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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election April 2021

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Undergraduate Research Report funded by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies Keough School of Global Affairs University of Notre Dame April 2021

About this report Recommended citation: Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election. Notre Dame, IN: Nanovic Institute for European Studies, 2021.

About the Nanovic Institute for European Studies The Nanovic Institute for European Studies, an integral part of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, enriches the intellectual culture of the University of Notre Dame by creating an interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs, and institutions that shape Europe today. To pursue its mission, the Institute works to promote European studies at Notre Dame, transform its undergraduates, professionalize its graduate students, foster its interdisciplinary faculty research, and build its international network.

The views expressed in this report are strictly those of the individual authors and do not reflect the opinions, official policy, or position of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies or the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents Executive Summary.............................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Background and Approach................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Europe and the U.S. in the 21st Century: A Historical Review............................................................................................... 7 Points of Divergence: The Iraq War.......................................................................................................................................... 7 Points of Convergence: International Organizations........................................................................................................ 7 Points of Convergence: Economic Relations....................................................................................................................... 8 Regional Responses............................................................................................................................................................................. 9 The Center and East: Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary......................................................................................................... 9 The Mediterranean Sphere: Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Vatican City ...................................................................... 12 The North: Scandinavia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom........................................................................................... 17 Benelux: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg.................................................................................................................. 21 The Center and the West: Austria, France, and Germany............................................................................................. 24 In Sum............................................................................................................................................................................................. 28 Further European Responses................................................................................................................................................ 29 Beyond National and Regional Analysis............................................................................................................................. 33 What Now?............................................................................................................................................................................................ 34 European Trust in the Democratic Process and Institutions in the U.S................................................................... 34 Europe, Global Leadership and the Challenge of Climate Change............................................................................ 37 Europe’s Extreme Parties........................................................................................................................................................ 40 A More Self-Reliant European Economy............................................................................................................................ 43 A More Self-Reliant European Foreign Affairs and Security Agenda....................................................................... 46 Conclusion............................................................................................................................................................................................. 50 Endnotes............................................................................................................................................................................................... 51


Nanovic Institute for European Studies

Executive Summary The 2020 U.S. presidential election prompted a wide array of responses throughout the European community. Disenchanted with former President Donald Trump’s perceived disregard for, and at times challenging approach to, diplomatic norms and international institutions, many European officials and much of the public voiced satisfaction with President Joseph Biden’s victory. Although Trump’s presidential term was not the first time tensions between the United States and Europe have arisen, his administration introduced additional turbulence and disrupted the collaborative relationship European leaders had come to expect from the United States.1 It should also be noted that some far-right European parties and populist leaders with ideological and leadership similarities to President Trump had hoped instead for a Trump victory. Many countries expressed relief following Biden’s win, hoping that the new administration will take a more intimate, multilateral approach with Europe and will seek shared solutions on issues such as climate change, cybersecurity, and the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Some nations gave a more muted response due to a belief that relations with the United States would change little regardless of who held the presidency. Less enthusiastic responses were concentrated among Europe’s far-right parties, who disputed the results of the election, echoing claims of voter fraud propagated by members of the U.S. Republican Party. These responses took on a greater sense of urgency following the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol ahead of the congressional vote to certify the election results. Despite the hope expressed throughout much of Europe, several leaders also recognized the need for the European Union and other European countries to focus inward and take a greater role in managing elements of their own affairs that typically rely on U.S. support. The 2020 election campaigns, the election itself, and its aftermath sparked a reevaluation of Europeans dependence on their American allies. Some representatives and officials fear that Trump’s approach to international relations was not a singular experience, and that though he now lacks formal power, his influence in the American political landscape will remain. While open to working together and eager to improve relations with the U.S., France, Germany, and other key University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election countries in Europe are likely to distance themselves from the American sphere of influence, establishing their leading roles on the European and global stage. Each does so with the stalwart intention of ameliorating pressing international issues.

Background and Approach The 2020 U.S. presidential election stands as a pivotal moment for U.S. relations with Europe. While certain European leaders had received full-throated support from Trump during his term in office, others were caught off-guard by his sometimes capricious departures from established presidential customs and policy positions, leading to diplomatically awkward situations. In particular, the EU faced the prospect of reduced security and defense aid from the U.S. while being reframed as a competitor in economic affairs where it had once been considered a partner. Under a Trump presidency, U.S.-Europe relations also came under strain because many leaders at both the national and European level found Trump’s style of governance off-putting.2 On more than one occasion, he directed disparaging comments towards NATO and the European Union, specifically member states who he claimed had failed to meet the NATO defense expenditure requirements, and questioned the efficacy of both coalitions.3 These two institutions, NATO and the EU, stand as pillars of European multilateralism, and Trump’s unorthodox and direct approach has inflamed the once reliable transatlantic relationship. This left many concerned about the future of relations between the U.S. and Europe ahead of the election. This report investigates the European response to the U.S. election on a national, regional, and supranational level and uses these responses to gauge the trajectory of U.S.-Europe relations under a new administration. Even before the coronavirus pandemic sent Europe and the world reeling in March 2020, the Trump administration’s isolationist trade policies and “America first” foreign policy soured relations with Europe 4. The scope of responses to President Biden’s election suggests that a “quick fix” is unlikely, and the presence of Europe’s far-right groups indicates that Europe is facing similar challenges to those experienced in the U.S. The U.S. and Europe are the two most prominent defenders globally of democracy and liberal freedoms, and

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies the effectiveness of the effort to further liberal ideals worldwide depends, in large part, on their ability to maintain a close and productive relationship.5 The ability of the new administration to work productively with Europe, as well as Europe’s ability to decrease their dependence on the United States, particularly in the areas of security and economic affairs, will have an enormous impact on the stability and trajectory of the world order in the years to come. This report first characterizes the relationship between the U.S. and Europe in the 21st century, interpreting key events as they relate to individual nations and the reciprocal influence of Europe and the U.S. After setting the historical context, the report details individual country responses organized by region and subsequent expectations of transcontinental cooperation. The authors of this report analyzed national responses in three principal discursive areas: political, societal, and economic. This report draws on research within a wide range of sources, including but not limited to media reports, online, journal, and book publications, official statements, and personal interviews. While political, economic, and social reactions to the 2020 election varied widely across the continent, this research has identified regional similarities and trends. The third section of the report explores the lasting influences of the U.S. election in Europe. This includes the larger continental response beyond the EU and the European view of American democracy and related institutions. Further subsections explore global leadership as it pertains to climate change, as well as how the U.S. election may have accelerated the pace for Europe’s attempts to “tend its own garden.”6 Finally, the report highlights specific issues facing Europe following the U.S. election, including efforts to increase economic self-reliance, security, and a more independent foreign affairs agenda. The report concludes with predictions regarding the U.S.-European relationship under the new Biden administration. Though much remains to be seen, the U.S. may likely face increased scrutiny from its allies in Europe, and the impact of the 2020 election will continue to be felt across the globe for years to come.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election

Europe and the U.S. in the 21st Century: A Historical Review Though it is difficult to generalize the historical relations between an entire continent and a single country, it is fair to observe that the United States has shared an amicable bond with many European states and the continent at large over the last twenty years. This section summarizes the major points of convergence and divergence in Europe-U.S. relations in the 21st century, emphasizing events that most impact upon the relationship today.

Points of Divergence: The Iraq War After a significant outpouring of support from most heads of state and international institutions following the September 11, 2001 attacks, including the invocation of Article 5 of the NATO treaty by its member states declaring the attack on the U.S. as an attack on every NATO member, many European leaders expressed displeasure at President George W. Bush’s decision in 2003 to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Countries with prominent Muslim communities, such as France, rejected what they saw as an attack on Islam itself, which they feared would alienate Muslim populations at home.7 European leaders in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the majority of national populations openly disapproved of the invasion, leading to then-historically low approval ratings of U.S. leadership in some regions.8 In Germany, for example, approval ratings plummeted from 78% in 2000 to 37% in 2006, and in Great Britain, another historical U.S. ally, ratings fell from 83% to 56% during the same period.9

Points of Convergence: International Organizations Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the leader in establishing a new liberal world order based around international institutions.10 The U.S. was the balancing force needed to rebuild Europe during the economic turmoil and political instability of the post-war era. These aspects of European-U.S. relationships persist into the 21st century as the United States remains a key partner of various international institutions, specifically NATO and the EU. The United States, as the leading military contributor to NATO, has formed a close relationship

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies with the European member states and provides security for some of Europe’s more vulnerable constituents.11 Additionally, the U.S., NATO, and the EU share a common interest to promote the spread of democracy throughout the world. The United States has also maintained a healthy relationship with Europe through a close partnership with the European Union. The main objective of the European Union is “to promote peace, follow the EU’s values and improve the wellbeing of nations.”12 Climate change and international security, highlighted by the surge in terrorism in the 21st century, are among the most crucial areas of European and American cooperation. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement was widely condemned by major European powers and created a policy chasm between the two entities, one which must now be faced by a new president. The longstanding commitment to international partnerships will presumably allow Europe and the United States to begin to repair the relationship that was strained by the former administration’s “America First” agenda.

Points of Convergence: Economic Relations The United States and the European Union possess the two largest economies in the world, boasting a nominal GDP of $21.4 trillion and $15.6 trillion, respectively, approximately three-sevenths of the total global economy as of January 2020.13 The majority of European nations cite the United States as their largest non-EU trading partner, a relationship that must be maintained for mutual economic expansion to continue. This necessity is made more evident by the recent economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Moving forward, any relationship between the United States and the European Union must provide economic stability at least and prosperity at best for two of the world’s largest trading markets. Despite dissimilar views of the Iraq War, longstanding institutional and organizational cooperation between the U.S. and Europe have fostered strong relations and unity on several international fronts. The Trump presidency, however, ushered in a new era of uncertainty for the European-American relationship, and while the research conducted indicates a welcome change

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election in the form of a Biden administration, the future success of the European-American relationship is far from guaranteed.

Regional Responses Despite some similarities, the responses across Europe varied between countries and regions. What follows is a country-by-country analysis of the media, political, public, and academic responses to the 2020 U.S. presidential election across twenty-four countries. The history of relations with the U.S. coupled with current domestic political attitudes helped inform these responses, resulting in the diversity and variance seen below.

The Center and East: Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary The responses to the U.S. election from Central and Eastern European countries are marked by a powerful opposing force: Russia. In Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary it is impossible to discuss reactions to and expectations for the next American president without acknowledging the Russian military presence and political influence in the region. These reactions invite questions about EU influence, or lack thereof, in promoting and securing democracy within their own borders and amongst their neighbors. If there is one key takeaway from these responses to the 2020 election, it is that U.S. leadership remains indispensable. UKRAINE

Russia’s 2014 annexation of the region of Crimea is but one example of the precarious situation in which Ukraine finds itself. Bipartisan U.S. support for military aid against Russianbacked separatists is vital for maintaining security within Ukraine, a country marked by deep ethnic and cultural tensions between the East and the West.14 The country was propelled to the forefront of U.S. electoral drama not only as a political pawn but as a stakeholder in the outcome of the election, as the revelation of President Trump’s July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelensky seized the attention of many Americans. The phone call led to allegations of a quid pro quo request and, ultimately, Trump’s first impeachment on charges of

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.15 While the implications of this incident for U.S. domestic politics have been widely covered and dissected, the consequences in Ukrainian affairs have been largely absent from the American conversation. Ukraine’s fragile democracy and dependence on the American military aid that was briefly withheld as a result of the July phone call, are indicative of the precarious geopolitical space Ukraine occupies. Leading up to the U.S. election, the Office of the President of Ukraine was resolute in its commitment to fostering U.S.-Ukrainian relations regardless of who was in the White House.16 This signaled that U.S. aid was far more important than American partisan politics, the crosshairs of which Zelensky found himself in. Officials within the government of Ukraine responded positively to the news of Biden’s election. In a statement from the Office of the President of Ukraine on November 15, Deputy Head Ihor Zhovkva, indicated his hope that the Biden administration will take a greater role in assisting Ukraine in terms of security and ending unrest in the region. Indeed, Biden has been outspoken in his support for Ukrainian democracy and stability.17 However, Ukrainian optimism is tempered. Shortly after the election, Kiev Post Journalist Anna Myroniuk observed that Biden is likely to impose sanctions against notorious Ukrainian oligarchs, taking a “tough love” approach to strengthening Ukrainian democracy and internal reform.18 Biden must strike a delicate balance in Ukraine, curbing the influence of oligarchs and fighting corruption while maintaining robust military aid. Ukraine’s future will serve as a test of the United States’ heavy-handed foreign policy, which may have its deficiencies revealed in areas of conflict resolution and prevention it claims to promote. The coming years will test whether democracy in a U.S.-promoted format is a sustainable path for Ukraine. POLAND

Ukraine’s western neighbors, Hungary and Poland, also find themselves in unprecedented and challenging positions with regard to the United States and Russia. Poland’s relationship with the United States mirrors that of Ukraine’s. As Poland is an essential NATO ally in the defense

