Verhofstadt admits ‘EU needs real reboot’ as he welcomes Biden – ‘Can’t solve our problem’

Joe Biden ‘won’t solve Europe’s problems alone’ says Verhofstadt

In a video he posted on his social media platform, the Belgian MEP said Donald Trump’s “damage” cannot be undone by one ceremony, as he welcomed US President-elect Joe Biden to his post. Despite admitting Biden’s election can be a “new start” for Europe, Mr Verhofstadt said the new president cannot solve Europe’s problems. He said: “Biden won’t solve Europe’s problems alone.

“Only Europeans can do that. And the most pro-European presidents have always been very challenging for Europe. We need to be as good as our word and very often we aren’t.

“Our challenges are similar: mistrust in politics, misrule by populists, a decline in the rule of law and democracy, weakness toward threats, and therefore a general feeling of fear.

“So we need to get our act together.”

“Today it’s a big day, a day we all have been waiting for, but in fact, it’s a scary day as well, because never, but never, has a transition from one US President to an elected new US President been so uncertain, so shocking,” he said.

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“The damage that Trump has done will not be undone just with one ceremony.

“But it’s true, it’s a new start. A new start the world has been waiting for.

“I think Biden is a big opportunity because he will ask himself, what are the reasons people voted for Trump? Why do they believe him after all his lies?

“How do we reinvent democracy in a big country divided against itself?

“I think that the European Union needs to make sure it is a little bit part of the answer.

Joe Biden: EU and the US ‘have differences’ says Charles Michel

“We need to tackle big tech together so they are accountable for spreading fake news and paranoia.

“We need to reinforce the economic transformation so jobs are safer, trade is fairer, climate action more feasible.

“And we need to act as one bloc to deal with geopolitical tensions like with China and with Russia.

“And finally, we need to prove that transatlantic cooperation and multilateralism are a way forward that can make things happen.”

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Speaking in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel called on Joe Biden to form a “new founding pact” with Europe working on issues such as peace, security, prosperity, freedom and human rights.

“Today is more than a transition. Today is an opportunity to rejuvenate our transatlantic relationship, which has greatly suffered in the last four years. In these years, the world has grown more complex, less stable and less predictable,” he said.

“On the first day of his mandate, I address a solemn proposal to the new president. Let’s build a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America and for a better world.”

Mr Michel said the two should work on five priorities – boosting multilateral cooperation, combating COVID-19, tackling climate change, economic recovery with a digital transformation and joining forces on security and peace.

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