The visit besides the president of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, allowed Washington to score points in order to rally Europeans to her antichinese cause.
by Virginie Malingre (Brussels, European Bureau)
Would Europe be in the process of storing behind the United States in the conflict between them to China? She seems, in any case, more and more sensitive to American sirens, as evidenced by the meeting at the White House, Friday, March 10, between Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, and Joe Biden, her American counterpart .
By making this trip, Ursula von der Leyen hoped to obtain developments in the American Reduction Act (IRA) inflation, which provides 369 billion dollars (around 343 billion euros) of subsidies to American green industry and makes Europeans fear a wave of relocations across the Atlantic. From this point of view, his approach was not a great success. On the other hand, it allowed Washington to score a few points in its fight to rally Europeans to its antichinese cause.
At the end of their meeting, Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen undertook to “start negotiations on strategic raw materials”. Brussels wishes that, when they are extracted or transformed into Europe, they are assimilated to the geographic criteria which allow, for example, to an electric car sold across the Atlantic to benefit from the tax credits provided for by the IRA.
For the rest, the press release from Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen announces “reinforced cooperation between United States and EU to avoid the flight of sensitive technologies (…) to destinations that operate civil and military merger strategies “. Understand China. It evokes “export controls” and “investment” in order to adapt “to a new geostrategic environment”.
restrictive commercial measures
From sweet words to the ears of the United States, which, for years, want, in the name of security, to convince Europe to take restrictive commercial measures against Beijing. “In this passage, Biden and Von der Leyen speak of geopolitical strategy”, analyzes a senior European official for whom the former Minister of Angela Merkel has exceeded his mandate by not consulting the twenty-seven beforehand. The legal services of the Council, moreover, study the press release in question to see if it requires being submitted to them.
European ambassadors to the EU, for their part, will debate, Wednesday, March 15, the results of the visit of Ursula von der Leyen in Washington. “In normal times, the commission would have come to speak to us before this trip. But as it knows that Charles Michel [Council] is represented in these meetings, it does not … what is happening is also the result of the Guéguerere Let these two indulge, “regrets one of them.
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