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election of Western Europe against Russian intervention and influence, it is critical that good relations between Poland and the United States are maintained.19 While there is a historical pattern of cooperation between the two countries, relations improved under President Trump, whose style and personality appealed to the largely conservative country. Acting on his commitment to Polish and European security, Trump redeployed 1,000 troops previously withdrawn from Germany to Poland, a decision warmly received in Poland.20 The largest concern for Polish citizens and politicians alike, regardless of who is in power in America, is the continued presence of these U.S. troops in Poland so geographically near Russia.21 In light of President Trump’s continued support for Polish security and economic growth, he enjoyed friendly relations with President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Likewise, President Duda benefited from Trump’s approval at home. Duda narrowly won his 2020 bid for reelection, thanks in part to a scheduled visit to the White House days before ballots were cast.22 Despite Trump’s endorsement of Duda, Poland’s government was careful not to place favor on a candidate in the U.S. election, understanding, much like Ukraine, the importance of bipartisan American support and continued military aid. Conversely, Duda’s conservative, nationalist party, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), have positioned themselves at the head of a moral crusade for what they consider traditional Christian values, going as far as openly opposing “LGBT ideology.”23 Poland has been under increased scrutiny by human rights advocates for these and other controversial policies regarding minority and women’s rights.24 These policies have not escaped the attention of the Biden administration, nor has the EU ignored questionable legislative actions made by the PiS, but EU efforts to bolster democracy have not yet yielded success. The tension between the PiS and the EU stems from the former’s continual, undemocratic attempts to undermine media independence and electoral processes.25 Biden will face a similarly difficult task in promoting liberal norms and values while maintaining a meaningful and robust security presence in the country.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies HUNGARY

Though Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s turn to authoritarianism after his reelection in 2010 caused relations between the U.S. and Hungary to sour, throughout Trump’s tenure, relations between the two countries improved. During his 2016 campaign, Orbán became the first and only European leader to endorse Trump’s candidacy, and the two have supported one another and their similar agendas since.26 Orbán was a vocal and ardent supporter of Trump throughout the 2020 campaign, broadcasting expectations of a Trump win with no alternative consideration.27 Trump was a valuable ally to Orbán as many of Hungary’s European neighbors have criticized democratic backsliding and government corruption in the country. Biden has echoed wider European disapproval of Orbán and his far-right Fidesz party. In response, Orbán has called out the “moral imperialism” of the U.S. Democrats, suggesting that future U.S. attention to Hungary may be met with hostility.28 Biden’s victory has led commentators in Hungary to predict that relations between the U.S. and Hungary will decline.29 The head of Orbán’s Prime Ministerial office, Gergely Gulyás, said he was “pessimistic,” though he hoped that the foreign policy stances of the new Democratled government “would be better than the last one,” referencing President Barack Obama’s administration.30 While there is hope Biden will restore the liberal order Obama was known for fostering, others anticipate leaders like Orbán will seek the support of sympathetic illiberal leaders such as President Xi Jinping of China or Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.31

The Mediterranean Sphere: Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Vatican City The countries along the southwestern borders of Europe are characterized by stagnating economies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, against a backdrop of relatively recent and painful memories of authoritarianism. While most European states hope to see the United States resume its role as a reliable ally under President Biden, in the Mediterranean sphere other world leaders have moved to occupy the vacuum created by the absence of reliable American leadership. University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election PORTUGAL

Portugal is often overlooked in broader narratives about the relationship between the United States and Europe due to its lack of influence and small geographic and economic size relative to its neighbors.32 However, it is arguable that countries such as Portugal are most in need European stability and a prosperous relationship with the U.S. As a co-founder of NATO, the Atlantic nation has a strong relationship with the United States, centered on bilateral military and economic relations. Portugal has relied heavily on the United States in their continued economic recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis. Professor Lívia Franco, a senior researcher at the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal (IEP-UCP), emphasized the role of Portugal as a small nation within NATO and the importance of multilateral relations with both the EU and the U.S. As a nation with less military strength, Portugal is protected mainly by the United States. According to Franco, this aspect of their relationship means that Portugal depends on U.S. openness for the support of the international community.33 Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in January 2021, heightening the importance of U.S.-EU relations for Portugal. Portuguese officials and citizens alike expressed dissatisfaction with the Trump administration’s isolationist policies and, as the election drew closer, feared for America’s democratic institutions.34 Public opinion polls and government statements reflected an overwhelmingly positive response to Biden’s victory in the election.35 While many in Portugal welcomed the change in administration, Professor André Azevedo Alves noted that while the Trump administration outwardly promoted an “America First” foreign policy perspective, many relationships with European countries remained unchanged.36 Although enhanced communication is certainly a victory, aside from rhetoric there may be little tangible change or improvement in Portuguese-American relations.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies SPAIN

Spain’s hope for improved relations with the United States under the Biden administration is tempered by concerns regarding their own far-right party and the lasting effects of right-wing populism across Europe. Having been under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco for the greater part of the 20th century, Spain was not viewed by Americans as an ally until the 1990s, and diplomatic relations between the two countries remain a relatively new phenomenon. Over this period, Spanish public opinion of the United States has varied—seemingly correlating with Spaniards’ confidence, or lack thereof, in the American executive. In 2018, a mere 7% of Spaniards expressed confidence in Trump, and only 42% viewed the U.S. favorably. These numbers pale in comparison to the 75% of Spaniards who expressed confidence in Obama in 2016, with U.S. favorability sitting at 59% in the same year.37 Perhaps even more compelling is that only 7% of Spaniards anticipated the U.S. election to be “completely free and fair.”38 This unfavorable view of the United States stems not only from distaste for Trump but from the negative effect of sanctions and the trade war he waged with Europe. Tariffs placed on the European Union cost the Spanish economy roughly €765 million.39 Though it is unclear whether he will reverse the tariffs, Biden’s election prompted an optimism that seems to have less to do with Biden himself and more to do with the “sensation of generalized relief” that Trump was leaving office.40 Early congratulatory statements by politicians from across Spain’s political ranks, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, reflected a hope for warmer transatlantic relations and greater commitment to multilateralism under the new administration.41 Absent, however, from these well-wishers was Spain’s far-right Vox party. Vox leader Santiago Abascal claimed that Trump had won, echoing charges of election fraud and media manipulation.42 Indeed, Trump’s absence from the U.S. presidency ushers in a new era of uncertainty for Europe’s far right. The extent to which these parties relied on Trump’s leadership and influence and their ability to maintain political influence in Europe will be revealed in the months and years ahead.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Despite the majority expressing renewed warmth toward the incoming American president, Spaniards remain strikingly realistic about what they can and cannot expect from America. Spanish media outlets expressed fear about the increasing toxicity pervading political culture and discourse in the U.S. leading up to the election, while others commented on the profound and deeply entrenched divisions between voters.43 There is widespread agreement that Americans will have much to tend to at home and that Biden’s transatlantic promises may be overshadowed by domestic issues. Continued Spanish-American cooperation will depend on the actions Biden takes once in office and whether he can deliver on what the Spanish people and government seem to wish for most: steady American leadership on the international stage. ITALY

Measured Italian responses to the U.S. election indicate the shifting balance of global influence, as many perceive the United States as an unreliable ally. Italy is of geopolitical significance to the U.S., and given its proximity to the Middle East and North Africa, hosts several U.S. military bases.44 The Italian economy, like that of Portugal and Spain, has struggled to rebound since 2008 but enjoys a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the United States.45 Though bilateral trade between the two countries remains strong, amounting to roughly $103 billion in 2019,46 the trade war the U.S. waged with Europe resulted in uncertainty and distrust of America as an economic and security partner. Given the historically prosperous relationship between the two countries, Italians felt the negative effects of Trump’s isolationist economic policies. Moreover, Trump’s bombastic self-serving leadership style was reminiscent of the Italian businessman, media mogul, and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.47 Berlusconi, who came to power by leveraging his private media network, faced numerous judicial investigations, accusations of bribery and lude conduct with women, is now credited with drastically restructuring the Italian party system and far-right.48 The 2020 U.S. election garnered particular attention in Italy, and Italians’ preferences in the election can be generalized as a strong distaste for Trump and neutrality or ambivalence towards Biden.49 Greater complexity, however, lies under these reactions. Italy’s government is April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies marked by similar populist and nationalist movements and deep divisions within the electorate. The 2018 general elections in Italy resulted in a coalition formed by the Eurosceptic and populist Movimento 5 Stelle (MFS) and the Lega (League).50 Although Lega’s leader, Matteo Salvini, remained an ardent Trump supporter even through the prolonged vote count,51 Salvini did express willingness to work with Biden after his win was secured. While many other Italian politicians and leaders expressed hope for and support of a Biden presidency throughout the campaign, the disparity in the responses is demonstrative of Italy’s widening political divisions. It is difficult to predict what will become of the Italian-American relationship under the Biden administration. The conservative Eurosceptic parties in power may find themselves somewhat unmoored without a Eurosceptic U.S. president as an ally, and like other Western European nations, Italy has turned its attention to the possibilities of new allies. There is already a significant amount of Chinese foreign direct investment in Italy, and China was quick to offer Italy aid after the first devastating wave of coronavirus hit the country.52 China is not only seen in a friendly light by the Italian public, it is seen as the friendliest country. According to a poll conducted by SWG, 52% of the respondents named China as a friend of Italy, while only 17% named the United States.53 Biden’s rhetoric of transatlantic cooperation and strength is promising for a country that still depends on reliable American military and economic support. However, should Biden falter in his commitments or become delayed by domestic issues, Italy may seek assistance elsewhere. VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis officially congratulated Biden on November 12th, expressing his desire to cooperate on ameliorating several international and pressing environmental and social issues.54 While many across Europe are looking forward to renewed partnerships on economic and security issues, the Vatican’s response to the U.S. election provides a layer of understanding that centers on the ideological implications of American leadership rather than economic prosperity or security.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Relatively new to formal diplomatic relations, the Vatican and the United States joined forces under the Reagan administration, in part due to their shared opposition to the spread of Communism.55 The appointment of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 further expanded the Vatican’s role in global politics, perhaps most notably as criticism of the Iraq war and other U.S. foreign policies.56 Pope Francis has continued the work of his predecessor in global affairs, assisting with the brokerage of peace between the United States and Cuba during the Obama administration.57 In 2016, Pope Francis was an outspoken critic of President Trump’s anti-immigration platform, to which Trump responded that if he were not elected president, “the Vatican would be attacked by ISIS.”58 These two leaders repeatedly sparred over controversial policies, including immigrant family separation at the U.S. border, Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, and inaction on climate change.59 It is anticipated that relations will improve under President Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, who shares Pope Francis’ commitment to fighting climate change and echoes the Pope’s desire to unite and “build bridges not walls.”60 However, Biden will also be under the watchful eye of the Church’s more conservative leadership. Alluding to the separation of church and state, Biden claims his personal religious beliefs should not and will not be imposed on all Americans.61 Nevertheless, the Vatican’s overwhelmingly warm reception of President Biden is indicative of a global hope for a United States that is focused on collective problems and finding collaborative solutions.

The North: Scandinavia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom The nations of Northern Europe value both their connection to the U.S. and their independence though several countries believe that connection has become frayed. However much Biden will have to present the U.S. as a reliable ally, it is expected that, for the most part, relations will continue to be at least as strong as they have been in recent years due to shared interests and commitment to international organizations.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies SCANDINAVIA: DENMARK, NORWAY, AND SWEDEN

Despite most Northern European countries being in better economic standing than their southern counterparts, Scandinavian countries felt the negative effects of U.S. tariffs on EU goods and were wounded by the United States’ abandonment of the Paris Climate Accords. The American election was closely followed by Scandinavians; Norway’s lead business paper, Dagens Næringsliv, called the U.S. election “as important as our own national election, and seldom as important as this year.”62 Although geographically close, the three Scandinavian nations have developed distinct relationships with the United States. Since the Second World War, Denmark has become incredibly close with the U.S., remaining a steadfast American ally in military conflicts from Serbia to ISIS, and most notably it was the only Scandinavian country to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.63 Norway offers an interesting case study, as their unwillingness to join the EU has traditionally been understood as an emphasis on national independence and ability to foster unique relationships outside of the organization. Sweden, on the other hand, maintains a slightly frostier relationship with the United States in comparison to other Northern European countries. Sweden’s democratic-socialist stance and reverence for international cooperation does not often align with the foreign policy goals of the United States. In contrast to Denmark, Sweden has been opposed to American interventionism numerous times, such as in Iraq and Vietnam.64 Despite their varying relationships with the United States, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were unified in their preferred candidate in the 2020 U.S. election. Media outlets and politicians across Scandinavia expressed a sense of relief and the expectation of a return to normalcy.65 Biden’s popularity crossed party lines in Denmark, where the leader of the largest conservative party, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, claimed he could never vote for Trump.66 The head of the Labor party and current opposition in Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, indicated that Norwegians were pleased that Biden was planning on reentering the Paris Climate Agreement and reaffirming American commitment to NATO.67 In Sweden, the hope for the governing Social

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Democrat party is that a Biden presidency will pressure right-wing governments in Europe to restore civil liberties and respect human rights.68 However, the general sense of relief is not without major concerns. President Trump’s efforts to throw out the election results supported by 70 million Americans is alarming to Scandinavia. There is a burgeoning realization that American democracy has become brittle and deeply divided. That being said, Denmark and Norway are still optimistic about their postTrump relationships with the United States. In these two countries, the “wait and see” approach appears to have won out. Sweden has a more pessimistic outlook. Many in Sweden believe that the Trump presidency has done damage to international cooperation, the environment, and human rights that cannot so easily be mitigated by Biden’s tenure. While most see Biden as a welcome figure, the evidence suggests that Sweden would be better served by pushing for greater integration and cooperation among the remainder of the European Union, operating under the belief that Europe is the better champion for Western values and liberal democracy. IRELAND

It is difficult to understate the significance of the economic and cultural exchange between the United States and Ireland. The U.S. is responsible for more than half of Ireland’s exports and is the second largest exporter to Ireland behind the United Kingdom.69 U.S. firms provide jobs for more than one million highly skilled workers in Ireland, and in addition to the large Irish diaspora in the U.S., many Irish travel to America to pursue work and study opportunities.70 The historic reciprocity between Ireland the United States ushered in relatively smooth relations between the two nations under Trump’s presidency. The breadth and depth of the ties between Ireland and the U.S. could not be undone by four years of protectionist policies. When asked what Ireland would like to see in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said simply that the outcome was “a matter for the American people, but President Trump and any American President is always welcome in Ireland.”71 Perhaps the only place partisan preference in the American election played out was in

