The European Commission and the High Representative have put on Dec. 2, 2020 a brand-new proposal for a forward-looking transatlantic agenda. In essence, the EU set sights on a renewed ‘transatlantic green trade agenda’ with Biden presidency.
While the past years have been tested by geopolitical power shifts, bilateral tensions and unilateral tendencies, the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revamp transatlantic priorities. The EU and US could make climate neutrality “a new global benchmark” and can “set a global template” on green trade once Joe Biden takes up the presidency next year, according to top EU official. The EU’s proposal includes for example a joint commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050; a joint trade and climate initiative to avoid carbon leakage; a green technology alliance; a global regulatory framework for sustainable finance; and joint leadership in the fight against deforestation, and stepping up ocean protection.
The new agenda spans four areas, highlighting first steps for joint action that would act as an initial transatlantic roadmap, to address key challenges and seize opportunities in:
1. Working together for a healthier world: COVID-19 and beyond
2. Working together to protect our planet and prosperity
3. Working together on technology, trade and standards
4. Working together towards a safer, more prosperous and more democratic world
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “We are taking the initiative to design a new transatlantic agenda fit for today’s global landscape. The transatlantic alliance is based on shared values and history, but also interests: building a stronger, more peaceful and more prosperous world. When the transatlantic partnership is strong, the EU and the US are both stronger. It is time to reconnect with a new agenda for transatlantic and global cooperation for the world of today.” Based on the Commission’s proposal, the European Council will likely endorse this outline and propose a defining roadmap ahead of the EU-US Summit in the first half of 2021.