With less than a week to go the Presidential election in the United States, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen looks forward to future transatlantic relations. Speaking at a webinar, organised by Liberal International, on how the EU-US relations will evolve during the new presidential mandate, van Baalen highlighted the role of the next US President as a close and important partner to the European Union.
“We need a bipartisan President who keeps people together and will reunite the United States, but also reaches out to other parts of the world. We need a President who is inclusive”, van Baalen said, noting that the Democratic candidate Joe Biden is in his view the best option when it comes to reshaping the transatlantic relations and connecting with both Democrats and Republicans.
Van Baalen also highlighted the important role of the EU in reaching out to US Congress members and keeping close ties with states, cities and NGOs in the United States. This call was echoed by Erik Brattberg, Director of the Europe Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who believes that there is a need for increased cooperation in many areas such as digital markets, innovation and trade.
President of Liberal International and moderator of the event, Hakima El Haité underlined the importance of innovative measures needed to fight climate change. When President Trump pulled the country out of the Paris Agreement, 40 out of 50 states implemented sustainable policies to comply with the agreement nonetheless. Therefore, van Baalen sees Joe Biden’s focus on climate as something very beneficial for the US and the rest of the world.
According Jessica Brandt, Senior Head of Research and Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on the geopolitical world order. As the US is not leading by example, this has given other countries an opportunity to put themselves on the map. Van Baalen agreed with this outlook, noting that the pandemic could become the real changemaker of these elections.
In his concluding statement, ALDE President van Baalen called for the next US President to maintain an inclusive approach, with emphasis on the importance of EU-US relations, and emphasized that liberal democrats across the world should consider Republicans as partners for change.
In case you missed the event, re-watch it here.