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies the rivalry between Biden’s ancestral hometown of Ballina, Co. Mayo, and Doonbeg, Co. Clare, the location of a Trump International golf course and hotel, and ancestral home of Vice President Mike Pence.72 Both candidates expressed support for Ireland’s priorities as they navigate the ramifications of Brexit on the border with Northern Ireland and the future business interactions between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Regardless of who held office, Ireland would have a reliable ally in the United States. However, Trump’s unorthodox leadership did not escape the notice of the Irish public, and as such, Biden was generally viewed as the more reliable candidate.73 With Biden at the helm, relations will proceed much as they have before, and it is difficult to argue that cooperation was ever jeopardized in the first place. THE UNITED KINGDOM

The United States’ Department of State website states that the U.S. has “no closer partner than the United Kingdom.”74 Indeed, this relationship stands on the foundation of longstanding economic and cultural exchange, as well as strong joint military and security commitments. However, tangible implications and benefits of this special relationship are difficult to identify in the 21st century, and many argue it has devolved into a more symbolic relationship. While Biden’s election is indicative of continued prosperity between Ireland and the U.S., the UK may have much to lose from a Biden victory. The strength of the UK’s relationship with the U.S. may soon be tested. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his conservative government enjoyed a friendly relationship with President Trump. This reaffirmed allegiance was needed while the UK spent much of the last four years navigating its departure from the European Union.75 While Trump may have been the candidate preferred by the government (which remained strategically silent until a clear winner was determined), the British public did not share this hope, overwhelmingly favoring Biden.76 Although Britons look forward to U.S. re-engagement with European affairs, they cling to the hope of improved U.S.-UK ties, especially in a post-Brexit environment.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Johnson was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Biden on his victory and express his eagerness to begin working together. In a tweet, Johnson elaborated further by announcing key initiatives on which he would like to collaborate, including “climate change,” “promoting democracy,” and “building back better from the pandemic.”77 The U.S. and the UK still have many shared interests, but when it comes to negotiating the post-Brexit era, Biden may choose to maximize relations with the European Union. Ultimately, it will be up to the UK to initiate and strengthen relations to further their interests. The next four years will reveal just how strong the ties of this long-standing relationship really are.

Benelux: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg Though small, the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) carry significant weight in European and international affairs. Hosting global financial, security, and diplomatic institutions, the Benelux responses to the U.S. election provoked a critical look inward as well as outward towards the U.S. as a once-reliable partner in multilateral agreements. BELGIUM

Belgian responses to the U.S. election are somewhat illustrative of the various responses seen across the European continent. The 2020 U.S. election was followed closely by Belgians and presented an opportunity for the country’s politicians and citizens to reexamine their own political parties, electoral processes, and their dependence on American leadership. Built on a shared commitment to multilateral institutions and agreements such as NATO and the Paris Climate Accords, an otherwise historically harmonious Belgian-American relationship has developed fissures as a result of the Trump presidency. Mainstream Belgian media outlets lambasted Trump in the days leading up to the election, chiding his denial of climate change, his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and his repeated claims of election fraud.78 Politicians across Belgium’s political spectrum were quick to offer their congratulations to Biden, with many expressing hopes for reconciliation and the “defense of the values of democracy.”79 While political leaders may have displayed unyielding

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies support for the U.S. election results, some Belgians took these congratulatory messages as an avenue to express their own frustrations over the Belgian democratic process. The results of the U.S. election caused the Belgian public to look inward with some dissatisfaction, and an example of introspective sentiments betrays potential discontent with their own current electoral systems. A congratulatory tweet from Prime Minister Alexander De Croo sparked controversy, as people critiqued the Belgian multi-party system; one Twitter user noted, “[Biden] has the right to win, because he had the most votes. That cannot be said of you…your party was only the 7th.”80 This defense of the American electoral system for upholding democracy is contradictory to an October 2020 study conducted by Eupinions, an independent platform for European public opinion, measuring the public’s concern for the integrity of the election. When asked, “To what extent do you find democracy to be effective, or ineffective in the U.S.?” 64% of surveyed Belgians responded “ineffective.”81 However, after the election, according to Simon Desplanques of Eupinions, a “vast majority of the Belgian public is confident in the results” despite Trump’s claims of fraud.82 This post-election evaluation reflects the positive feelings Belgium attached to the successful transfer of power. While many in Belgium and across Europe like to view Trump’s presidency as an accident or fluke, Steven Blockmans, Director of Research at the Centre for European Policy Studies has warned of this blinding optimism, cautioning, “in all but the name, America First is here to stay.”83 Belgium’s own nationalist, anti-immigration, right-leaning Vlaams Belang party was quick to emphasize that Trump’s rise to power was not an isolated phenomenon, claiming that Belgian politics has been moving ever-further from the needs of everyday citizens.84 NETHERLANDS

To Belgium’s north, the Netherlands found itself similarly transfixed by the drama of the U.S. election, but it resulted in significantly less internal turmoil. This is due in part to the fact that the Dutch enjoyed relatively normal relations with the U.S. throughout Trump’s presidency. This apparent departure from the common narrative of soured international relations can be at least partially attributed to the Netherlands’ tendency to accept and sometimes even conform to University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election the policies of the U.S. One example of this dynamic is the Netherlands’ pledge to comply with former President Trump’s infamous plea for more NATO countries to spend 2% of their GDP on their militaries, as well as high levels of mutual trade and investment.85 Despite these somewhat unremarkable developments between the U.S. and the Netherlands, Dutch media outlets covered the 2020 election relentlessly. Many media producers, regardless of political affiliation or genre, had dedicated some exclusive segment of coverage to the American elections. Those producers that broadcast or update more than once a week often dedicated multiple days’ worth of coverage to the elections. Regardless of the political affiliations of the various sources, most of the election coverage centered on the material facts of the election itself. When results became clear, sources aimed at more metropolitan audiences presented then President-elect Joe Biden as a means for reversing the effects of Trump’s foreign policy. This coverage indicates that the Dutch recognize the far-reaching implications of the U.S. presidency, even though it has limited direct influence on day-to-day life in the Netherlands. Politicians’ reactions varied predictably according to position along a liberal-conservative spectrum, and congratulations were not universally extended to Biden, with those on the right echoing claims of election fraud.86 The Dutch government avoided sensationalizing the election, releasing no official statements outside of a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which restated the position that relations with the U.S. were strong even during Trump’s presidency and would most likely continue that way.87 Juxtaposed with those of its European neighbors, the Dutch response exemplifies the immense curiosity and attention the U.S. election garnered. The reaction does, however, represent an outlier in its awareness that, at least for a country like the Netherlands, U.S. politics are rather inconsequential. LUXEMBOURG

Though small, Luxembourg carries immense importance in the global financial system. Due to its public policy framework, lack of corruption, and political stability, Luxembourg has created an investment climate that attracts foreign investors, particularly those from the U.S. April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies Given strong bilateral ties between Luxembourg and the United States, it comes as no surprise that the two nations share in a high level of financial activity.88 Importantly, Luxembourg is also a vocal advocate for European integration.89 When the Trump administration came to power in the United States, Luxembourg, along with a host of EU members, felt that the U.S. was no longer dependable as an ally. Luxembourg’s commitment to openness and economic diversification, due to its growing dependence on the financial sector in recent decades, played a sizable role in shaping its reaction to the 2020 U.S. election. Journalists and government officials made it clear that Luxembourg would be better served by a Biden administration, citing hopes for improved transatlantic trade.90 However, hope for new economic opportunities in partnership with the U.S. is tempered by lingering fears about the Obama administration’s proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). There is concern among the Luxembourgish population that a free trade agreement similar in nature to the TTIP would give foreign investors too much power.91 The implications of a Biden administration for Luxembourg as a financial center is concentrated on the possibility of a U.S. financial transaction tax (FTT). President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have already been vocal about their intentions to raise corporate taxes.92 Despite these fears and the sense that they may find more reliable allies in the European Union, Luxembourg will continue friendly diplomatic relations with the United States, even while they explore and pursue transatlantic economic opportunities with lucidity and caution.

The Center and the West: Austria, France, and Germany AUSTRIA

Under President Donald Trump, Austria found little out of the ordinary in terms of diplomatic relations. Both countries share memberships in several international organizations and recently engaged in a bilateral strategic dialogue focusing on home affairs, cybersecurity, and they also share an interest in the fight against terrorism.93 President Trump and Austria’s

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Chancellor Sebastian Kurz found common ground on policies regarding immigration and seemed to maintain cordial relations with one another. Kurz’s warmth towards Trump was not shared by the Austrian public who expressed overwhelming support for Biden.94 However, Kurz and other mainstream politicians were quick to offer their congratulations and hope for continued cooperation upon Biden being finally declared the winner.95 The right-wing Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) did not relay similar messages, demonstrating a stark contrast to their enthusiasm for Trump’s election in 2016.96 Unlike in France and Germany, Austria’s far-right has been kept at bay. Despite speculation that the FPÖ would experience some sort of bump in the 2016 Austrian presidential election due to its proximity to Trump’s election, an independent candidate and former leader of the Green Party prevailed.97 Trump’s policies seem to have had fewer ripple effects in Austria’s domestic affairs, but optimism surrounding Biden’s win is tempered by anxieties about the relationship the Chancellor maintained with his predecessor. Some predict that the ideological similarities between Chancellor Kurz and President Trump, as well as Kurz’s support for Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East, may make it difficult for Kurz to restart relations with Biden.98 It is unlikely, though, that Biden will slight Austria as he begins the process of mending ties across the continent. Furthermore, Austria’s optimism and eagerness to work with the new president on climate change and security should come as a welcome respite for the Biden administration. FRANCE

U.S.-French relations are longstanding and generally positive, and it appears they will continue in this manner. President Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of France forged a working relationship despite widespread distaste for Trump amongst the French people.99 It could be argued that Trump’s abdication from the Paris Climate Accords and criticism of NATO has allowed Macron to follow in his wake, questioning the purpose and benefits of these multilateral institutions and agreements for France.100

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies The rise of Trump proved helpful for another French politician, Marine Le Pen. The leader of the Rassamblement National (formerly known as the Front National) saw Trump’s victory in 2016, along with the Brexit referendum, as the potential beginnings of an international rebuke of globalist political “elites.”101 The Rassamblement and their anti-globalist platform naturally favored a second Trump term over the perceived “third Obama term” of a Biden presidency. However, a wider distaste for Trump led most French politicians, Macron included, to view Biden’s victory as good news.102 President Biden will pose new challenges for Macron who finds himself on unsteady political footing. France’s president faces bipartisan criticism for both his handling of the pandemic and ongoing tensions surrounding the country’s Muslim population.103 Macron hopes to steer France and lead Europe towards a future of “strategic autonomy” with limited American influence, and has cautioned against returning to the traditional, asymmetrical U.S.-European power dynamic.104 Moreover, Biden’s emphasis on identity politics, as evidenced by his racially and gender, but not ideologically, diverse cabinet picks, does not align with the legacy of secularism and the idea of a neutral or universal citizen in France.105 The 2020 French municipal elections exposed the fragility of Macron’s party, leaving him vulnerable to challengers across the political spectrum. While Macron has been proclaiming the need for increased European and French independence, it is uncertain how far he is willing or able to achieve these means. The absence of Trump’s anti-establishment force in the U.S. may prevent Macron from fully committing to these goals. For the time being, the Biden administration should face little opposition from Paris, as the two sides cooperate with an eye towards achieving their shared international goals: combating terrorism, enacting policies to prevent the climate crisis, and renewing transatlantic trade. However, there may be an impasse when it comes to revitalizing NATO. GERMANY

Like France, the 2020 U.S. election represents a somewhat critical juncture for Germany’s international leadership capacities. Trump tattered the historically positive University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election relationship between the two countries, principally through his disparagement of NATO and his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany, which was seen by Germans as a symbolic abandonment.106 Though the relationship remains intact, the recent tensions have led to both countries reconsidering their stances toward one another. The German public’s preference for President Biden is largely interpreted as backlash against Trump, and Biden will have an uphill climb as he attempts to repair America’s reputation abroad. For instance, 82% of American youth see the relationship with Germany as “good” while only 40% of German youth say the same of America.107 German politicians and media outlets celebrated Biden’s win, but there is little consensus as to what relations with a Biden administration will look like, and there is a patent desire for more autonomy from the U.S. in certain policy areas. Indeed, Germany has already maneuvered itself away from American economic interests. A diplomatic investment deal between the EU and China, the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, has just reached full agreement, a result of a seven year-long push by Germany to better control automobile companies located in China.108 The Biden administration petitioned the European Union to hold on the agreement, citing that the agreement does not do enough to open the Chinese market or reduce human rights violations.109 While the EUChina agreement would advance global cooperation between two of the world’s three largest economies, and further strengthen China’s international standing in a global market only beginning to recover from the disastrous effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it represents a new rift in transatlantic relations as Biden takes office. Before Germans look too far into the future, however, they anticipate the lingering influence of Trump’s tenure on their own political discourse. The Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD), Germany’s leading far-right party, is supported by around 13% of the population, roughly the same percentage of the German population that supported Trump in the election.110 The AfD may follow Trump’s example and claim election fraud in the upcoming German federal elections

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies if they find Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor unfavorable, resulting in short-term gains to shore up the party’s support and deepening polarization in Germany. Not only has the end of Trump’s tenure signaled the inability to “return to the old world of trans-Atlantic relations,” countries around the world and in Europe have been awakened to the effects of deepening economic and cultural inequalities and a widespread sense of political disenfranchisement within their borders.111 Both Germans and Americans will have to be strategic in crafting international and domestic policies that avoid exacerbating these problems. Germans, while optimistic about a Biden presidency, see the current political moment as an opportunity to step further into a global leadership role.

