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Debate on American Foreign Policy

On Thursday February 18, the Netherlands Atlantic Association organized a debate on American Foreign Policy called:

Biden’s new transatlantic agenda and Europe’s soul searching process

With the new engagement from the White House towards Europe, hopes run high that transatlantic relations under President Biden will quickly return to a state of pre-Trump ‘normalcy’. But how realistic is this assumption? The Biden administration will be forced to focus on its own domestic agenda (‘healing the nation’). Besides, Europe has developed a different political mindset in response to four years of uncertainty created by Donald Trump (and Brexit). The Atlantic alliance is still the cornerstone of European security, but its importance is no longer selfevident. ‘Strategic autonomy’ is the talk of the town in many European capitals. Europe must ‘take its destiny into its own hands’, according to Angela Merkel’s famous words.  How and when, remain yet to be seen.

In this context, what realistic agenda should be developed? Should Washington and Europe focus on pressing geopolitical issues (China, Russia, Iran) or should our attention first go out to multilateral issues such as climate change and international trade?

Three experts, Han ten Broeke (HCSS), Stan Sloan (Non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council) and Roberta Haar (professor of Foreign Policy Analysis & Transatlantic Relations, Maastricht University) discussed the above mentioned issues.  The discussion was moderated by Paul Brill, journalist and foreign policy expert.

Foto: Ron Adar/Shutterstock.com

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