Biden invited French President Emanuel Macron (which was the first invitation to a European leader) as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the desire to continue where they left off before the world met Trump. There is a tendency towards a multilateral approach, unlike the unilateralism of the previous administration, but in Washington this means a return to a policy that divides the world into blocks of interest, especially when it comes to the conflict with China, while for Paris and Berlin multilateralism consists in talking with everyone, with Russia on security, with China on climate. In the case of Washington, multilateralism even involves a re-examination of relations with China, although Biden claimed something quite different during the campaign.
There are many things that have happened in recent years due to the business approach and experience of politics. Thus, there is a reserve in Europe when it comes to joining Washington, which is a consequence of the mistrust that deepened during Trump's time. The German Chancellor was the first to express this reservation in her address at the virtual gathering of the leaders of the world's most powerful economies in Davos, on January 26.
Speaking about the polarization of the world, about the conflict between Washington and Beijing, which is one of the rare links between Trump and Biden's diplomacy (it turned out to be so), Merkel said that she wanted to avoid a choice between the two sides.
"I would very much like to avoid making blocks. It is not fair to many countries to say that the United States is here, there is China, we are grouping around one or the other. That is not my view of things, "Merkel said.
"We share many values, we have many common views, but also different opinions and interests," the German chancellor explained her vision of multilateral relations.
The recent trade agreement between the EU and China shows that the EU is not on the same line with Washington, but leaves room for cooperation with Beijing. The question remains, and perhaps greater challenges will follow in the times to come as to why Biden has aligned himself with Trump on China. Not perhaps in the manner of exposition and explicit but essentially yes. Did Biden realize that in the meantime?
In short, European leaders are prone to autonomy towards Washington, which became pronounced during the Trump era, while Biden wants the old approach that Democrats had. Strict alliance with Western European countries and possibly opposed to Asia and the Middle East. In addition to attitudes towards China, the first foreign policy change of Washington concerning the Middle East supports this. The new administration froze the agreements with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates and announced that it would reconsider them.