In Sum Amongst the varied reactions to the United States election, there are trends that offer insight into the future of U.S.-European relations and the challenges and opportunities Europe may find regarding the Biden administration. Due to their proximity to Russia, Central and Eastern European countries play a critical geopolitical role, stressing the importance of a strong U.S. presence, e.g., in the form of military aid that Hungary, Poland, and the Ukraine will be eager to preserve under the Biden administration. The Mediterranean countries are primarily concerned with the lasting influences of Trump’s protectionism and are eager to resume multilateral trade in the coming years. Responses in the North are more varied but signal the general sentiment of optimism with the exception of Sweden, which is cautious about recent U.S. political trends. While Ireland will continue to enjoy uninterrupted friendship, the UK will attempt to present itself as an attractive ally with mutually beneficial goals in a postBrexit Europe. Muted responses dominate Benelux nations, primarily the Netherlands, but Dutch and Belgian governments both anticipate better relations with the U.S. Luxembourg, while pleased with the election results, is wary of Biden’s financial policy that may turn them elsewhere. Finally, countries in Central and Western Europe have come out as strong proponents of European integration and increased self-reliance, as evinced by Macron’s questioning of

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election international institutions and Merkel’s push for better trade deals in China under the new EUChina trade agreement. In considering the responses of other key players in Europe, such as Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania, not primarily grouped by region due to trends, it’s important to note that each country possesses a unique history with the U.S. that has and will continue to influence relations between them. Despite the non-EU status of the first three listed, as well as the still-pending candidacy of the three Western Balkan states, these countries demonstrate the interconnectedness of European affairs with their neighbors and the world.

Further European Responses TURKEY

In recent years, Turkish relations with the U.S. have become strained over disputes on Syrian policy, Russia, and the democratic erosion spearheaded by President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Despite such differences, amiability persisted between the U.S. and Turkey, buoyed by a friendship between Trump and Erdoğan based on their ideological similarities. In the build-up to the election, Turkey publicly pledged to support whoever won and followed through, congratulating Biden on his victory.112 However, some analysts believe a Biden presidency could ultimately end up harming U.S.-Turkey relations because of Biden’s strong anti-authoritarian rhetoric, which is likely to clash with Erdoğan’s authoritarian leanings.113 Nevertheless, public support of Biden and condemnation of the January 6 riots could indicate a renewed Turkish effort to appear in line with Europe’s values and to revive consideration for EU accession, particularly now that Turkey-U.S. relations cannot count on a Trump-Erdoğan relationship. EU accession has long been a Turkish goal, and many EU countries also stand to benefit from this possibility, given Turkey’s trade leverage and strategic location. However, there are several major roadblocks to Turkish admittance to the EU, including the fact that the majority of their landmass is in Asia, objections to a potential rise in Turkish immigration to elsewhere

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies in Europe, over a high influx of immigrants, a troublesome human rights history, and the inevitable shift of power in European Institutions that a country as large as Turkey would bring about.114 Erdoğan’s authoritarian leanings and crackdowns on liberal values have also put this accession bid at risk, as Turkey continues to violate many of the EU’s core principles.115 A Biden administration with a strong anti-authoritarian stance, coupled with the loss of a key Erdoğan ally in Trump could potentially push Turkey in the direction of EU accession and away from its increasingly authoritarian tendencies, but this is also dependent on the growing influence of other authoritarian leaders in Turkey’s vicinity. RUSSIA

Russia’s history of relations with the U.S. is long and contentious, and animosity has undoubtedly increased in recent years. While Trump rarely criticized President Vladimir Putin during his time in office, relations between the U.S. and Russia have been deteriorating since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, an action which the U.S. considered illegal and responded to with punitive sanctions.116 In 2016, many Russians supported Trump’s election, believing he would mend relations between the two countries, but they were ultimately disappointed. Prior to the 2020 election, a poll reported two-thirds of Russian citizens did not care who won, and a separate poll revealed that many had never heard of Biden.117 During the election itself, many Russian officials believed Trump would ultimately prevail. For Russian state media, the uncertainty of the outcome in the days immediately following November 3 demonstrated U.S. democracy’s fragility and smacked of irony, given that the U.S. had previously accused Russian leaders of stealing elections.118 Putin was slow to congratulate Biden, waiting until after the electoral college certification in December to officially accept the result, which he did not do after Trump’s election in 2016.119 In his statement, Putin spoke of his hope to work with the Biden administration to renew the soon-to-expire nuclear proliferation treaty. Biden has been critical of Russia in the past and is likely to take a harsher stance against Russia’s autocratic tendencies than his predecessor. His probable reengagement with NATO and the European community may also put him at odds with the Kremlin.120 However, Russia’s general apathy of toward the University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election election suggests that already-tense relations between the two countries are unlikely to change significantly. SERBIA

President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia holds a grudge against the U.S. for its contributions to the Kosovo independence movement, particularly against the Democratic Party and thenPresident Bill Clinton. Biden was one of the senators who pushed most for U.S. and NATO intervention in the Balkans during both the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War in the 1990s.121 Vučić stated, “Trump did not participate in the bombing and creation of Kosovo. [A Biden presidency] will be harder for U.S.”122 Although he has been cordial in congratulating President Biden on his victory, Vučić had publicly stated a Trump reelection would have been “better for Serbia.”123 Vučić has also demonstrated growing authoritarian tendencies, which pose a threat to the United States’ perennial aim for the spread of democracy and the end of regional corruption.124 KOSOVO

The historic ties between Kosovo and the U.S. Democratic Party run deep due to aid and support provided during the Kosovo War.125 As previously mentioned, then-Senator Biden, in particular, pushed most for intervention in the region, including during the Kosovo War.126 Nevertheless, Kosovo has experienced difficulties in its relations with the U.S. under the Trump administration, especially when Trump appeared to manufacture diplomatic successes in the region without consideration for the EU.127 Biden intends to increase collaboration with the EU, so that entity may be more involved in future negotiations to strengthen democracy and stability in Kosovo.128 Additionally, Biden’s relationship with Kosovo could further pressure Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty, paving the way for increased international recognition and potential membership in international organizations.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies ALBANIA

Unlike many of its neighbors, Albania is a NATO member, so their interests tend to align with those of greater Europe, especially in commitments to security and democracy. In return for Albanian military and anti-terrorism efforts, the U.S. has provided developmental aid which has strengthened democratic institutions, integrated the country into European and Euro-Atlantic diplomatic structures, and promoted stable and sustainable economic growth. The U.S. hopes to soon launch the U.S.-Albania Transparency Academy, focusing on four pillars: Accountability and Oversight in Public Financial Management, Transparency and Ethics in the Private Sector, Youth Engagement in Promoting a Culture of Transparency, and Justice for All. Albania has a consistent, nonpartisan relationship with the U.S., which includes bilateral economic relations involving trade and an investment treaty. The U.S.-Albanian relationship is not projected to be significantly affected by the outcome of the 2020 U.S. election because of the mutual interests both candidates shared.129 SWITZERLAND

Switzerland, an important trading partner with the United States, stands to be heavily impacted economically by the U.S. election. As it is not a member of the EU, the U.S. must negotiate its trade deals with Switzerland directly and individually, so analysts suspect Biden’s focus on the EU will lead him to place a lower priority on agreements with Switzerland.130 Despite this, it seems most Swiss experts, commentators, and members of the public favored Biden, believing his victory would be better for stability and democracy.131 Many commentators were critical of Republican support for Trump and correctly predicted the upheaval that would follow.132 Overall, Swiss relations are unlikely to change much under Biden, but most Swiss citizens were relieved with the election of a president whom they believe has a stronger commitment to democracy.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election

Beyond National and Regional Analysis The regional trends examined above support the argument that, owing to the overwhelming sense of satisfaction expressed towards Biden’s victory, U.S.-European relations will improve. Those countries that have not expressed optimism or faith in the new administration and may seek to disassociate further from the U.S. will most likely be compelled to move towards amicable relations by either a dependency on (defense) aid in the case of Eastern European countries (e.g., Poland, Ukraine) or by other economic and political concerns that make such dissociation difficult and costly, if not impossible. Inextricable political and economic ties are evinced in individual cases, such as the UK’s desire to retain close allies postBrexit, the U.S. and Sweden’s participation in a plethora of organizations in partnership with the U.S., and the impossibility of nations like Germany and France lessening their dependence on the United States’ titanic economy despite recent attempts by both to pursue increased self-reliance. This is not to insinuate the U.S. is coercing or constricting any nation into a reluctant alliance; each European country and the U.S. recognize the mutual benefits of closer multilateral ties and collaboration. With Biden’s intent to deliver on these promises, his administration must now undertake the significant task of repairing neglected relationships, several of which may initially appear to be one-sided. However, after a leader as unpopular among Europeans as Donald Trump, public opinion may significantly aid Biden in his quest for improved relations. International leaders have often expressed the opinion of the public in their reaction to the election, and just as organizational participation will keep the U.S. and Europe close, the observance of rational diplomacy and external pressure from the European majority will encourage closer ties. Turning from national and regional responses to the 2020 election, the next section of this paper will explore the trends that have emerged from these responses. As the dust begins to settle following Biden’s election, many may find themselves asking, “what now?” First, the next section will investigate the issues of eroded trust in the democratic process in the United States and the implications for European allies. It will then move into a discussion about climate April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies change as a key policy area in which the Biden administration can begin to repair relations and regain trust via policy collaboration and follow through. The remaining two sections will then investigate the future of Europe’s own political parties with regard to the most recent American election, and consider how Europe might chart a path towards greater self-reliance economically and in international affairs.

What Now? European Trust in the Democratic Process and Institutions in the U.S. European trust in American democratic institutions has sharply declined as a result of some of Trump’s international policies, the lead-up to both the election and the changing of administrations, and the January 6 Capitol riots. Debates range on whether Trump’s tenure, including the rhetoric surrounding his campaign for reelection, was an anomaly amidst years of relative democratic stability in the United States, or if he was, instead, an indication of a more lasting populist movement that is mirrored in Europe and around the world. Beyond President Trump’s influence on American and global politics, the U.S. faces the remaining challenge of reestablishing the legitimacy of the American political system and democratic processes and instilling trust among its allies. “BROKEN SYSTEM”

The U.S. has historically enjoyed a reputation of and presented itself as an exemplar of democracy, promoting free and fair elections with peaceful transitions of power around the globe, and positing its own democratic institutions as models to which other nations could aspire. The 2020 U.S. election has undoubtedly tarnished the United States’ reputation as a beacon of democratic governance, but despite the tumult of the election and transition of power, many claim that the United States’ democratic institutions have passed a stress test, even if not unscathed.133

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Prior to November 7, few Europeans anticipated that the U.S. election would be “completely free and fair” as illustrated in a 2020 YouGov tracker survey conducted in Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.134 The survey revealed a minority of Europeans had confidence in the U.S. election; the perception of a free and fair election ranged from an abysmal 2% in Germany to just 11% in Italy—worrisome for the U.S., a country that prides itself on its democratic elections.135 Similarly, the Pew Research Center found that a majority of British, German, and French citizens believed the U.S. electoral system requires major changes or complete reform.136 Putting the proverbial nail in the coffin, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) stated that the “baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions.”137 TRUMP: ETIOLOGY OR SYMPTOM?

With trust in the American electoral system at remarkably low levels abroad, many are seeking to contextualize Donald Trump’s presidency and electoral tactics as an anomaly, but an observation of European political trends makes this argument difficult to justify. Right-wing populism in Europe and the United States is, of course, not the result of individual leaders or figures, but rather the sustained negative reaction to policies on immigration and the increasing value placed on identity over integration.138 In addition to the growing backlash to globalization that has fueled populist rhetoric, many reference increasingly polarized and biased media as having a hand in the decay of American democracy.139 Neither media polarization nor backlash to globalization can be attributed solely to Trump’s actions. In this light, Trump is more of an accelerant or a symptom of widespread democratic decline than the catalyst for this decline. Popular perceptions about the state of democracy in the U.S. may also reflect European attitudes towards their own democracies. Decreasing confidence in European democracy is readily observable in the successes of European right-wing populist movements. These European populists echoed Trump’s claims of election fraud, explicitly referenced the claim that mainstream media and political establishments could overturn election results, and cautioned April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies that the precedents set by the U.S. elections could have worldwide consequences. However, as evidenced by the breadth of European responses to the U.S. election, this analysis cannot be applied to all European democracies. The health and stability of American democracy has more significant implications for countries, such as Ukraine, where their own democracies need to be bolstered by others. More stable democracies, such as that of Belgium, managed to utilize the perceived faltering of American democracy as a vehicle for critiquing their own electoral system. Evidently, the pressures put on the American democratic process in 2020 are not exceptional; internal and external criticisms of the strength of European democracies at the national and EU level are widespread. While each nation faces unique challenges in preserving robust and representative democracies, the tactics utilized by the Trump administration in 2020 are not so much a departure from the norm as a harbinger of a new political reality. CONTRASTING OPINIONS: THE RESILIENCY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

While most pundits agree that the 2020 U.S. election has led to deep European mistrust in America’s democracy, some have also argued the election has demonstrated the resilience of its institutions. In Denmark, media outlet Berlingske published an editorial stating “America has passed Trump’s stress test. America’s democratic institutions are even stronger than before.”140 Most legal and political scholars have agreed there was little merit to the fears that Trump would successfully retain control of the presidency.141 No evidence of substantial fraud was found despite extensive attempts by pro-Trump legal teams. A record 159 million Americans cast votes in the election, with the electoral college determining Biden to be the winner. Biden was successfully inaugurated on January 20, 2021 in response to the will of the American people. Perhaps the most harrowing moment of the U.S. electoral process occurred on January 6, 2021 when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to upset the certification of the electoral college outcome. Dozens of European leaders, including the Prime Ministers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, have since expressed faith in the strength of American democracy and the resilience of democratic institutions.142 Although many of the leaders avoided directly naming the cause of the riot and focused, instead, on supporting Biden and the legitimacy of the University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election election results, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was far more vocal. On January 7, she expressed her frustration with Trump’s failure to concede the election stating, “[Trump] stoked uncertainties about the election outcome, and that created an atmosphere that made the events of last night possible.”143 Right-wing politicians, including Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary, were notably silent on the storming of the capitol.144 The attack on the democratic process was ultimately ineffective. Although delayed by several hours, the U.S. Senate’s certification process was completed that night, with then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stating, “They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”145 Although the democratic institutions of the U.S. have no doubt survived previous tumultuous election periods, they were challenged like never before, and this incident will remain engraved in the minds of many Americans and Europeans. Whether these institutions will face similar hurdles in the future remains to be seen, but the chasm in international trust that these events have wrought must be immediately addressed.

