Thursday September 23, 2021

EU hopes for US return to multilateralism

November 21, 2020

BRUSSELS: The EU hopes the US will adopt a more multilateralist stance when president-elect Joe Biden takes power, the bloc’s chief said Friday, on the eve of a G20 summit.

“The next (US) administration has already committed to increase multilateral cooperation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. She added that “we also expect of course new momentum from the new US administration” on climate change, reversing President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

The EU and Italy, which takes over chair of the G20 group from Saudi Arabia, will next year co-host a global health summit, von der Leyen said. “And while the United States has resisted engaging on this topic so far. I’m very hopeful now with the new president elect that this will change.”

Europe has welcomed the election this month of Biden as the next US president. Trump has not conceded and has launched a legal and media blitz to support his unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud occurred. He remains the US leader until January 20.

Under Trump’s presidency, the United States retreated from several multilateral accords and institutions, including the Paris agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, the World Health Organisation, UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council, a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, funding of thea UNRWA agency providing support for Palestinian refugees, and the Open Skies Treaty allowing countries to make surveillance flights over other nations’ military installations.

It has also blocked the appointment of judges to the WTO’s appeals body and withdrawn from negotiations on a Global Compact for Migration. Saudi Arabia is hosting the G20 summit this weekend, which will take place virtually because of coronavirus restrictions on travel and in force in many countries.