. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner," von der Leyen said.

It looks like the new administration is ready too, with Biden taking a moment to address the world directly – something rather unusual for a new president in an inaugural address.

"So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out for it," Biden declared.

"We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's challenges."

There is a lot riding on the new president's words, but what should Europe actually expect and where is it in Biden's thinking?

Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, from the German Marshall Fund, told Euronews that BIden understands the importance of good relations with Europe.

"I think he realises that in terms of international priorities, Europe is the indispensable partner. When you look at Biden's priorities today, be it the COVID crisis, economic recovery or climate change, we have both seen him sign an executive order to signal that the United States will be re-engaged in the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a significant decision that he took and that obviously Europeans are extremely happy about," de Hoop Scheffer explained.

"But on all of these key policy areas, Europeans are at the core of that agenda and so what I see happening is definitely a quite natural pivot to Europe when it comes to designing US foreign policy."

She also told Euronews that Biden will be looking to work directly with the EU on the big issues.

"There is going to be an interest in dealing directly with Brussels, with the EU institutions on three big issues that are in fact priorities for Biden. Number one climate change, number two, of course, the COVID crisis and number three digital issues where the EU has an increasing influence."

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