Europe, Global Leadership and the Challenge of Climate Change As European notions of American democracy are less favorable than Americans may have hoped, there is one concern that is certain to unite efforts between both parties: climate change. Although Trump fostered indifferent and explicitly dismissive attitudes towards the environmental crisis, Biden has vocalized his intent to prioritize this issue. If he takes swift and meaningful action on climate, Biden has the opportunity to make gains in restoring European trust in an American partnership on international issues. THE EU ROLE AND TRUMP’S LEGACY

The EU public at large has demanded increased action from their elected officials in combating the climate crisis. A 2019 survey conducted by Eurobarometer on behalf of the European Commission found that 92% of respondents felt it was important that their governments set ambitious renewable energy targets. The same percentage agreed that greenhouse gases should be reduced to make the EU economy climate neutral by 2050, a goal

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies set as part of the European Green Deal.146 In response to this resounding call to further address climate change, the European Commission has proposed the European Climate Law to legislate the progressive climate goals of the European Green Deal and Paris Climate Agreement.147 The President of the European Council, amongst many other European leaders, criticized Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, stating that “the fight against climate change would continue with or without the U.S.”148 In Germany, the Green Party has “continually expressed distinct frustration with Trump’s denial of climate change.”149 Moreover, “many Norwegians have been concerned with both the Trump administration’s inaction on climate change and its preference for unilateralism,” while “the vast majority of Spaniards disapproved of Trump’s decisions to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”150 The EU quickly found it difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate with President Trump on issues related to climate change, and the international coalition sees the changing administration as an opportunity for renewed climate collaboration. EUROPEAN TRUST THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY

Biden’s campaign promised to address climate change head-on through his “Clean Energy Revolution” plan, which focuses on establishing the U.S. as a completely clean energy economy and on reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.151 Hours following his inauguration, he signed 17 executive orders, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and asking federal agencies to reverse over 100 of Trump’s environmental policies.152 These reversals included reduction of methane emissions, instatement of air protection standards, restoration of national monuments and Arctic refuge from the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program, all of which are welcome changes for European policy-makers.153 While rejoining the Paris Agreement is an important move for the new Biden administration, it is by no means the ultimate solution to the climate crisis. With the U.S. taking a markedly more climate-friendly approach, the EU hopes Biden will make a “coordinated effort” to pay the remaining $2 trillion of Obama’s pledge to the Green Climate Fund that Trump ignored.154 For the EU to be satisfied, Biden must demonstrate a climate agenda more robust and University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election aggressive than the two previous presidents, as well as a willingness to work in concert with China, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada.155 Though Biden has displayed his readiness to reestablish climate alliances and while European leaders look favorably on his promise to tackle climate change, Biden’s rhetoric must be supported by policy and action to begin to rebuild European trust in American leadership. American support in addressing the climate crisis is essential, as the success of this effort is dependent on the full, coordinated commitment of all countries. American leadership in the climate crisis may serve as an incentive to nations with particularly poor environmental records to fall in line, and it is imperative that Europe and the U.S. take a unified stance on this issue. Without full cooperation from signatories and members, agreements such as the Paris Agreement will be rendered as little more than symbolic efforts to halt a seemingly unstoppable catastrophe. EUROPEAN OUTLOOK ON FUTURE PLANS

In the space created by waning American leadership on climate, European leaders, and the EU specifically, have seized the opportunity to stand as the global leadership in the fight against climate change. The proposed European Green Deal solidifies this vision, galvanizing EU member states to pursue grander environmental ambitions in response to the European Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency in November 2019 while stressing the potential for the crisis to create new economic opportunities. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has stated that the European Green Deal is “Europe’s new growth strategy.”156 The Commission has recognized the difficulties it may face in achieving these goals for regions currently dependent on fossil fuels, and it plans to set aside at least €100 billion as part of the Just Transition Mechanism.157 The Parliament also called for a “WTO-compliant carbon border adjustment mechanism” to protect European economies and industries from competing with countries less committed to similarly ambitious environmental policy.158 Currently, the European Green Deal is a nonbinding resolution although the Commission proposed to make this deal legally binding in March 2021, as part of the European Climate Law.159 April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies Indeed, these European Commission proposals are ripe for continued tensions between the U.S. and EU. Though the Biden administration has rejoined the Paris Agreement, therefore avoiding the possibility of major disagreements over free trade deals, U.S. businesses may be subject to increased costs for European trading and operations due to lax climate policies in America. In 2019, some European countries threatened to levy carbon tariffs on goods from the U.S. and other countries whose climate policies missed European marks.160 Yet another consequence of the United States’ negligence on climate action is the positioning of China alongside the EU as a global climate policy leader. China set ambitious goals after the September 2020 EU-China summit: greenhouse gas emissions peaking in 2030 and climate neutrality by 2060.161 This is viewed by experts as Xi Jinping jockeying for stronger influence in global politics as the main EU climate partner. The rivalry between the U.S. and China can be leveraged by the EU to influence both countries’ climate policies. Several European leaders welcome the role of global leader in climate action and arbiter between the U.S. and China, namely France’s President Macron, who views Europe as the party responsible for keeping China within the Paris Agreement after Trump’s withdrawal.162 Climate is one policy arena that exemplifies the incredible challenges and opportunities the Biden administration faces in the wake of the Trump presidency. If thoughtful and strategic actions are taken to signal to the world that the United States is serious about preventing further environmental degradation before it is too late, the U.S. will undoubtedly regain favor with their European allies. However, the United States is no longer the only ally Europe may call upon to achieve their own climate ambitions.

Europe’s Extreme Parties While Europe’s leadership in the area of climate policy is strengthening, European leaders must also be wary of their own changing political landscape. Extreme parties within European borders and at both ends of the political spectrum pose concerning trends that may seek to destabilize EU integration through radical agendas that give priority to identity and

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election party politics or to national interests. Many far-right European parties benefited from President Trump’s leadership, and while he may no longer hold power, his influence lingers. THE RISE OF THE FAR-RIGHT

While much of Europe let out a collective sigh of relief at Trump’s loss, Europe’s farright found themselves without a powerful ally. Many of these movements have existed for years amid an ongoing migrant crisis and ever-increasing EU integration, but several parties have made significant political gains by capitalizing on anti-immigration sentiments and Euroscepticism.163 Immediately following the November 3 election, many far-right actors’ responses to the election were preoccupied with Trump’s claims of electoral fraud. Similarly aligned news outlets, including some Eastern European state-owned broadcasting companies, repeated the claims, many of them purporting evidence of the alleged fraud.164 Right-wing politicians in Slovenia and Estonia openly claimed the election was stolen.165 Most other parties, primarily in Western Europe, took a softer approach, speaking more of “irregularities” than outright fraud and declining to acknowledge Biden’s win as Trump took his allegations to court.166 Ultimately, most far right leaders welcomed Biden cordially. Viktor Orbán and Andrzej Duda sent congratulations to Biden while Matteo Salvini promised to work with whomever won the White House.167 As evidenced above, right-leaning media outlets were often more outspoken. Many painted Biden as part of a global, liberal elite, a charge frequently linked to dubious conspiracy theories.168 Meanwhile, the Hungarian media warned that Biden would impose America’s will in Europe through a form of “moral imperialism” and suggested he would interfere in their upcoming parliamentary elections.169 Private far-right Western European websites were also deeply critical of Biden; aside from policy disagreements, some accused him of corruption and others of weakness in resisting the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.170 Far-right leaders across Europe faced a reckoning after the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. Many Western European far-right leaders—Marine Le Pen, Santiago Abascal, and Salvini—condemned the violence and called for respect for democratic institutions. Orbán and Duda, meanwhile, refused to comment, calling the attacks a domestic matter.171 April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies Trump’s role in emboldening the European far-right has led some to believe his defeat will cause a rippling setback across Europe and the world. Trump’s loss might signify the farright movements’ lack of longevity, or cause other countries’ movements to lose credibility, but the crises motivating them had existed prior to Trump and will continue in his absence. Further uncertainty stems from the fact that Trump’s loss leaves a gap in the leadership of the global far-right. The “global far-right” leader is an ironic concept and an unofficial title, given far-right parties’ nationalist policies and desire for self-reliance. However, a new informal leader who guides conservative rhetoric and far-right ideologies may rise with the momentum built during the last 20 years.172 Many European right-wing parties, such as Spain’s Vox and the Rassemblement National in France, borrowed much of Trump’s anti-immigration, antiglobalization rhetoric. Now that Trump has been stripped of his presidential platform and his social media influence, the rising right-wing leaders of Europe may seek new role models.173 Given how closely Europeans monitored the U.S. election, there is fear that the European far-right could employ Trump’s electoral tactics; questioning election results, insinuating fraud, and encouraging supporters to doubt democratic institutions. Though unsuccessful legally and judicially, Trump’s strategies proved effective in compelling large portions of the Republican Party to espouse that widespread fraud had occurred, sowing doubt about the fairness of the American electoral system among voters.174 Consequently, this rhetoric could likely resurface in future midterm and presidential elections. Far-right parties in Europe could attempt the same, particularly if their nationwide popularity wanes, and the results of their elections are unfavorable. Given the extent to which the far-right was willing to embrace Trump and his rhetoric, there is reason to believe these tactics will be employed in European elections as well. THE REACTION OF THE FAR-LEFT

While many far-right political parties and policies have seen an increase in popularity in the years following Trump’s election, the far-left has stagnated. The last two EU28 parliamentary elections saw the far-left only deliver a 1% increase in vote share while the far-right and extreme right had a respective 2% and 1% increase.175 The far-left has not benefited from a University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election figurehead the same way right-wing parties have in the Trump era. In fact, many far-left leaders have rejected Biden as a leader who will bring about meaningful change, only perceiving his election positively as it indicates an end of the Trump administration. For example, the Spanish Communist party released a statement expressing happiness at the end of the Trump administration, but casting doubt that “the Biden presidency will mean profound changes in the foreign and domestic policy of the United States.”176 Fabien Roussel, the leader of the Parti communiste français, congratulated Biden’s win but emphasized the victory of the 27 Democratic Socialist candidates who were elected in the Congressional race.177 While many on the far-left may consider Biden as a positive alternative to Trump, he is still viewed as a member of the establishment center-left, and thus unlikely to enact policies they support. American influence on the European political landscape and the effectiveness of European policies on issues such as climate change is not inconsequential. The Trump Presidency and the 2020 U.S. election ushered in a new era of uncertainty for America’s European allies and as such, the resounding response from European nations was a call for greater self-reliance and a desire to untether themselves from the increasingly unreliable American influence.

A More Self-Reliant European Economy The primary area in which European leaders and economists recognize a need to push for greater autonomy is in the economic sphere. This desire for a more self-reliant European economy is not a recent phenomenon but one that has been the result of increased economic integration within the EU and the rising power of Europe’s single market. This desire has been exacerbated by drastic and unexpected events such as Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic, and President Trump’s trade wars. The emphasis on greater economic independence is, unsurprisingly, driven by Europe’s largest economies, France and Germany.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies OVERVIEW

The EU has long grappled with facilitating its evolution towards a more self-reliant economy, the coronavirus pandemic and pressure to exhibit post-Brexit strength have also amplified this necessity. The uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election and President Trump’s tariffs on EU member states have prompted renewed focus among European economists, many of whom believe that recent fluctuations in American politics indicate that the U.S. cannot be counted on as a reliable trading partner. The UK’s exit from the EU brought the strength of the union and the benefits of the European single market into question. Britain’s departure may diminish the EU’s leverage in negotiating trade deals due to losing business brought by the British economy, but this remains to be seen.178 Now more than ever, the EU needs to strengthen their consumers’ confidence in the stability and power of the European economy.179 On January 19, 2021, the European Commission issued a new set of policies aiming to push the European economy towards greater self-reliance.180 Undergirding this new strategy is the goal of reinforcing the EU’s economic and financial institutions. The Commission’s strategy is three-fold: first, promote a stronger international role for the euro by issuing high-quality eurodenominated bonds under NextGenerationEU, the EU’s economic recovery plan in response to coronavirus; second, develop the infrastructure of EU financial markets by identifying vulnerabilities and exploring ways to ensure an uninterrupted flow of financial services; and third, implement and enforce the union’s own sanctions to highlight the EU’s strength on the global economic stage.181 The euro-denominated bonds, along with other mechanisms, will increase the liquidity of the EU’s capital markets rendering them more attractive to foreign investors. When the strategy was announced, Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for the Economy said, “strengthening the international role of the euro can shield our economy and financial system from foreign exchange shocks, reduce reliance on other currencies and ensure lower transaction, hedging, and financing costs for EU firms.”182 The Commission’s latest strategy comes in the spirit of maintaining its historic identity as a champion of multilateralism while pursuing realistic and attainable goals. The actions of the

