Joe Biden has booked his first overseas trip to Europe. Its message is strong and simple: America is back as an ally. After the doubts instilled by Donald Trump, the new President of the United States testifies to his closeness to Europeans. He also expresses his support for NATO, which ensures the defense of the Old Continent. This is important because there are no other options for a long time to come.
→ ANALYSIS. From west to east, Joe Biden’s European tour
To be allies does not, however, mean to merge. Europe and North America are separate entities. Faced with the first world power which intends to assume leadership again, the Europeans’ response is not simple. Common values and standards must be defended against powerful anti-democratic regimes. But economic interests are often competing.
With regard to China, in particular, the strategies differ on both sides of the Atlantic. Will the Europeans be able to adopt a unified position? It will depend on the subjects. In terms of defense and security, the differences linked to the history of the 20th centurye century endure. In the economic field, the links forged within the European Union are much stronger and create a sense of solidarity. Public opinion, meanwhile, now doubts the reliability of Uncle Sam. It is not sure that Joe Biden’s charm offensive is enough to reassure her.