US elections: “Together again”

Federal President Steinmeier talks about new opportunities for transatlantic relations following Joe Biden’s election as US president.

Federal President Steinmeier in Boston in October 2019
Federal President Steinmeier in Boston in October 2019 dpa

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has made it clear that Germany has wide-ranging hopes now that Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States. He sees new opportunities for transatlantic cooperation on “three major issues”.

The importance of democracy

In an op-ed for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the Federal President makes the following appeal: “Let us seize this opportunity to join forces with a US led by Joe Biden and reinvigorate democracy and the power of reason in our societies.” He believes that it is important not to take democracy for granted, but to work on it across national borders. “In these issues, Americans, Germans, Europeans – democrats all – are once again venturing into the unknown.”

The power of cooperation

The return to these shared ideals by the US is “an opportunity to end the erosion of the international order. Instead of a world in which everyone is out for themselves, we have an opportunity to restore faith in the merits of cooperation.” As concrete examples, Steinmeier mentions cooperation within NATO and the World Trade Organization, in the area of climate policy and the containment of Iran’s nuclear programme, and with respect to the corona crisis: “No country is as sorely missed as the United States in the efforts of the international community to present a united front against the pandemic.”

A Europe whose community counts for the US

Steinmeier also sees Biden as offering “the opportunity of an American partner who once again appreciates the integration of Europe’s democracies in the European Union as a valuable and joint project”. The Federal President emphasises: “We Germans must understand that a strong Europe is our investment in this transatlantic relationship. This is the only way to give our partnership with the US a strategic frame able to withstand differences in individual policy areas.”

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