American politician and theoretician Henry Kissinger, who is also the most famous secretary of state the US has had, has recently, during the WELT Economic Summit in Paris, warned that expecting, under Joe Biden, that transatlantic relations between the US and Europe would return to the pre-Trump level is a pipe dream.
He said, “It would be a big mistake in Europe to prematurely assume that a change in presidency will mean the US will backpedal on everything Europeans have been angsting over.”
During Biden’s upcoming term in office, Kissinger added, Europe must reconsider its relations with the US and assume a more significant role in ensuring global security by forging a new relationship with Washington.
This is the same trend the official start of which was stressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of Trump’s entry into the White House (2017) in an address to the 27-member state of the European Union.
Commenting on the beginning of a process in the US, incorporating structural changes and transitions, Merkel said the era of Europe’s dependence on the US has come to an end.
“Europe must stand independently on its own two feet.”
The warning, however, was not heeded seriously by European leaders.
On the other hand, although the Democratic Party in the US has traditionally been closer to Europe compared to the Republican Party, the need for a change and the reality of change in the structure of US foreign policy is a trans-partisan issue.
This comes as, at present, Europe has gradually accepted to place the process of detaching itself, in an orderly and well-reviewed manner, from the US at the center of its foreign policy, and sees as an inevitable issue the necessity of adopting more independent strategies on the international scene.
One of the biggest obstacles to the establishment of global justice and an accelerated move toward multilateralism is Europe’s failure to stand against US hegemonic stances on the international scene.
European leaders’ lack of courage, unity and self-confidence in laying the foundations of an independent Europe has caused them to suffer humiliation at the hands of Washington on different occasions and with regard to several international issues.
The May 2018 US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and Europe’s failure in preserving the deal and safeguarding Iran’s interests within its framework are clear manifestations of the EU’s lack of independence from Washington.
Nevertheless, what appears to be definitive is that the EU is required to adopt strategic realism in its approach toward the US even during Biden’s tenure and, by becoming more independent from Washington, display a new Europe to the world in an era of multilateralism.
*Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian freelance columnist.