Joe Biden EU plot: Bloc abandons Trump-era snub as insider admits ‘challenge for Europe’

Donald Trump says he won’t attend Joe Biden’s inauguration

The Centre-right European People’s Party will propose the invitation at a meeting of the powerful Conference of Presidents, of parliamentary leaders, as an opportunity to reset EU-US relations. They hope to capitalise on Mr Biden’s passion and respect for European history in order to pip Britain to the first official engagement. An EPP official claimed the last four years under President Trump had been a “major challenge for Europe”.

“Everywhere people are asking what is left of our shared values and our common future,” the insider added, according to Politico.

“The best place for a restart of the EU-US relationship is the European Parliament, the place of the people of Europe.”

German MEP Manfred Weber, who leads the party in the EU Parliament, will call on other political groups to back the invitation at the meeting later today.

He will argue “Strasbourg would be the most appropriate place for such an occasion”, according to the official.

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The source raised the French city as the perfect venue because of “the sensitivity of President-elect Biden for the history of our Continent”.

When serving as vice-president, Mr Biden took his then 16-year-old granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, on a tour of a former Nazi concentration camp.

They visited the Danchau memorial site in Germany before returning from the Munich Security Conference.

Brussels is keen to establish a good relationship with Mr Biden after repeated clashes with the President-elect’s predecessor.

President Trump’s “America First” policies sparked a significant breakdown in relations with the bloc.

He once branded the EU a “foe” to the US because of the bloc’s trade policy.

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In an interview, President Trump said: “Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”

The EU is preparing to heal the wounds in its relationship with the US, starting with a longstanding dispute over subsidies for aircraft manufacturers.

The Boeing-Airbus dispute has seen billions of pounds of tariffs slapped on trade between the two sides.

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The European Commission has drawn up a wish list for cooperation, including on the pandemic, climate change, technology, security and defence.

Eurocrats hope the US and EU can also “work closely together on solving bilateral trade irritants”.

There is a hope that Mr Biden will pave the way for lifting Trump-era tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium exports to the US.

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