For the motion: Matt Karnitschnig, Chief Europe Correspondent, Politico
Against the motion: Sudha David-Wilp, Deputy Director, German Marshall Fund
Jana Puglierin, Head of ECFR Berlin Office & Senior Policy Fellow
From flagrant hostility towards NATO and the EU to exiting the Iran deal and Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump has done significant damage to transatlantic relations. It’s not just Europe’s politicians who feel wary of their former ally: a growing number of Europeans see America as an alien place, riven by racial and economic injustice. Will Biden reset better relations across the pond? Or is the transatlantic strain about more than Trump?
As the US becomes more and more focused on Asia, pressures on the relationship actually date back to the Obama era. Although a Biden administration will likely recommit to NATO and shared climate goals, it’s unclear if his presidency will alter wider geopolitical shifts and longer-term divergences between EU and U.S. interests on trade, security, and China. Is it time for Europe to move on and loosen our transatlantic ties? Or can Joe heal transatlantic relations, too?
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This ECFR debate is part of the Rethink:Europe project, supported by Stiftung Mercator and is realised in partnership with Intelligence Squared Germany.