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Wednesday, 20 January 2021 - Brussels Revised edition

4. Inauguration of the new President of the United States and the current political situation (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio europeo e della Commissione sull'insediamento del nuovo Presidente degli Stati Uniti e sulla situazione politica attuale (2021/2502(RSP)).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per tutte le discussioni di questa tornata non è prevista la procedura "catch-the-eye", né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".

Sono inoltre previsti interventi a distanza dagli Uffici di collegamento del Parlamento negli Stati membri.

 
  
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  Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen. – Monsieur le Président du Parlement européen, Madame la Présidente de la Commission, Monsieur le Haut-représentant, chers membres du Parlement européen,

In front of the White House in the four corners of Lafayette Square stand statues of European heroes of the US Revolutionary War: French Generals Lafayette and Rochambeau, Polish General Kościuszko, and German General von Steuben. They and many other Europeans spared no effort and spilled their blood to help build freedom and democracy in America, and hundreds of thousands of Americans spilled their blood twice last century to protect freedom and democracy in Europe. Ever since, the United States has been our closest ally in defending democracy and rule of law. American democracy has stood strong and often served as an example for advocates of freedom around the world, and this is why the events at the US Capitol shocked us so much.

But the darkness of violence will never dim the light of democracy. Law, order and democracy have prevailed over this disgraceful attempt to overturn the election. American democracy has proven its strength and resilience, and today Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States. This will be, I hope, a day of peaceful transition and a great day for American democracy, like it has been for over two centuries.

Dear Members of the Parliament, 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. This requires, more than ever before, that we Europeans take our fate firmly into our own hands to defend our interests and promote our values. A Europe that plays a stabilising and constructive role on the global scene in line with our true weight in the world; a stronger Europe to contribute to a better, fairer and greener world; a stronger Europe in defence and in preserving peace and security. And to do this, we need strong and reliable partners, and this is why the European Council reaffirms the strategic importance of our partnership with the United States as the world’s foremost and closest relationship. We share values, common interests, cultural and historical ties, and a geopolitical reality. Together we must stand as the bedrock of the rules-based international order working for peace, security, prosperity, freedom, human rights and gender equality – values harshly challenged in the world.

Dear Members of the Parliament, on the first day of his mandate, I address a solemn proposal to the new US President: let’s build a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America, and for a better world.

Je voudrais adresser de manière solennelle aujourd’hui, en ce jour d’entrée en fonction de Joe Biden, un appel à construire ensemble un pacte fondateur nouveau pour une Europe plus forte, pour des États-Unis plus forts et pour un monde meilleur.

Dear colleagues, we should work on five priorities: first, boosting multilateral cooperation; second, combating COVID-19; third, tackling climate change; fourth, rebuilding our economies, ensuring fair trade and promoting the digital transformation; and fifth, joining forces on security and peace. This won’t be easy, but together we are up to the challenge.

The EU and US, we have our differences, and these will not magically disappear. America seems to have changed, and how it is perceived in Europe and the rest of the world has also changed. Likewise, the way the United States views the European Union may also have to change. The EU chooses its course and does not wait for permission to take its own decisions. Still, what unites us is so much greater than what divides us, and the events of 6 January have revealed that we share one particular challenge in common: protecting democracy and the rule of law. 6 January was a lesson to us all – a wake-up call – that even in our well—established democracies we too often take democracy and the rule of law for granted. Protecting democracy requires constant vigilance and constant work to foster cohesion in our societies. This is true in America, and it is true right here in Europe.

Mesdames et Messieurs, chers collègues, ce nouvel agenda pour l’Europe et pour les États-Unis que nous souhaitons mettre sur la table est un agenda ambitieux et c’est pourquoi, en ce premier jour de son mandat, je souhaite inviter le président Biden en Europe pour participer à une réunion extraordinaire du Conseil européen à Bruxelles, réunion qui pourrait se tenir en parallèle à un sommet de l’OTAN. Vous le voyez, nous sommes prêts, nous voulons être rassemblés, nous voulons être mobilisés pour travailler ensemble avec les États-Unis, pour construire un pacte nouveau fondateur pour une Europe forte, pour des États-Unis forts et pour un monde meilleur.

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, in all beginnings there dwells a magic force.

Jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne.

I cannot help but think of this famous line of the poet, Hermann Hesse, when looking forward to the inauguration of Joe Biden in a few hours from now.

Joe Biden’s oath will be a message of healing for a deeply divided nation, and it will be a message of hope for a world that is waiting for the US to be back in the circle of like—minded states. This time-honoured ceremony, on the steps of the US Capitol, will be a demonstration of the resilience of American democracy and the resounding proof that, once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House, and he will be standing next to Kamala Harris, the first woman to be Vice-President of the United States. This is a historic achievement and this also makes this day very special.

