However, others especially admitted that Brussels wanted to make the tablet more palatable to the American public, who could have added sugar coating. “In the past, I thought we might not have included China in order to keep the United States happy,” says an EU diplomat who is not authorized to speak formally about how the decision is made.
One of the ways that Brussels believes it can distance itself from the capital is by engaging with China as a strategic and economic partner, and reducing its dependence on one of the world’s great powers by balancing its relationship with the other.
“Knowing what we know about China’s data, how it acted during the epidemic and the White House position, I think in another world we would have kept them apart,” the diplomat says. That other world he is referring to is not simply the world before Trump took office.
An official in Brussels working on the European Union’s foreign policy, but he is not authorized to speak formally, said the shift from Europe as a geopolitical priority began under former US President Barack Obama.
“Obama had not had as close interest in the Middle East as the previous presidents, which represented a European problem geographically. He was shifting his priorities from Europe to China and Asia,” the official said.
However, coalition watchers have long accepted that he has been tense for the past four years – and would get worse if Donald Trump defeated former Vice President Joe Biden in this year’s US election. “Trump is the European Union, especially Germany, an economic and trade competitor, which means that tensions can be expected if he gets a second term,” says Filina Chakarova, of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.
And she says that while the European Union is taking steps toward “building stronger self-government in the area of security and defense”, Trump is “trying to undermine these efforts through his attacks on European NATO members as well as through economic and trade measures.”
The Brussels official explains that “Trump’s separation from pluralism” in major international issues such as Iran, coupled with the US taking “less responsibility in European security”, has accelerated European thinking to get away from America and “do something of our own toward the world” the theater. “
Describing a hostile US administration that is moving away from it to avoid working with the Europeans is a description recognized by European Union diplomats. “The problem is that officials in the capital who want to work with Europe, while on call, have no government mandate to engage in any serious way. They have been hanging for as long as possible but if we get the term Trump again, we are in real trouble.”
This, according to Chakarova, is the reason that “European Union institutions and leaders of member states hope that Joe Biden will be elected in November … He supports pluralism and expects that he will strengthen relations between the United States and Europe.”
CNN contacted several officials from European Union institutions and diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic to comment. Most declined to comment. Many of them admitted that they believed this to be the case. A European diplomat said: “We will dance with those on the dance floor, but it does not take any genius to see that cooperation between the European Union and the United States is currently weak.”
In response to a question about a possible pivotal comment by the European Union away from its historical relations with the United States, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “The United States and the European Union share a strong and lasting partnership based on shared democratic values, governance, respect for human rights, the rule of law, deep economic relations and commitment With prosperity and security across the Atlantic, this long-term partnership is vital and we are coordinating a set of international efforts. “
However, Biden’s potential victory will not provide a quick solution to the transatlantic partnership. “The question is not really if you can put the relationship back where it was, but if we can persuade the United States to rejoin the western system,” says the EU diplomat.
“The geopolitical axes of the United States and the European Union on Asia, the Middle East and trade have already started respectively. The difference at the moment is that we believe the West should be one axis.”
Even if Biden returns to the Obama-era policy on Europe, there is no guarantee that within four years he will not be replaced by a more radical person than Trump. “The fundamental transformations taking place in the United States will likely remain, and we have to adapt together, to make the best of our relationships,” says the Brussels official. “These transformations are structural, and are not based solely on one person.”
Of course, none of this means that the transatlantic alliance will cease to be important. It will remain central to what the West represents, and the United States will always be a more important ally to Europe than what China can be. Besides, the European Union’s major plans to deal with China have received a major blow from the spread of Covid 19 disease.
However, the vanishing crust of warmth – as Europe seeks a new place on the world stage where the United States’ global role becomes more unpredictable in nature – can only be considered good news for those who have been united against these historic Western powers not long ago.