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Trump administration in the U.S. and the implications of Brexit suggest a new global economy of self-reliant players. The three pillars of the Commission’s proposal highlight the EU’s dedication to ensuring its own economic security amid rising economic protectionism. EU CONSIDERATIONS

In the eyes of many European leaders, by threatening to leave NATO, levying harsh tariffs on the EU, and implementing isolationist policies, Trump has set dangerous precedents which have “widened the Atlantic.”183 Many leaders are left questioning whether Biden will be able to repair the United States’ economic relationship with the EU. While many European countries expressed relief at the end of the Trump administration, there are reservations regarding what Biden’s administration will do to improve economic relations with the EU. Members of Biden’s foreign policy staff, such as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, have stated that the U.S. will work towards “ending the artificial trade war” with the EU, which shook the U.S. economy and raised prices on imported goods for consumers.184 However, while Biden may not explicitly share Trump’s “America First” protectionist ideology, his “Made in America” plan continues Trump’s legacy of domestic prioritization. Biden may be slow, or even fail to address issues such as the metal tariffs on Europe, the EU’s problematic digital tax on U.S. tech companies, and the longstanding BoeingAirbus disputes involving different environmental standards on carbon emissions. These are tangible concerns for Europeans who have observed Biden’s desire to go further than Trump in favoring domestic industries and firms.185 Majorie Chorlins, senior vice president of European Affairs in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned that Free Trade Agreement negotiations between the U.S. and EU are unlikely to occur soon.186 However, there is hope that Biden will seek to revitalize a transatlantic trade agreement. Biden has already voiced concerns over the trade negotiations between the EU and China. Many European leaders cautiously hope that President Biden will address transatlantic grievances, though the timeframe of such priorities remains unclear. Time will ultimately tell how EU-U.S. relations fare under the Biden administration relative to pre-Trump relations, but one thing is certain: cooperation and communication will improve. April 2021




A prime example of Europe’s initiative in pursuing economic independence is the EUChina Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). Disenchanted with Trump’s protectionist economic policies and tariffs, the EU sought to develop “strategic autonomy,” practicing engagement rather than confrontation with China.187 As Germany held the EU presidency in the latter half of 2020, Merkel was able to push the goal of improved investment strategies in the automotive industry which would benefit German companies, including Volkswagen and Daimler.188 The EU-China investment deal was struck at the end of 2020 and has yet to be ratified. Nonetheless, it preemptively denies Biden a chance to form a multilateral front against the economic giant, possibly driving a further wedge between the U.S. and Europe. However, many in the EU remain displeased with China’s questionable human rights record and wonder how much the EU should sacrifice its humanitarian values for an advantageous economic agreement. Accepting such a trade-off would demonstrate the EU’s confidence in working with China without the support of the U.S. The pandemic has forced several countries to pay closer attention to domestic spending and pre-existing economic ties, leading to an acceleration of the China-EU deal aimed at improving investments and mitigating fallout. The implications of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns will continue to have negative implications on the global economy, yet most European countries took advantage of low interest rates and EU budget rule suspensions to mitigate damage done to national economies. As the EU is typically averse to protectionism, the economic repercussions of the pandemic have spurred uncommon governmental financial support and the politicization of corporate decisions.189

A More Self-Reliant European Foreign Affairs and Security Agenda As the EU and individual European countries maneuver themselves towards greater economic independence, Europe is also looking to solidify its unique, yet powerful role in the international system. While the EU is known for its regulatory and normative powers, the effectiveness of its foreign and security policies is less clear. Bracing itself against rising University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election aggression to the east and continuing to navigate delicate relationships to the south east and in the Maghreb, the EU will need to focus on developing an independent and effective foreign affairs and security agenda. SECURITY

Europe faces several internal and external security threats, yet most European countries seek to fulfill their security agendas independently, outside of the EU’s purview. Russian aggression remains one of the most salient issues for greater European security and stability, as well as (related) cyber-attacks that directly and instantaneously target European institutions.190 Within the EU, there is new focus on corruption and cyber security, strategies that are central to Russia’s growing influence and potential to undermine reform in countries along its western border. Some leaders within the EU, particularly France’s President Macron, with tentative agreement from Germany and Luxembourg, have pushed for further international cooperation in the form of a European army that would defend against putative enemies such as China, Russia, and possibly even the U.S., as a response to Trump’s hostile stances towards NATO.191 Some members of the EU have articulated who important it would be, should a security crisis arise, that those involved demonstrate timely reactions and autonomy, ensuring an effective safety net should the U.S. be occupied by its own set of domestic issues.192 In turn, the U.S. may find it beneficial to have more independent allied security forces to advance its own interests in the region, and at less expense. This thinking is evident in the repeated calls by recent U.S. leadership, primarily Trump, for increased defense spending by NATO member states to reach to the required 2% GDP.193 In line with all these motivations, the EU has committed to an goal of increased security independence, which has only recently been doubted as gaps in funding caused by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic become more evident.194 Indeed, this security independence is necessary, as indirect methods of subverting EU authority by Russia and others make it difficult for the U.S. to get involved. The EU is already creating and expanding organizations to establish greater security within Europe, including PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation), the European Defense Fund, and the European Peace Facility.195 April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies However, these attempts at increasing security are, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations, “underfunded relative even to their original, fairly modest, ambitions.”196 Both Europe and the U.S. can and will benefit from mutual foreign policy and security goals. Biden’s inauguration ushers diplomacy to the forefront of American efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.197 According to NATO, the U.S. and other allies have engaged with Russia regarding its development in missile systems for years, but Russia shows “no willingness and took no steps to comply with its international obligations, leading to the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty” during Trump’s tenure.198 In the early stages of his presidency, Biden has demonstrated a willingness to negotiate with Russia, renewing the New START treaty, which limits possession of nuclear weapons in both countries.199 Despite Biden’s moves to recommit to a meaningful U.S. security presence in Europe, European leaders are cognizant of the fact that, even during the Obama administration, Americans hoped Europe would tackle their immediate security challenges themselves. European and American leaders alike will inevitably have to work together to tackle the most severe threats to European security, but Europeans are more aware than ever that they must defend themselves first before calling on American assistance. FOREIGN POLICY

Negotiating the EU’s relationship with the wider world continues to be conducted primarily at the national level; member states by and large manage their own independent relationships with other countries and organizations. A poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations reflected that “large numbers of EU citizens want an EU that has [the power to reclaim sovereignty from outside players] and that can control its external borders, promote more resilient supply chains, and act decisively on climate change.”200 According to researchers Mark Leonard and Jeremy Shapiro, “such autonomy should not be confused with retreat into isolationism or protectionism. Europe’s openness and the resulting interdependence are the very essence of the European integration project.”201 By enhancing member relations and coherence in University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election the foreign policy realm, the EU may become less dependent on non-EU partners, the U.S. being chief among them. President Biden has consistently reiterated his promise to prioritize multilateralism and work with the European Union. One of his top priorities is revitalizing European transatlantic relations that were eroded by President Trump. Western European nations, particularly Germany, suffered the most under Trump’s policies and are looking forward to an improvement with a lifelong transatlanticist now in office.202 As Vice President under Obama, Biden has already established strong, long-lasting relations with European leaders and plans to be more involved in international treaties and institutions by rejoining the Paris Agreement and reengaging with the World Health Organization (WHO).203 Furthermore, due to Biden’s strong commitment to promoting democratic values and norms, his foreign policy will likely be unforgiving in relations with undemocratic regimes and dictators; he hopes to work with Europe to reverse the recent autocratic gains made by China and Russia. The foundation of the EU-U.S. relationship is largely concerned and interconnected with trade policy and security.204 However, European countries recognize Biden will need to prioritize domestic affairs before he can turn to relations with Europe. Many European officials acknowledge, almost resignedly, that though Biden’s rhetoric may differ from Trump’s, he is still likely to continue some aspects of his predecessor’s “America first” campaign, giving priority to mending political divisions in the United States. Therefore, despite the leadership change, it may be some time before the U.S. is able to reestablish its former ties and relations with European countries. Those nations must now decide, whether individually or as a union, which matters they can consult and work with the U.S. upon and which they may more effectively address independently.

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies

Conclusion Based on a detailed analysis of their responses to the 2020 U.S. election, European nations now view the United States with greater skepticism. The lead-up to and the aftermath of the presidential election has led to a decrease in European confidence in American democracy. In particular, the Europe Union can be expected to assert its own identity and assume a more prominent leading role in global affairs, especially in the realm of climate change, regardless of the foreign policy goals pursued by the United States. While European countries will most likely welcome assistance from the United States, their leaders recognize that they must continue to work towards independent strategies and policies for tackling European problems and assume a greater autonomous leadership role, as the European community no longer views the U.S. as a reliable long-term ally. There is reason to be optimistic about the transatlantic relationship, however. President Biden has pledged to take a more active role in international affairs, and his recent move to rejoin the Paris Agreement signals his intention to follow through on his campaign rhetoric. His commitment to climate activism and his condemnation of authoritarianism signals a realignment of American and European views, which should lead to an at least partial warming of relations. Moving forward, the extent to which these policy priorities and approaches remain in-step, especially given the unpredictability of polarized politics in both the U.S. and Europe, must be closely monitored. In this way, Biden’s plea for unity and an economic rebound may have significant transatlantic implications in reversing some of the damage done by President Trump. While relations between the U.S. and Europe have suffered, the prospect of a more reliable international American presence may be enough to begin to repair the transatlantic relationship.

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election

Endnotes Though the focus of the individual reports was at each assistant’s discretion, nearly all researchers discussed the political, social, and economic ramifications of the U.S. election found in their research through a range of sources, including media outlets, publications, official statements, and interviews Riccardo Alcaro, “The Fraying Transatlantic Order and Europe’s Struggle in a Multipolar World,” in America’s Allies and the Decline of U.S. Hegemony, eds. Justin Massie and Jonathan Paquin (London: Routledge, 2020), 143-60. 2 Richard W. Mansbach and James M. McCormick, eds., Foreign Policy Issues for America: The Trump Years (New York: Routledge, 2019). 3 Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, “Trump Questions Need for NATO, Outlines Noninterventionist Foreign Policy,” Washington Post, March 21, 2016, 4 Ana Swanson, “Trump Administration Escalates Tensions With Europe as Crisis Looms,” New York Times, March 12, 2020, 5 Justin Massie and Johnathan Paquin, eds., America’s Allies and the Decline of U.S. Hegemony (New York: Routledge, 2020). 6 Thomas Wright, A Post-American Europe and the Future of U.S. Strategy (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, December 2017), 7 Stanley Hoffmann, “France, the United States, & Iraq,” The Nation, June 29, 2015, article/archive/france-united-states-iraq/. 8 Pew Research Center, America’s Image in the World: Findings from the Pew Global Attitudes Project (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, March 14, 2007), 9 Ibid. 10 Robert Kagan, “The World America Made-and Trump Wants to Unmake,” POLITICO Magazine, September 28, 2018, 11 Amanda Macias and Nate Rattner, “Here’s What Each NATO Country Contributes Financially to the World’s Strongest Military Alliance,” CNBC, December 4, 2019, 12 European Union Objectives can be found in full here:’s%20main%20objective,that%20these%20objectives%20are%20 achieved. 13 It is important to note that while the United States and the EU represent the two largest economies in the world according to nominal GDP, with China coming in third with $14.3 trillion, the United States and the EU become the second and third largest economies in the world, respectively, when accounting for purchasing power parity. See Kimberly Amadeo, “Largest Economies in the World,” The Balance, last modified December 10, 2020, https://www.; see also, Prableen Bajpai, “The 5 Largest Economies in the World and Their Growth in 2020,” Nasdaq (blog), January 22, 2020, 14 Gary D Espinas, “Ukraine’s Defense Engagement with the United States,” Journal of International Affairs 63, no. 2 (2010): 53-63. 15 “Read the Transcript of Trump’s Call with the Ukraine President,” ABC News, September 25, 2019, 16 Alyona Getmanchuk, “Whatever His Name. 6 Things Which Will Remain Unchanged for Ukraine after the U.S. Presidential Election,” New Europe Center (blog), November 4, 2020, 1

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies Joseph R. Biden, “Why America Must Lead Again,” Foreign Affairs, November 30, 2020, 18 Anna Myroniuk, “Biden will support Ukraine against Russia, but demand corruption Fight,” Kyiv Post, November 10, 2020, 19 U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Relations With Poland,” January 21, 2021, 20 Jamie Dettmer. “Why Biden Win Would Pose Problem for Central Europe’s Populist Leaders,” Voice of America, October 1, 2020, 21 Joanna Plucinska. “Poland Warns EU Countries against Rapprochement with Russia,” Reuters, August 8, 2019, 22 Michael Crowley, “Poland’s Right-Wing President Meets With Trump and Gets a Pre-Election Boost,” New York Times, June 24, 2020, 23 Aleks Szczerbiak, “Why Is Poland’s Law and Justice Party Still so Popular?”, European Politics and Policy-London School of Economics (blog), October 1, 2019, 24 Monika Scislowska, “Poland’s Top Court Rules out Abortions Due to Fetal Defects.” Associated Press, October 23, 2020, 25 Dominik Tolksdorf, “While Conflict with the EU Is Likely to Continue, Poland’s Government Banks on Close Relations with the White House,” Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (blog), May 12, 2020, while-conflict-eu-likely-continue-polands-government-banks-close-relations-white-house. 26 “Hungary’s Viktor Orban Says He Is Rooting for Trump Victory,” Associated Press, September 11, 2020, https:// 27 Gabriela Baczynska and John Chalmers. “Hungary’s Orban Convinced Trump Will Win U.S. Election, Has No Plan B,” Reuters, September 25, 2020, 28 Adam Payne, “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Endorses Trump and Denounces the ‘Moral Imperialism’ of the Democrats,” Business Insider, September 21, 2020, 29 “Hungarian Press Roundup: Prospects of U.S.-Hungarian Relations,” Hungary Today, November 12, 2020, https:// 30 “With Donald Trump out, EU Nationalists Are down a U.S. Ally,” Deutsche Welle, November 10, 2020, https:// 31 Bogdan Góralczyk, “Gambling with the Trump Card.” Visegrad Insight, November 19, 2020, 32 Economic performance data for Portugal can be found here: php#:~:text=Worldwide%20gross%20domestic%20product%20in,23.252%20US%20Dollar%20per%20capita.&text=Inflation%,20in%20Portugal%20was%20in,same%20was%20year%20at%201.63%25. 33 Lívi Franco, assistant professor and senior researcher at the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal and associate researcher at the pan-European think-tank, European Center for Foreign Relations (ECFR), interview conducted via zoom by Emilia Castelao, December 21, 2020. 34 Melissa Huan, “Perspectives on the U.S. Election: a View from Portugal.” Atlas Lisboa, November 2, 2020, 35 Julie Ray, “Biden Inherits a Battered U.S. Image Abroad,” Gallup, December 17, 2020, poll/327629/biden-inherits-battered-image-abroad.aspx. 36 André Azevedo Alves, reader, Economics, Political Economy, and Public Policy at St. Mary’s University Twickenham London, interview conducted via zoom by Emilia Castelao, December 21, 2020. 37 Richard Wike, et. al., “Detailed Tables: Confidence in U.S. Presidents, U.S. Favorability,” Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, October 1, 2018, 17

