The eyes of the world have been focused this week on the United States, looking at incredible images, unworthy of a country with deep-rooted democratic traditions.
The eyes of the world have been focused this week on the United States, looking at incredible images, unworthy of a country with deep-rooted democratic traditions. It was another sign of the strange world we live in and a lesson in the need for leaders based on values, responsibility and respect for the fundamental principles of the rule of law. In fact, “a weak king makes people weak and strong”.
I want to believe that this was the last episode of a period which, in a few days, will be definitely over. A period that was reflected negatively in relations between the United States and Europe. In the words of the Portuguese Foreign Minister, a four-year parenthesis in which the European Union has ceased to be seen, on the other side of the Atlantic, as an ally, to be faced as a rival.
With the new American administration, the conditions have been met to relaunch a dialogue which will not only strengthen the potential of transatlantic relations, but above all will rebuild a world economic order based on multilateralism.
This concern is very present in the program of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In its line of action for a global Europe, this program calls for the revitalization of relations with the United States, orienting them towards the response to global challenges, in a new alliance of partners sharing interests and values.
We know that the economic agenda of the new US president contains proposals that may conflict with European interests. I do not think that in the short term it will be possible to return to the ambitious objectives of the transatlantic trade treaty which was being negotiated under the Obama administration. However, the European Union once again has a credible interlocutor within the Biden administration with whom it can face the inevitable differences as a responsible partner. It also today has a potential ally to respond to global challenges, as in the trade field, through the revitalization and modernization of the World Trade Organization, or in climate action, with the already certain return of States. -United to the Paris Agreement.
Europe alone is struggling to meet these challenges successfully.
If it is confirmed, the summit between the United States and the European Union, still under the Portuguese presidency, must be seen as an opportunity not to be missed to relaunch the transatlantic dialogue on a renewed basis. I am convinced that Portugal will put all its efforts at the service of the summit’s success.
Without underestimating the importance of other priorities on the Portuguese Presidency’s agenda, such as strengthening relations with Africa, the consensus necessary for the conclusion of the agreement with Mercosur or the summit of May with India, it will be an opportunity for Portugal to fulfill its historic vocation of builder of bridges between Europe and the rest of the world.