On 19 February, Joe Biden addressed European leaders at the virtual Munich Security Conference, asserting that “America is back” and ready to shred Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda. “The transatlantic alliance is back. And we are not looking backward; we are looking forward together”, he declared.
In his Munich Security Conference speech Joe Biden urged EU member states to come up with a common strategy in order to push back against Russia and China. He also emphasised the importance of Article 5 concerning NATO’s collective defence and reiterated Washington’s support for international platforms such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Conference of the Parties (COP), G7, and others, repeatedly snubbed by his predecessor.
Europe’s ‘Strategic Autonomy’
The leitmotif of Biden’s message was that Europe is “still an American affair as it became in 1917 and again in 1943”, notes Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels.
Responding to Biden’s speech French President Emmanuel Macron noted that while he appreciated the list of “common challenges”, Europe has “an agenda that is unique”. In his speech at the conference, the French president placed an emphasis on Europe’s “strategic autonomy” and suggested that NATO’s new blueprint should involve “a dialogue with Russia”. In a reference to his EU Army concept, Macron remarked that “it is time for [Europe] to take much more of the…