EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell travels to meet the Biden administration to further strengthen the EU-US strategic partnership and reconfirm our joint commitment to work together on foreign policy, security and defence issues and global challenges.
The global context has been very challenging, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic creating an unimaginable level of pressure on governments worldwide and demonstrating the need for cooperation. Whilst the health crisis takes place, climate change continues to threaten our planet. Moreover, democratic institutions and values are increasingly challenged and important geopolitical shifts are taking place. On both sides of the Atlantic, there is a clear understanding that joint action needs to be taken to find solutions to these problems. A strong EU-US alliance is more important than ever to overcome the challenges the world is facing, to uphold common values as well as to ensure global security and prosperity.
In June this year, the EU-US Summit marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership, underlining ‘a chance and a responsibility to help people make a living and keep them safe and secure, fight climate change, and stand up for democracy and human rights’, as stated after the Summit. Leaders agreed to work hand in glove to end the COVID-19 pandemic, prepare for future global health challenges, and drive forward a sustainable global recovery; to protect our planet and foster green growth; to strengthen trade, investment and technological cooperation; and to build a more democratic, peaceful and secure world.
The EU-US Trade and Technology Council, inaugurated at the end of September, puts into action a deeper collaboration in terms of key global technology, economic, and trade issues and strengthens transatlantic trade and economic relations, basing policies on shared democratic values.
EU High Representative will build on this to further implement an ambitious transatlantic agenda. He will follow-up on a number of contacts already held with his US counterparts and will hold meetings with the US administration to strengthen bilateral relations on foreign, security and defence policy matters. Amongst others, Josep Borrell will meet the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks. HR/VP Borrell said: ‘One thing is clear: Close EU-US cooperation, based on our shared values, is key for international peace, security and prosperity’.
The meetings will focus on concrete measures to deepen the transatlantic partnership in security and defence issues and will address a wide array of foreign policy files, including relations with Russia and China, collaboration with the Western Balkans, transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan, as well Sahel and the JCPOA.
The visit will also be an opportunity to cooperate towards the COP 26 UN Climate Conference. With the return of the US to the Paris Agreement, the time has now come to shape a comprehensive transatlantic green agenda, starting with a joint commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Protecting human rights and democracy has been and will continue to be a long-standing priority of EU-US cooperation. In this regard, the EU and the US will also step up cooperation to tackle the challenges of democratic backsliding, including through the Summit for Democracy, which President Biden will convene at the end of this year.
Background EU-US relations
The European Union and the United States represent 780 million people who share democratic values, as well as a stake in the global rules-based multilateral system. For the last 60 years, the EU and the US have worked together to promote common values, including peace, freedom, and the rule of law.
Together, the EU and the US have built the world’s largest and most open trade and investment relationship, benefitting millions of citizens and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
Regarding global vaccination against COVID-19, the role of the EU and the US has been fundamental, being the biggest contributors to the COVAX Facility, with more than €3 billion provided by the EU and $4 billion by the US.
The EU and the US are committed to a sustainable recovery from the pandemic. The EU has allocated €1.8 trillion to relaunch a greener, more digital and more equitable economy. In the US, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will speed up the US recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.