Donald Trump 'spoke more to North Korea than to Europeans' says EU Council chief

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Anna Pujol-Mazzini
·2 min read
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Charles Michel said that the swearing in of Joe Biden could mean a return to a "respectful" dialogue between Europe and the US - Olivier Hoslet /Pool EPA 
Charles Michel said that the swearing in of Joe Biden could mean a return to a "respectful" dialogue between Europe and the US - Olivier Hoslet /Pool EPA

The European Council president Charles Michel said yesterday (SUN) that the swearing in of Joe Biden could mean a return to a "respectful" dialogue after four years of the Trump presidency that "damaged the relationship between Europe and the United States."

"I say this, and it is not a joke, the previous president spoke more with North Korea than worth the Europeans" Mr Michel told French radio Europe 1.

He added the inauguration of Joe Biden, a Democrat who defeated Mr Trump in a landslide in November, would mark the start of a "more normal, more respectful dialogue, on important subjects such as the climate."

One of Mr Biden's first executive orders as he came into office included rejoining the global Paris Climate Accords to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which his predecessor had withdrawn from in 2017.

EU officials have said they planned to strengthen transatlantic relations on global issues including climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and international trade.

But the weakening of the alliance, fuelled by policies introduced by Mr Trump such as higher tariffs placed on European products from planes to steel to whisky and cheese, is unlikely to disappear with the former president.

Trump threatened to pull the US out of NATO as he believed Europe's members did not spend enough to support the alliance: "We don't want to be suckers anymore."

"I know perfectly well that the impact of Donald Trump has not disappeared... subjects like trade, in particular the relationship with China, are subjects for which we will not spontaneously have matching positions," Mr Michel said on Sunday.

"But there will be at least a space for dialogue."

Mr Biden is expected to head to Brussels for an 'extraordinary summit' with EU leaders this year and for a meeting of the NATO defence alliance in the spring.