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Jon Henly, “Minority of Europeans Think U.S. Election Will Be Free and Fair–Poll,” Guardian, October 8, 2020, 39 Gustavo Palomares Lerma, “Cómo Afectan Las Elecciones De EEUU a Europa (y a España),” El Diario, October 28, 2020, 40 Enrique Stuyck, “¿Qué Ganamos Con Biden?” El Diario Vasco, November 11, 2020, https://www.diariovasco. com/opinion/ganamos-biden-20201111001916-ntvo.html. 41 Olatz Burriuso, “Por Qué Todos (Menos Vox) Quieren Que Gane Biden,” Hoy, November 6, 2020, https://www. 42 Rubén Rozas, “España Reacciona a Las Elecciones De Estados Unidos y La Amenaza De Trump De Recurrir Al Supremo,” El Plural, November 4, 2020, 43 Javier Ansorena, “Tambores De Violencia En Un País Partido En Dos,” ABC, November 3, 2020, es/internacional/elecciones-eeuu/abci-elecciones-eeuu-tambores-violencia-pais-partido-202010302319_noticia.html. 44 Paolo Magri, et. al., “Gli USA e Il Mondo: Il Futuro Dei Rapporti Con L’Italia.” ISPI, October 21, 2020, https:// 45 Giovanna De Maio, “Why the U.S.-Italy Relationship Matters.” Atlantic Council (blog), September 2020. https:// 46 Ibid. 47 John Henderson, “Think Trump will be a disaster? Just ask the Italians,” The Local It (blog), November 9, 2016, 48 Mark Donovan, “Berlusconi’s impact and legacy: political parties and the party system,” Modern Italy 20, No.1 (2015): 11-24. 49 “2020 U.S. Presidential Election (view from Europe),” YouGov, 2020, YouGov%20-%202020%20US%20presidential%20election%20view%20from%20Europe.pdf. 50 Jon Henley, Antonio Voce, and Seán Clarke, “Italian Elections 2018-Full Results.” Guardian, March 5, 2018, 51 Shaun Walker and Tom Phillips, “Rightwing Populists Place Their Bets on Four More Years of Trump,” Guardian, October 18, 2020, 52 Nicola Casarini, “Italy Oscillates on China,” Echowall, June 22, 2020, italy-oscillates-china. 53 Francesco Bechis, “Se Gli Italiani Preferiscono La Cina Agli Usa (e Alla Ue),” Formiche, April 21, 2020, https:// 54 Christopher White, “Pope Francis Congratulates Biden on Election Win,” National Catholic Reporter, November 12, 2020, 55 Steven R. Weisman, “U.S. and Vatican Restore Full Ties After 117 Years,” New York Times, January 11, 1984, 56 Paul Moses, “Vatican Diplomacy and the Iraq War,” Commonweal Magazine, January 13, 2020, https://www. 57 Teresa Welsh, “Pope Francis Brokers Renewed Relations Between U.S. and Cuba,” U.S. News & World Report, December 17, 2014, 58 Adam Peck, “Donald Trump Is Now in a Holy War with the Pope,” New Republic, February 18, 2016, 59 Tina Nguyen, “Pope Francis Calls Out Trump, Accuses Him of ‘Pro-Life’ Hypocrisy,” Vanity Fair, September 11, 2017, 60 Claire Giangravé, “With Biden Victory, Pope Francis May Find a Natural Ally in the Second Catholic President,” America Magazine, November 9, 2020, 61 Will Weissert and David Crary, “Pope Francis Congratulates Biden for Winning Presidential Election,” PBS Newshour, November 13, 2020, 38

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies Nina Berglund, “Norway Heaves a Huge Sigh of Relief,” News in English, November 9, 2020, 63 Claire Parker, “Why It Matters When Trump Affronts Denmark, a Stalwart U.S. Ally since 1783,” Seattle Times, August 21, 2019, 64 Merrick Tabor, professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, email interview conducted by Ryan Merrigan, December 16, 2020. 65 Helen Jones, “The Copenhagen Post - Danish News in English,” CPHPOST, November 6, 2020, https://cphpost. dk/?p=120106 66 Neils Bjerre-Poulsen, associate professor, Institute for American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, Email interview conducted by Ryan Merrigan, December 15 2020. 67 “What Are Norway’s Politicians Saying about the U.S. Election?,” Local, November 4, 2020. https://www.thelocal. no/20201104/what-are-norways-politicians-saying-about-the-us-election 68 Merrick Tabor, professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, email interview conducted by Ryan Merrigan. December 16, 2020. 69 U.S. Embassy in Ireland, “Policy & History,” September 15, 2017, 70 U.S. Department of State, “US. Relations With Ireland,” July 27, 2020, 71 “President Trump Meeting with Irish Prime Minister,” C-Span, March 12, 2020, 72 “Irish Communities Linked to Trump & Biden Show Colours before U.S. Vote,” Euronews, November 2, 2020, 73 Shauna Bowers, “Irish in U.S. Respond to Biden’s Election: ‘A Big Dark Cloud Is Being Removed from the Country,’” Irish Times, November 08, 2020, 74 U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Relations With the United Kingdom,” U.S., February 6, 2020, https://www.state. gov/u-s-relations-with-united-kingdom/. 75 Andrew Rawnsley, “A Joe Biden White House Will Have Little Time and Less Love for ‘Britain’s Trump.’” Guardian, October 25, 2020, 76 Richard Wike, Janell Fetterolf, and Mara Mordecai, “U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly,” Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, December 10, 2020, https://www. 77 Alan McGuinness, “Boris Johnson Congratulates Joe Biden and Talks Brexit in First Phone Call with President-elect,” Sky News, November 10, 2020, 78 Gabriela Galindo, “US President Donald Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19,” Brussels Times, October 2, 2020, 79 Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo), “Congratulations @JoeBiden with your election as 46th President of the United States,” Twitter post, November 7, 2020, 80 Jason Spinks, “Belgium’s Prime Minister Criticised after Congratulating Biden,” Brussels Times, November 8, 2020, 81 Catherine E. de Vries and Isabell Hoffmann, “Together Apart: Trumpism and its effects on European Public Opinion,” Eupinions, October 28, 2020, 82 Simon Desplanque, assistant professor, Economic, Social, and Political Sciences, Universite Catholique de Louvain, interview conducted by Grace Rozembajgier, December 16, 2020 83 “Biden and the World: What a U.S. Presidential Transition Means,” Council on Foreign Relations, November 12, 2020, 84 “Trump Victory Not Isolated Phenomenon: Belgian Far Right,” Reuters, November 9, 2016, http://www.reuters. com/article/us-usa-election-belgium-farright/trump-victory-not-isolated-phenomenon-belgian-far-right-idUSKBN13416C. 62

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Relations With the Netherlands - United States Department of State,” July 27, 2020,;, “NATO Summit: the Netherlands Still Behind the 2% Target, November 7, 2018, nieuws/2018/07/11/navo-top-nederland-nog-altijd-achter-halen-2-norm. 86 “Dutch PM, political leaders congratulate Joe Biden on winning US Presidential Election”, November 7, 2020, NL Times, 87 Victoria Seveno, “The Netherlands reacts to Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US election,” November, 9, 2020, I am Expat, 88 U.S. Department of State, “2020 Investment Climate Statements: Luxembourg,” accessed April 7, 2021, https:// 89 Information and Press Service of the Luxembourg Government, “Everything You Need to Know About the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg,” April 2010, EN_2010.pdf. 90 Aaron Grunwald, “Lux Experts Say Biden Victory Could Mean More Multilateralism, More Predictability,” Delano, November 8, 2020, 91 “Luxembourg MEPs Called upon to Vote ‘No’ on TTIP,” Bilaterals, June 16, 2015, 92 Kirsten Wegner, “A Financial Transactions Tax Would Be a Huge Blow to Little Guy,” RealClear Markets, August 21, 2020, blow_to_little_guy_574870.html. 93 Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria-Digital and Economic Affairs, “Austria’s Trade Relations with America,” accessed April 8, 2021, Austria’s-trade-relations-with-America.html. 94 “Umfrage: Österreicher Würden Joe Biden Wählen.” Die Presse, October 21, 2020, https://www.diepresse. com/5885683/umfrage-osterreicher-wurden-joe-biden-wahlen 95 “Politiker Aus Aller Welt Gratulieren Biden,” Der Standard, November 8, 2020, 96 Herbert Vytiska, “Will Austrian Presidential Election Be Hit by the ‘Trump Effect’?,”trans. Sam Morgan, Euractiv, November 14, 2016, 97 Alison Smale, “Austrian Far-Right Candidate Norbert Hofer Narrowly Loses Presidential Vote,” New York Times, May 23, 2016, 98 Heinz Gärtner, academic director, Austrian Institute for International Affairs, email interview conducted by Catharina Brunner-Lopez, December 11, 2020. 99 Arlain Barluet, “Donald Trump Gagne En Popularité Auprès Des Français.” Figaro, November 9, 2018, 100 Anne Bauer, “Critique De L’Otan : La Provocation Calculée De Macron,” Echos, December 03, 2019, https:// 101 “France’s Marine Le Pen: Donald Trump Win Shows Power Slipping From ‘Elites’ (Full Interview),” CNBC, November 21, 2016. 102 Namita Signh, “Macron Calls Biden Victory a Chance to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again,’” Independent, November 14, 2020,; Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo), “Welcome back America! Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris for their election! While we are about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, this victory symbolizes our need to act together more than ever, in view of climate emergency. #Election2020.” Twitter post, November 7, 2020,; Olivier Faure (@faureolivier), “Goodbye Donald. without any regrets. we want great america again.! #Biden #AmericaDecides2020 #Elections2020,” Twitter post, November 3, 2020, 09711361?lang=en. 103 “La Doctrine Macron: Une Conversation Avec le Président Français, Grand Continent, November 16, 2020, 85

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Nanovic Institute for European Studies John Grady, “French President Macron Calls For European ‘Strategic Autonomy,’” USNI News, February 8, 2021, 105 “Diversity: America vs. France,” Stanford University Press Blog, November 8, 2016, 106 William Collins Donahue, Rev. J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities; director, Initiative for Global Europe, Keough School of Global Affairs University of Notre Dame interview conducted via zoom by Joey Speicher, December 9, 2020. 107 Jacob Poushter and Mara Mordecai, “Americans and Germans Differ in Their Views of Each Other and the World,” Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, March 9, 2020, 108 European Commission, “Press Corner,” accessed January 31, 2021, detail/en/ip_20_2541. 109 Jack Ewing, Steven Lee Myers, and Ana Swanson, “China-E.U. Talks Hit Another Snag as Biden Camp Objects,” New York Times, December 23, 2020, 110 Emily Schultheis, “Europe’s Far Right Hasn’t Given Up on Trump Yet,” Slate Magazine, November 10, 2020, 111 Amanda Sloat, “Germany’s New Centrists? The Evolution, Political Prospects, and Foreign Policy of Germany’s Green Party,” (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, October 2020), uploads/2020/10/FP_20201020_germanys_new_centrists_sloat.pdf.pdf. 112 Reuters Staff. “Despite Trump-Erdogan Ties, Turkey Says It Will Work with Whoever Wins U.S. Vote.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, November 6, 2020, 113 Reuters Staff. “Turkey’s Erdogan Congratulates U.S. President-Elect Biden for Election Win.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, November 10, 2020, 114 “FACTBOX: Pros and Cons of Turkey’s EU Accession Bid.” Reuters, accessed April 8, 2021, https://cn.reuters. com/article/instant-article/idUSL0669052820061207. 115 Lucente, Adam. “Turkey Calls for ‘Common Sense’ amid Post-Election Unrest in U.S.” Al Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East, January 7, 2021, 116 Chris Brown. “Russian State TV Pundits Mock U.S. after Election Night Fallout | CBC News.” CBCnews, November 7, 2020, 117 Mathew Luxmoore. “‘Trump’s Done Nothing Good For Us’: As Americans Go To The Polls, Most Russians Shrug.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, October 31, 2020, 118 Brown. “Russian State TV Pundits Mock U.S.” 119 Matthew Bodner, “Putin Finally Recognizes That Biden Won Presidential Election.” NBCNews, December 15, 2020, 120 Isabelle Khurshudyan, “Russia Gloated over U.S. Election Disarray. Now, It Faces Biden’s Tougher Line,” The Washington Post, November 9, 2020, 121 Vuk Vuksanovic, “Belgrade’s Biden Conundrum: How U.S.-Serbian Relations Will Shape up Post Trump” Euronews, November 23, 2020, 122 “Ukraine and Serbia Reactions to Biden Victory,” Republic World, November 8, 2020, 123 U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Relations with Serbia - United States Department of State,” January 14, 2021, States%20wants%20Serbia,issues,%20and%20promoting%20economic%20growth. 124 Vuksanovic, “Belgrade’s Biden Conundrum.” 125 “Kosovo Conflict,” Encyclopædia Britannica online, accessed May 20, 2020, 126 Vuksanovic, “Belgrade’s Biden Conundrum.” 104

