Brussels (Brussels Morning) European Commission High Representative Josep Borrell and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Brussels on Thursday, a confirmation of their commitment to a strong partnership between the US and the EU.
In a joint statement, the two top diplomats highlighted two important decisions they had arrived at – to launch an EU-US dialogue on China, and to support the fullest possible involvement of the US in EU defence initiatives.
On China, Borrell and Blinken agreed to continue consultations at senior official and expert levels on a range of topics, including reciprocity, economic issues, resilience, human rights, security, multilateralism, as well as areas for constructive engagement with China. “We share an assessment of China’s role as a partner, as a competitor and a systemic rival,” Borrell said.
Sustaining like-minded partnerships
The two also emphasised that “credible multi-party democracy, the protection of human rights and adherence to international law support the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific”. Washington and Brussels, they noted, “both aim to cooperate to promote secure, sustainable, free and open maritime supply routes and supply chains and look forward to deepening cooperation with like-minded partners”.
Looking to Russia, Borrell and Blinken agreed to coordinate efforts in “addressing Russia’s confrontational behaviour”, while keeping the door open to engage with Moscow on issues of common interest.
Addressing global issues
Summing up the meeting, Borrell noted that the US and EU have agreed on a “solid and comprehensive agenda” for the months and years ahead. Some of the areas where the two economic powers aim to work together include combating the global pandemic, securing economic recovery, and addressing the global climate crisis.
Washington and Brussels also committed to step up their joint work in multilateral fora, such as the World Health Organisation and the COVAX initiative, as they pledged to jointly address global challenges facing the world.