This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been waiting for so long. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner, and this is why the Commission has recently adopted a new forward—looking transatlantic agenda. It focuses on where we can, together, join forces to push for global change, based on our common values, interests and global influence. From climate change to health, from digitalisation to democracy, these are global challenges that need renewed and improved global cooperation. The European Union and the United States must lead from the front and bring an alliance of like—minded partners with us.

There is of course no greater need for global cooperation in the short term than in tackling the pandemic, which has been so devastating on both sides of the Atlantic. As you know, the European Union has been leading the global response since day one, and it was so encouraging that so many US organisations and foundations have helped build and design the COVAX Facility, our global alliance to bring vaccine to the low and middle-income countries. Now I am looking forward to the US Government joining our common effort. This will be a strong message. Beyond this, we will propose to the United States to step up our work on health prevention, preparedness and response at the G20 Health Summit in Rome in May.

I’m delighted that, on day one as they, the new American administration, announced, the United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement. This will be a very strong starting point for our renewed cooperation, and of course way more is to come.

We want to deepen our partnership on emission trading and carbon pricing, we want to join forces with the United States to fight the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of nature. We want to develop the technologies that will drive us to climate neutrality.

It is with this new green tech alliance that we will look forward at everything from offshore to climate change, from hydrogen that is clean to sustainable batteries and to circular economies that we have to build up to fight this climate change. We will be ready to engage from day one on.

Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Die Erleichterung, die viele von uns über den Amtswechsel in Washington spüren, sollte über eines nicht hinwegtäuschen: Präsident Trump mag in wenigen Stunden Geschichte sein, seine Anhängerinnen und Anhänger aber bleiben.

Über 70 Millionen Amerikanerinnen und Amerikaner haben Trump bei den Wahlen ihre Stimme gegeben. Einige Hundert von ihnen stürmten erst vor wenigen Tagen das Kapitol in Washington, das Herz der amerikanischen Demokratie. Diese Fernsehbilder waren ein Schock für uns alle. So sieht es aus, wenn aus Worten Taten werden. So sieht es aus, wenn die rasante digitale Verbreitung der Hassbotschaften und Fake News zu einer Gefahr für die Demokratie werden.

Wir sollten diese Bilder aus den USA als Mahnung begreifen, trotz allen Urvertrauens in unsere europäische Demokratie. Wir als Europäer, sind vor solchen Entwicklungen nicht gefeit. Im Gegenteil. Auch bei uns gibt es sie längst. Im vergangenen August wollten einige hundert Rechtsextreme den Berliner Reichstag stürmen. Nur dem Mut und der Umsicht einer Handvoll von Polizisten war es zu verdanken, dass sie damit keinen Erfolg hatten.

Und wir erinnern uns an Jo Cox. Die britische Labour-Abgeordnete wurde im Juni 2016, in diesen hitzigen Tagen vor dem Brexit-Referendum, von einem rechtsextremen Täter ermordet – eine Tat die noch heute fassungslos macht.

Natürlich gibt es Unterschiede zum Sturm auf das Kapitol. Aber es gibt auch bei uns Menschen, die sich benachteiligt fühlen, die wütend sind, Menschen, die wild grassierenden Verschwörungstheorien anhängen, einer oft wirren Melange völlig abstruser Hirngespinste. Und es gibt natürlich auch bei uns die sozialen Medien, die diesen Hass und diese Verachtung unserer Demokratie ungefiltert millionenfach verbreiteten.

Meine Damen und Herren Abgeordnete, natürlich müssen wir auf die Sorgen und Nöte jedes einzelnen unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger eingehen. Ihre Ängste etwa – völlig berechtigt –, in der Pandemie wirtschaftlich abgehängt zu werden. Wir werden dies tun, etwa mit dem milliardenschweren Investitions- und Wiederaufbauprogramm NextGenerationEU. Am Ende aber werden wir womöglich nicht jeden und jede davon überzeugen können, dass in unseren Demokratien keine finsteren Mächte am Werk sind.

Eines können und eines müssen wir als Politikerinnen und Politiker aber tun: Wir müssen dafür sorgen, dass sich diese Hassbotschaften und Falschinformationen nicht mehr ungehemmt verbreiten können. Wir müssen die ungebremste und unkontrollierte Macht – das ist eine politische Macht – der großen Internetkonzerne demokratisch einhegen. Denn in einer Welt, in der polarisierende Meinungen die größte Chance auf Gehör haben, ist der Weg von abseitigen Verschwörungstheorien zu toten Polizisten nicht mehr weit. Auch das hat der Sturm auf das Kapitol leider gezeigt.

