EU officials prepare quietly if Joe Biden loses next US Presidential election

Despite more than a year left for the U.S. voters head to the polls, officials in European Union are already racing to get as much as possible done ahead of any potential change of leadership in the White House, reported CNBC on 22 May.

“There is unprecedented close cooperation and coordination between the EU and the current U.S. administration. It goes from official levels to the highest levels,” CNBC quoted an EU official as saying.

“The EU is aware that this [cooperation] is not a given and such approach might change when there is someone like [former President Donald] Trump in the White House again. And the EU tries to use this momentum to advance [a] number of files, topics where there are shared interests,” the official added.

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After four challenging years under the presidency of Donald Trump, the EU, a group of 27 nations, was openly thrilled with the election of Joe Biden in late 2020s.

With Biden coming to power, there was a drastic improvement in trans-Atlantic relationship — including trade, defense and technology. Brussels view Biden’s style and policy priorities were a lot more aligned with them including how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

Also with US’s reaction on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European leaders welcomed the financial and military support from the largest economy in the world.

“The United States and the European Union have taken a strong and united stand against Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war against Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in March alongside Biden in Washington, D.C.

″[Russian President Vladimir] Putin thought that he would divide us, and yet we are more united than ever. We stand together in our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes,” she added.

However, if the power is shifted out of Biden’s hands, the current agreement, and working practices may change.

Kevin Klowden, chief global strategist at the Milken Institute said, as quoted by CNBC, “It will be a difficult relationship.”

“There’s a concern for Europeans that the U.S. will withdraw support [for Ukraine],” he said.

Earlier in May, Trump denied answering a question if he wants Russia or Ukraine to win the war, but claimed the conflict would end within 24 hours if he was back in charge.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, expected to launch his bid for the 2024 presidential campaign later this month, had said that the U.S. shouldn’t get further involved in the Ukraine war.

“The trans-Atlantic partnership remains essential for the EU,” a European diplomat said, adding, “The EU is developing its own path towards strategic autonomy, which doesn’t mean we are turning our back on our allies. On the contrary, it means we have to be more capable to be able to make our own choices.”

Among many of the EU officials, there is a realisation that whoever is the next American president will naturally have U.S. interests in mind, which often don’t tally with what Europe wants.

With EU-wide elections are due in June 2024, officials view they will not be able to pass new legislation from January onward with lawmakers focused on their election campaigns.

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