The EU and US Must Act Together in Europe’s Neighbourhood

Achieving Common Goals for the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership

19 January 2021

Pavel Havlíček

Visegrad Insight Fellow

The competition and rivalry in the Transatlantic relations have become too costly to continue. Biden’s administration means a new opportunity for the EU to rebuild its ties with the United States and reverse the tide of rising illiberalism and authoritarian rule globally, particularly in the EU’s neighbourhood.

  • The Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries might positively contribute to the restarting relationship and bring their know-how and experience in working with Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans. 
  • The declared priorities of establishing an alliance of world democracies, fighting foreign corruption and interference, and working on democratisation and human rights can make a difference in both regions and bring concrete benefits to the bilateral relations.

The storm of the US Capital on 6 January 2021 sparked by the rhetoric of United States President Donald Trump and an awkward visit of his state secretary Mike Pompeo to Brussels during the past week meant the last nail to the coffin of Transatlantic relations under the outgoing Trump presidency.

The EU Member States are more than keen to work with the new US administration of Joe Biden on several global and bilateral issues. During the last few weeks, EU leaders have repeatedly expressed their readiness to restart the partnership with the United States after four years of dismay and rivalry with Donald Trump.

At the end of 2020, Biden’s team and their EU counterparts began looking for a concrete cooperation agenda in their first meetings. In particular, they wanted some quick wins and low-hanging fruit that could be quickly delivered to symbolise a new era in bilateral relations, including in the area of external relations.


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Pavel Havlíček

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. Research Fellow of Association for International Affairs (AMO) Research Centre. His research focus is on Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine and Russia, and the Eastern Partnership.


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