Lassen Sie mich zunächst eines klarstellen, damit kein falscher Zungenschlag in unsere Debatte kommt: Wir in Europa schätzen Innovationen. Wir begeistern uns für die Möglichkeiten modernster Technik. Wir sind offen für Neues, denn ohne das Neue, ohne die Innovation, ohne die Fortschritte der Technik, gibt es kein Morgen, werden wir das, was uns wichtig ist, nicht behalten können. Aber niemals dürfen neue Technologien dazu führen, dass andere bestimmen, wie wir leben und genau darum geht es hier.

Wie Sie wissen, hat die Kommission im Dezember den Digital Services Act und den Digital Markets Act auf den Weg gebracht. Grob vereinfacht, wollen wir damit erreichen, dass künftig online verboten ist, was auch in der analogen Welt verboten ist. Wir wollen, dass die Plattformen Transparenz schaffen, wie ihre Algorithmen funktionieren. Denn es kann nicht sein, dass Entscheidungen, die weitreichende Auswirkungen auf unsere Demokratie haben, von Rechenprogrammen getroffen werden, die kein Mensch kontrolliert. Und wir wollen klare Vorgaben, dass die Internetkonzerne Verantwortung übernehmen für die Inhalte die sie verbreiten. Denn auch das ist mir wichtig. So richtig es gewesen sein mag, dass Twitter den Account von Donald Trump fünf Minuten nach zwölf abgeschaltet hat – solch gravierende Eingriffe in die Meinungsfreiheit sollten auf der Basis von Gesetzen gemacht werden und nicht nach den Spielregeln von Unternehmen, auf Grundlage der Entscheidung von Parlamenten, Politikerinnen und Politikern und nicht der Manager vom Silicon Valley.

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Gerade auf dem Gebiet des Digitalen haben wir in Europa der neuen Regierung in Washington viel anzubieten. Unser europäischer Weg kann Vorbild für internationale Weichenstellungen sein – so, wie es unsere Datenschutz-Grundverordnung längst ist. Ich kann mir als ersten Schritt beispielsweise einen gemeinsamen Trade and Technology Council vorstellen. Gemeinsam können wir ein weltweit gültiges Regelbuch für die Digitalwirtschaft schaffen – von Datenschutz und Privatsphäre bis hin zur Sicherheit kritischer Infrastruktur. Ein Regelwerk, das auf unseren Werten basiert: Menschenrechte und Pluralismus, Inklusion und dem Schutz der Privatsphäre.

Honourable Members, this day brings good news. The United States are back, and Europe stands ready to reconnect with an old and trusted partner to breathe new life into our cherished alliance.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, yes, today is a day of great expectations: of a better future, of hope, of a new chapter in the transatlantic relationships, when the inauguration of Joe Biden as President and Vice—President Harris will take place. Four years of splitting societies, of fake news, even of the escalation of violence against the institutions who represent our democracy, are now behind us.

The first message, while still having the pictures of the Congress and the Senate in America in mind; the unbelievable pictures from the office of Nancy Pelosi or the plenary of the Senate. The main message for me, is first of all, that as a Member of a Parliament, the European Parliament, as elected Members of a Parliament, we are close to our colleagues in Washington. We are together defending the institutions, the Parliament, as a heart of democracy – we will always fight for it.

I think it would be arrogant in these times to try to give our American friends any kind of lesson. We are facing similar – even the same – challenges. The first was already expressed by our Commission President: social media, the digital world.

I think the new way of communication has made these things possible. It is a fact that compromise is boring in a social media feed and an extreme position of provocation is attractive, it is re-tweeted. That is a reality, and this has a lot of impact in our daily life, as politicians in our political life. The big tech giants need clear rules, and the business of the big tech giants must be to serve societies and not destroy our European way of life.

A second consideration for me is that more than 70 million people still voted for Donald Trump. Around half of American society. That is the real challenge: how to win them back to serious centre—based politics. I think it would be wrong to attack them as populistic voters. I think we have to take their concerns seriously.

To ask for a strict control of the border is not radical, to ask for regulation of the globalisation, with regard to China, is not radical and to defend American jobs is also not radical. We have to take their concerns seriously.

The third point I want to mention is – yes – we will have a restart of the transatlantic relationship with Joe Biden in office, and President Michel if you will allow, I think it would be great to have Joe Biden in a Council meeting; but the better option for having Joe Biden in Europe to present his ideas for the future of the transatlantic relationship would be to have him make a speech in the European Parliament, probably in Strasbourg, because he’s aware of Europe’s history. That could be a really great place to restart.