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election Shawn Walker, “Donald Trump Hopes for Election Boost from Kosovo-Serbia Talks,” Guardian, September 3, 2020, 128 Majda Ruge, “Biden in the Balkans,” Foreign Policy, November 18, 2020, biden-in-the-balkans/ 129 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, “U.S. Relations With Albania: Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet,” November 23, 2020, 130 Erica Lanzi, “Joe or Donald? The Weight of the US Vote on the Swiss Economy.” Corriere Del Ticino, November 4, 2020, sid=yCn6zz6o&refresh=true. 131 Jessica Davis Pluss, “Switzerland Anxiously Watches Tight US Election.” Swissinfo, November 7, 2020, www. 132 “Swiss Media on Biden Win: ‘A Signal Far beyond American Borders’.” Swissinfo, November 8, 2020, www. 133 Eric Posner, “America Passed the Trump Stress Test,” Project Syndicate, December 7, 2020, 134 Matthew Smith, “Europe Wants Joe Biden to Beat Donald Trump.” YouGov, October 8, 2020, https://yougov. 135 Ibid. 136 Peter, Martin, “Europeans Are Optimistic About Biden’s Presidency, Poll Finds,” Bloomberg, January 19, 2021, 137 Julian Borger, “International Observers Say U.S. Elections ‘Tarnished’ by Trump and Uncertainty,” Guardian, November 4, 2020, 138 Simon Shuster, “Populism: The Rise of This Political Trend in Europe,” Time, accessed April 9, 2021, https:// 139 Michael Dimock and Richard Wike, “America is exceptional in the nature of its political divide,” Pew Research Center, November 13, 2020, 140 Eric Posner, “US Democracy Has Passed Trump’s Trump’s Stress Test.” 141 Sam Levine, “Can Trump Actually Stage a Coup and Stay in Office for a Second Term?” Guardian, November 23, 2020, 142 Emma Anderson, “‘This Is Not America’: Europe Reacts as Trump Supporters Riot in U.S. Capital.” POLITICO, January 6, 2021, 143 Melissa Eddy, “Merkel and Johnson Blame Trump for Riot, but Europe Also Expresses Hope,” New York Times, January 7, 2021, html. 144 “How Europe’s Far Right Responded to pro-Trump Capitol Riots,” Al Jazeera, January 7, 2021, https://www. 145 “Senator McConnell on Attack on the U.S. Capitol.” CSPAN, January 19, 2021, 146 European Commission, “Citizen Support for Climate Action,” accessed April 9, 2021, citizens/support_en. 147 European Commission, “2050 Long Term Strategy,” accessed April 9, 2021, strategies/2050_en. 148 European Commission, “European Climate Pact,” accessed April 9, 2021, eu-climate-action/pact_en. 149 European Parliament, “MEPs Set Out Blueprint for a New Industrial Strategy,” November 25, 2020, https://www. 150 Ibid; Daniel Boffey, Kate Connolly, and Anushka Asthana, “EU to Bypass Trump Administration after Paris Climate Agreement Pullout,” Guardian, June 2, 2017,

April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies pean-leaders-vow-to-keep-fighting-global-warming-despite-us-withdrawal. 151 European Commission, “EU Climate Action and the European Green Deal,” accessed April 9, 2021, 152 Eric Bradner, Betsy Klein, and Christopher Hickey, “Biden Targets Trump’s Legacy with First-Day Executive Actions.” CNN, January 20, 2021, 153 The White House, “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” January 20, 2021. 154 Chatham House, “Impact of the U.S. Election on Global Climate Politics,” November 25, 2020, https://www. 155 Ibid. 156 Ursula von der Leyen, “The European Green Deal – Our New Growth Strategy.” European Commission, December 11, 2019, 157 European Commission, “The Just Transition Mechanism: Making Sure No One is Left Behind,” https://ec.europa. eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal/actions-being-taken-eu/just-transition-mechanism_en. 158 Thomas Haahr and Natalie Kate Kontoulis, “Parliament Supports European Green Deal and Pushes for Even Higher Ambitions,” News: European Parliament, January 15, 2020, 159 European Commission, “A European Green Deal: Striving to be the First Climate-neutral Continent,” https:// 160 Zack Colman, “Europe Threatens U.S. with carbon tariffs to combat climate change,” Politico, December 13, 2019, 161 Olivia Lazard, “Climate Change and Europe’s New Geopolitical Role,” Carnegie Europe, October 27, 2020, 162 “La Doctrine Macron: Une Conversation Avec le Président Français,” Grand Continent, November 16, 2020, 163 Richard Maher, “Europe’s Far-Right Parties Got a Boost from Trump, but Will They Govern?,” Conversation, February 19, 2017,; Gregor Aisch, Adam Pearce, and Bryant Rousseau, “How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?,” New York Times, October 23, 2017,; Thomas Greven, “The Rise of Right-wing Populism in Europe and the United States: A Comparative Perspective,” Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, May 2016. 164 Chine Labbe, “Election Misinformation Isn’t an American Phenomenon - It’s Spreading across Europe,” Euronews, December 8, 2020,; Joanna Kakissis, “Pro-Populist Media In Eastern Europe Promote Trump’s Baseless Voter Fraud Claims,” National Public Radio, December 4, 2020, https://www.npr. org/2020/12/04/941975495/pro-populist-media-in-eastern-europe-promote-trumps-baseless-voter-fraud-claims. 165 Yaroslav Trofimov and Drew Hinshaw, “Befriended by Trump, Populists in Europe’s East Brace for Change,” Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2020, 166 Amanda Morrow, “France’s Far Right Marine Le Pen ‘Absolutely Does Not’ Recognise Biden’s U.S. Win,” Radio France Internationale, November 11, 2020,; Paloma Cervilla, “Espinosa de Los Monteros (Vox): ‘No Está Claro Que Trump Haya Perdido Las Elecciones,’” ABC España, December 9, 2020, 167 Gergely Szakacs, “Hungary’s Orban Congratulates Biden as His ‘Plan A’ for Trump Win Flops,” U.S. News and World Report, November 8, 2020,; “Matteo Salvini ‘Waiting for Results’ of U.S. Election,” Il Globo, November 11, 2020, 168 Joanna Kakissis, “Pro-Populist Media In Eastern Europe Promote Trump’s Baseless Voter Fraud Claims,” National Public Radio, December 4, 2020, 169 Adam Payne, “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Endorses Trump and Denounces the ‘Moral Imperialism’

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Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election of the Democrats,” Business Insider, September 21, 2020,; Kakissis, “Pro-Populist Media In Eastern Europe Promote Trump’s Baseless Voter Fraud Claims.” 170 Miguel Ángel Belloso, “Por Qué Detesto a Biden,” Ok Diario, November 9, 2020, que-detesto-biden-6396297. 171 Steven Erlanger, “European Populists Who Looked to Trump Now Look Away,” New York Times, January 13, 2021, 172 Heather Ashby, “Far-Right Extremism Is a Global Problem.” Foreign Policy, January 15, 2021,

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg, “Misinformation Dropped Dramatically the Week After Twitter Banned Trump and Some Allies,” Washington Post, January 16, 2021, 173

Lawrence Hurley, “U.S. Supreme Court Dumps Last of Trump’s Election Appeals,” Reuters, March 8, 2021, 175 James F. Downes, Edward Chan, Venisa Wai, and Andrew Lam, “Understanding the ‘Rise’ of the Radical Left in Europe: It’s Not Just the Economy, Stupid.” Democratic Audit, July 12, 2018, https://www.democraticaudit. com/2018/07/12/understanding-the-rise-of-the-radical-left-in-europe-its-not-just-the-economy-stupid/. 176 Partido Comunista de España, “Ante el Asalto al Capitolio: Solidaridad con las Fuerzas que Combaten a la Extrema Derecha en EEUU,” January 7, 2021, 177 Fabien Roussel, (@Fabien_Rssl), “Avec la Victoire annoncée de @JoeBiden, il y a la Victoire de 28 des 37 du mvt DSA Socialiste Démocrate d’Amérique,” Twitter Post, November 7, 2020, Fabien_Rssl/status/1325119330535821312. 178 Kimberly Amadeo, “Brexit Consequences for the U.K., the EU, and the United States,” Balance, March 12, 2020, 179 Anne, Damiani, “A Stronger and Self-Reliant European Industry Through New Inputs, Innovation,” Euractiv, July 13, 2020, 180 European Commission, “Commission Takes Further Steps to Foster the Openness, Strength and Resilience of Europe’s Economic and Financial System,” 181 Ibid. 182 Ibid. 183 David Whineray, “Trump Has Irrevocably Changed American Relations With Europe-and Biden Probably Can’t Fix It,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 6, 2020, trump-has-irrevocably-changed-american-relations-with-europe-and-biden-probably-can-t-fix-it-pub-81739. 184 Kenneth Rapoza, “Antony Blinken: End Europe Trade War, Sanction China Over Hong Kong,” Coalition for a Prosperous America, November 23, 2020, war_sanction_china_over_hong_kong 185 “The Folly of Buying Local: Buy American Is an Economic-Policy Mistake,” Economist, January 30, 2021, 186 Evan Fallor, “US-EU Trade Deal Seen Remote Even If Biden Occupies White House in 2021,” S&P Global Market Intelligence, October 19, 2020, 187 Steven Erlanger, “Will the Sudden E.U.-China Deal Damage Relations With Biden?” New York Times, January 6, 2021, 188 Hans Von Der Burchard, “Merkel Pushes EU-China investment deal over the finish-line despite criticism,” Politico, December 29, 2020, 189 “Europe should ‘go big’ on fiscal policy too,” Financial Times, February 22, 2021, 190 Laurens Cerulus, “France identifies Russia-linked hackers in large cyberattack,” Politico, February 15, 2021, 191 Ahn Thu Ngyuen, “Macron’s Call for a European Army: Still Echoing or Forgotten?” European Law Blog, June 22, 2020, 174

April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies Mar Leonard and Jeremy Shapiro, “Sovereign Europe, Dangerous World: Five Agendas to Protect Europe’s Capacity to Act,” European Council on Foreign Relations, December 1, 2020, 193 Christina Wilkie, “Trump is Pushing NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense. But So Did Obama and Bush,” CNBC, July 11, 2018, 194 Steven Erlanger, “European Defense and ‘Strategic Autonomy’ Are Also Coronavirus Victims,” New York Times, May 23, 2020, 195 Leonard and Shapiro, “Sovereign Europe, Dangerous World.” 196 Ibid. 197 Ulrich Speck, “The Consequences of a Trump or Biden Win for European Security,” German Marshall Fund of the United States, October 9, 2020, 198 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, “Top Five Russian Myths Debunked,” July 2018, static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2018_07/20180702_1807-russia-top5-myths-en.pdf. 199 “The World is Facing an Upsurge of Nuclear Proliferation,” Economist, January 30, 2021, https://www.economist. com/leaders/2021/01/30/the-world-is-facing-an-upsurge-of-nuclear-proliferation. 200 Leonard and Shapiro, “Sovereign Europe, Dangerous World.” 201 Ibid. 202 Matthew Karnitschnig, “What Biden means for Europe” Politico, November 8, 2020, article/what-joe-biden-means-for-europe/.in 203 Robin Wright, “The Seven Pillars of Biden’s Foreign Policy,” New Yorker, November 11, 2020, https://www. 204 Speck, “The Consequences of a Trump or Biden Win for European Security.” 192

University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election

Contributors Authors Enzo Ambrose

Ryan Merrigan

Catharina Brunner-Lopez

Sophia Michetti

Emilia Castelao

Nora Murphy

Emma Dudrick

Maggie O’Brien

Will Forsen

Bridget Paulmann

Katherine Huffert

Grace Rozembajgier

Genevieve Klien

Meilin Scanish

Madison Kranz

Gavin Shust

Victoria Kuprewicz

Joseph Speicher

Grace Ma

Interviewees André Azevedo Alves, reader in economics political economy and public policy at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London Heinz Gärtner, academic director, Austrian Institute for International Affairs Lívia Franco, professor and senior researcher at the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal (IEP-UCP) and associate researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations  Merrick Tabor, professor of political science, Stockholm University Niels Bjerre-Poulsen, associate professor, Institute for American Studies, University of Southern Denmark  William Collins Donahue, Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities; director, Initiative for Global Europe, Keough School of Global Affairs

April 2021



Nanovic Institute for European Studies

Advising Team Anna Dolezal, student programs assistant manager, Nanovic Institute for European Studies Clemens Sedmak, interim director, Nanovic Institute for European Studies and professor of social ethics Maggie Shum, research and program associate, Global Policy Initiative

Editorial Support Katherine Bennett, writing skills coordinator, Masters in Global Affairs, Keough School of Global Affairs Jennifer Lechtanski, graphic designer, Nanovic Institute for European Studies Gráinne McEvoy, communications specialist, Nanovic Institute for European Studies Grant Osborn, assistant director, Nanovic Institute for European Studies

University of Notre Dame | Keough School of Global Affairs

Profile for Nanovic Institute for European Studies

Europe Responds to the 2020 U.S. Elections  

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