On Tuesday, ahead of his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin the following day, President Joe Biden stopped in Brussels, Belgium, where he met with European Union leaders including President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. In front of reporters, Michel lauded Biden and proclaimed that “America is back on the global scene” under the comparatively new president’s leadership. That’s a stark contrast to the Trump era, when the then-president often prioritized posting petty tweets over building alliances.
In Brussels, Michel commented as follows:
‘Mr. President, dear Joe, we are so pleased to welcome you in Brussels. You are back in Brussels, and America is back on the global scene. It’s great news. It’s great news for our Alliance. It’s also great news for the world. And we are really delighted to work with you in order to tackle, together, some important global challenges.’
Biden has sought to reiterate the idea that the United States is “back” following the chaos of the Trump era, and European leaders appear to have gladly accepted this idea. Check out Michel’s remarks below:
Charles Michel, President of the European Council: "Mr. President, dear Joe, we are so pleased to welcome you in Brussels. You are back in Brussels and America is back on the global scene. It's great news." pic.twitter.com/wuToK9t7fT
— The Hill (@thehill) June 15, 2021
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the U.S. and European Union said that they “stand united in our principled approach towards Russia and… are ready to respond decisively to its repeating pattern of negative behavior and harmful activities,” adding that they “urge Russia to stop its continuous crackdown on civil society, the opposition and independent media and release all political prisoners.” The U.S. and E.U. have also reached an agreement on a trade dispute between the two interests over aircraft manufacturing; that agreement, according to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, includes a provision for a five-year suspension of aircraft tariffs.
Having someone like Biden at the helm in place of the destructive chaos wrought by Trump has significant ramifications. The United States and European Union have also announced a joint council to handle trade and technology issues, and the Biden administration has also indicated that the two interests intend to explore possibilities for combating climate change. These cooperative efforts would have seemed very far-fetched in the Trump era, when ex-President Trump often opted for hobnobbing with dictators over connecting with allies of the United States. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently noted that, when meeting with Biden, Putin is going to “meet a very different president than one who was at the mercy of Putin.”
Pelosi on Putin: "This is a thug … I think he's gonna meet a very different president than the one who was at the mercy of Putin." pic.twitter.com/FfoX1NGPUJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2021