10.06.2021 – 15:49
As President Biden embarks on a tour of Europe that includes close meetings with NATO and Group of Seven leaders, hardly anyone thinks of the stepfather of these international meetings: European Union summits.
And why not? US-EU meetings have often been tedious matters. They usually do not focus on the major geopolitical issues of the moment.
No wonder American presidents have sought to avoid these meetings.
In 2010, President Barack Obama caused a stir when he bypassed a US-EU summit, and the Trump administration canceled them altogether.
But this year, the summit with the EU, which is about one-sixth of the global economy, represents about 450 million people and sets global regulatory standards in sector after sector, should have weight.
If Biden is to succeed in reviving the US economy, fighting climate change and competing with China, he will need EU help.
The EU is also more important because the United States’ main focus in Europe is no longer on fighting wars but, instead, on competing with China and defending democracy.
But since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been indifferent to the European Union, preferring to bypass Brussels and work directly with member states or place them against each other.
Instead, Washington should be the EU’s biggest advocate given its belief in free markets and liberal democracy.
Biden must call for the EU to become a stronger global actor.
We need to work with the EU to harness the power of our collective markets to build the future.
But Biden must also urge the EU, our largest trading partner, to start work on some key issues.
First, the climate: The United States and the EU can provide an example of how to create a modern, clean economy.
At the forefront of the strong investments the Biden-Harris administration has proposed in the US Action Plan and to which Europe has committed through its Green Agreement initiative, the United States and the EU can set the rules and standards to compete in the economy. global.
We will also have to set costs for those who act slowly. The European Union will soon come up with a “Carbon Boundary Regulation Mechanism”, which could impose real costs on foreign companies or countries that fail to curb emissions.
Second, building a strong middle class.
Biden will have to push for reforms in the World Trade Organization, to impose a global minimum tax on corporate profits, to create secure supply chains, and to crack down on illegal financing and money laundering flowing through our economies.
Third, the vaccination of the world.
Together, we have a large surplus of vaccines and the United States and the eu need to work together to distribute this surplus evenly.
Finally, the United States and the EU must stand up for democracy and human rights.
Past presidents may have feared these.
But they are no longer for chickens.
Instead, they are dealing with harnessing the power of the two richest regions in the world to shape their common future.
This is a summit worth staying awake to.
John Podesta is chairman of the Center for American Progress. He served as an adviser to President Barack Obama and as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton’s White House. Max Bergmann is a senior member of the Center for American Progress. He served as senior adviser to the State Department from 2011-2017.
Translated and adapted by The Washington Post / konica.al