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5 Nov, 2020 14:51

‘No return to good old times’ of transatlantic relations after US election – French FM Le Drian

‘No return to good old times’ of transatlantic relations after US election – French FM Le Drian

The United States and the European Union need a “new transatlantic relationship,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday, adding that Europe has asserted its sovereignty in the Trump era.

The EU and Washington will have to reset their relations after the US presidential election, irrespective of who wins it, the French foreign minister said on Thursday. The world has changed in four years and there “will be no going back to the previous situation, to the good old times of transatlantic relations.”

Le Drian told Europe 1 radio: “We will have to build a new transatlantic relationship, which will be a new partnership.” He said, however, that France would work “with the person elected and the new US government, whatever happens.”

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“Europe has in the past four years asserted its sovereignty, in the areas of security, defense and strategic autonomy,” according to Le Drian. The EU’s common defense fund and moves to regulate US internet giants’ activities show that the continent “has shed its naivety… and begun to assert itself as a power.”

Amid the current uncertainty about the winner of the US election, Le Drian expects good sense to prevail, while the US institutions will “ensure the correct results.”

During Donald Trump’s tenure, Europe and the US have had disagreements on foreign policy, NATO spending, the environment, and trade. But EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday: “While we wait for the election result, the EU remains ready to continue building a strong transatlantic partnership, based on our shared values and history.”

Many politicians are less optimistic. The leader of Germany’s Green Party, Robert Habeck, believes if Trump wins the election, the global order may change fundamentally. “Europe must unite, otherwise it will no longer play a role internationally,” Habeck warned.

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