But, this restart also means for us as Europeans to be prepared, and there I have some thoughts, for example, on security, about NATO cooperation. Are we really ready to build up our European defence pillar; are we really ready to give in and to invest more?

On trade, I still have the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) discussions in mind. We have to learn from the mistakes we made about transparency, for example, on the TTIP debate eight years ago. In the TTIP debate, there were a lot of anti—European arguments on the table as well. Are we really prepared for a restart? That is what we have to reflect upon.

The last point I want to mention is, having the developments in America in mind, we together have to define a clear red line as to what extremism is all about and to fight against violence in politics. We did it in the European Parliament last year with the rule of law mechanism to establish a binding mechanism where we defend the values of the European way of life and defend our institutions.

The European Union is about being united in diversity, that is our main message and the same message could also be for our American transatlantic relationship: ‘united in diversity’. Let’s defend our common values and our institutions.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, la democracia de los Estados Unidos vivió el pasado 6 de enero uno de los capítulos más oscuros de su historia. El asalto al Capitolio es el espantoso resultado de una retórica nacional populista para socavar los cimientos de la convivencia civil y pacífica en el seno de la sociedad estadounidense. Todas las democracias son vulnerables, incluso las que creíamos más sólidas. La democracia estadounidense es fuerte y superará esta crisis. El presidente Biden y la vicepresidenta Harris deberán contribuir a crear un clima de concordia que cure las heridas de la división y la polarización.

El rechazo al extranjero, el racismo, la aversión a las mujeres, el antisemitismo, la negación del cambio climático o el activismo antivacunas representan los delirios de una extrema derecha cada vez más presente en las democracias occidentales. Junto a esta ideología iliberal, que propugna el miedo al diferente, no olvidemos que el crecimiento de las desigualdades, la evasión fiscal, la desindustrialización y el elevado desempleo han contribuido también, por supuesto, a que millones de personas en los Estados Unidos y en la Unión Europea hayan perdido la fe en la democracia.

Es hora de entender que ignorar la lacra de la desigualdad representa no solo una inaceptable injusticia desde el punto de vista moral sino también el origen de los peores cataclismos políticos del último lustro, desde el Brexit al trumpismo. Vemos populismos a su vez alimentados por una ideología nativista que rechaza sociedades de seres humanos iguales en derechos. Las horribles escenas del Capitolio también demuestran que tenemos que luchar más eficazmente contra la desinformación y garantizar el derecho de los ciudadanos a recibir información veraz.

La ley de servicios digitales propuesta por la Comisión debe servirnos para regular la retirada de contenidos ilegales de las plataformas en línea con pleno respeto a la libertad de expresión.

Otro reto compartido con la Administración Biden y Harris es la reconstrucción de un sistema multilateral que garantice el respeto de las normas e instituciones democráticas. En la familia socialdemócrata estamos comprometidos con una Asociación Transatlántica revitalizada. Tenemos que formular estrategias conjuntas en el marco del Acuerdo de París sobre el Cambio Climático, el acuerdo nuclear con Irán, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, la Organización Mundial del Comercio.

No caigamos en un debate falso que nos obliga a elegir entre la agenda europea y la agenda transatlántica. Una Unión Europea con autonomía estratégica sería el mejor socio para los Estados Unidos. A ambas orillas del Atlántico tenemos que aprender que las democracias se construyen cada día. Seamos conscientes de lo que nos jugamos y no olvidemos lo que el segundo presidente de los Estados Unidos, John Adams, tuvo presente en la fundación de su país: la libertad, una vez perdida, se pierde para siempre. En nuestras manos está el preservarla.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, the attack on the Capitol and on the foundation of democracy was outrageous. While shocking and in extreme contrast to America’s political tradition, this event has easily recognisable roots — populist, the pursuit of individualistic interest while in public office, extreme polarisation and huge lies, made up and propagated even by the country’s highest office. No democracy in the world is immune to these dangers. In Europe there are numerous politicians that flirt with the same recipe and it is our duty to stand by our values, confront them and call a lie a lie.

