Discussion with MEPs: EU-US Relations on the first 100 Days of Biden’s Presidency

Video chat with Radosław Sikorski (PL), Katalin Cseh (HU) and Vladimír Bilčík (SK)

19 April 2021

A public debate on EU-US relations approaching 100 days of Joe Biden in office and their prospects in the future.

During the debate, speakers considered the developments of EU-US relations after almost 100 days since Joe Biden’s inauguration and what the rapprochement between the two powers mean for their further cooperation.

Guest speakers: Radosław Sikorski (PL), Katalin Cseh (HU), and Vladimír Bilčík (SK). Moderated by Wojciech Przybylski, Editor-in-Chief.

This event is an online, streamed event accessible to watch for everyone. Participation in this Zoom meeting is by invitation only. Our roundtable meetings format involves a select group of members of the diplomatic community, experts and senior journalists as well as annual subscription holders.


After four turbulent years of strained and uneasy relations between the United States and the European Union, Joe Biden’s victory brought some sense of relief to EU politicians who were looking forward to the return of a united transatlantic partnership.

Now, in the face of a growing number of cross-border issues like the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the rise of the challenge from illiberal powers, cooperation between the allies from across the Atlantic is increasingly important.

Upon taking office, Biden promised that the US would advance its foreign policy based on shared goals of respect for human rights, democracy and rule of law. We are yet to see what this will mean for the governments of Central Europe.

With their countries leaning towards illiberal tendencies, Polish and Hungarian politicians found refuge in Trump’s cabinet while the EU bodies were mostly unsuccessful in stoping the undemocratic developments in their member states.

However, given the importance Biden has placed on the multilateral liberal system, the governments of V4 countries will have to put more effort to cooperate with the EU institutions in order to maintain a close relationship with the new cabinet.

Highlighted quotes from the debate:

  • Our challenge is to maintain trade with China while at the same time maintaining our alliance with the United States. It will not be easy. Europe can play a good ally and a moderator of this Sino-American rivalry at the same time – Radosław Sikorski
  • Biden will make his China coalition an alliance of democracies, NATO will be promoted more strongly as an alliance of democracies and that will make Hungary, Turkey and Poland more uncomfortable. Poland has a particular problem, namely, it willfully identified itself as a Trumpist island in Europe and I’m afraid we will now pay the consequences – Radosław Sikorski
  • I very much welcome this new opportunity Biden administration gives to this strengthened and rebuilt EU-US relationship. However, I do believe that this relationship also has to be based on equality and the EU has learned over the course of the last years that we cannot rely solely on the US on so many issues. – Katalin Cseh
  • In the transactional world of Trumpist foreign policy, it was perfectly okay for many European leaders such as Victor Orban to do this limbo between eastern autocracies and western democracies. Right now, they have to choose sides – Katalin Cseh
  • As the EU, we need to be more assertive in our foreign policy roles and I think that a good start is hardline diplomacy. We very often do not think too much of ourselves as Europeans when it comes to our influence on global issues but on climate, we are certainly frontrunners – Katalin Cseh
  • Where I see the big problem, it’s whether we in Europe can actually formulate clear enough positions on a number of issues that bind us with the US, where we can be stronger together internationally. There’s a lot more that binds us than divides us – Vladimír Bilčík
  • We are facing hybrid warfare when it comes to daily events, daily politics. It’s not just the issues in Ukraine, Belarus which are extremely important but also the Western Balkans, and I think this is where with the US we can make a difference – Vladimír Bilčík
  • I am not worried about America’s friendship for Central Europe, I am worried about its ability to help us, given the scale of the China challenge – Radosław Sikorski
  • Europe can be a rule setter in digital legislation and I think Europe can also work together with the US on how to make these rules fit globally – Vladimír Bilčík


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