Dear colleagues, today’s inauguration of the 46th President, Joe Biden, and of the Vice-President, Kamala Harris, gives a new opportunity to the United States and to the transatlantic partnership. It is an opportunity we Europeans and Americans cannot miss. We need to roll up our sleeves and reshape our long-standing partnership. Let’s put trade tensions behind us, as our farmers, for instance, are eager for a moratorium on the sanctions, and let’s build a common vision on how to deal with our common challenges. Let’s level up our commitment to fight climate change and openly discuss how to deal with digital giants — two very important files for both Europeans and Americans — and let’s identify how to support countries in the world to recover from the pandemic and back on track. And, most importantly, we Europeans should seize Mr Biden’s proposal to build an alliance of democratic countries that cherish freedom and respect human rights, while we in Parliament should be a strong partner for this initiative. We can prove to the world that democracies are resilient, fit for the challenges of this new century and ready to fight populist disinformation and authoritarianism.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, les États-Unis changent aujourd’hui de président après avoir donné au monde un spectacle accablant: je parle bien sûr des images choquantes du Capitole. Cette profanation du temple de la démocratie américaine est grave et les morts, parmi les policiers comme parmi les manifestants, sont autant de drames. Violer l’institution symbolique que représentent les bâtiments du Congrès américain est inexcusable, mais cette manifestation houleuse n’était en rien un coup d’État. Joe Biden a regretté l’agression sans précédent de la démocratie américaine. Il n’avait rien dit lorsque, quelques mois plus tôt, les mêmes bâtiments était envahis par l’extrême gauche radicale et le mouvement Black Lives Matter.

L’autre spectacle accablant et qui doit, lui, nous inquiéter, c’est l’exclusion par la quasi-totalité des réseaux sociaux d’un président démocratiquement élu et encore en exercice. C’est une agression historique sans précédent contre ce principe démocratique essentiel: le respect de la liberté d’expression. Les réseaux sociaux ont débranché Donald Trump, s’arrogeant le droit exorbitant de créer de nouvelles règles. Ils estiment que les conditions d’utilisation de leurs services priment sur la constitution des États souverains.

Joe Biden affiche sa volonté de remettre en place un leadership mondial américain avec des accents bellicistes. Cela ne peut que nous inquiéter après le mandat de Donald Trump marqué par des années sans aventure militaire, sans doute son accomplissement le plus marquant, après un demi-siècle d’interventions militaires américaines au gré des présidents qui se sont succédé. Quand Joe Biden affirme, et je le cite: «Nous devons prouver au monde que les États-Unis sont prêts à diriger de nouveau, non seulement avec l’exemple de notre puissance mais aussi avec la puissance de notre exemple», c’est arrogant, ce n’est pas l’Amérique qu’on aime.

Au-delà de l’homme et de son style, la défaite électorale de Donald Trump ne remet en rien en cause l’agenda politique qu’il a développé aux États-Unis et qui est, partout sur la planète, porté par les peuples: régulation de l’économie mondialisée, remise en cause du rôle de gendarme du monde des États-Unis, rejet du politiquement correct, écoute des populations face aux inégalités grandissantes. Ces thèmes sont ceux que portent le Rassemblement national en France, la Lega en Italie, l’AfD en Allemagne, l’ensemble de nos alliés en Europe. Et c’est ce profond respect pour les peuples qui nous portera au pouvoir pour protéger en Europe des pratiques démocratiques affaiblies et des libertés publiques gravement entravées au nom d’une sécurité sanitaire qui a bon dos.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, the shocking scenes from Washington have not materialised out of thin air. They were the direct result of Trump egging them on, but also of four years of daily lies, a contempt for facts, of relentless attacks on free media and portraying dissenting opinion as evil or a conspiracy. And this proves that even the strongest democracies are vulnerable when challenged on a steady and aggressive basis. I very much hope that the inauguration today goes well and smoothly, and I wish President Biden a lot of success.

Dear colleagues, imagine that the riots to overturn a free and fair election would have happened here at the European Parliament or in the parliament of one of the Member States. Sounds unbelievable, sounds far away? But do we really think in Europe we are safe from the threats of populism and demagogues, from disinformation and attacks to overthrow the rule of law? Remember the Brexit campaign five years ago, filled with blatant lies and false promises. Think of the Polish Government’s unbelievable disregard for women’s ownership of their own bodies. Think of what we sometimes hear here in this Chamber. And perhaps most emblematic: don’t forget Viktor Orbán’s systematic dismantling of Hungary’s rule of law, blaming every imaginable or unimaginable foreign foe, from George Soros to migrants, to indeed the EU itself. And let’s keep all of this in mind when looking at the events across the Atlantic. Those events should inspire humbleness rather than fuel a false belief that we’re safe from all of this in the EU. We must learn from those shocking events in Washington.

Firstly, we should take seriously those who announce that they want to destroy democracy. Many participants in the Capitol riots had announced their intentions in plain view. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Far-right groups are also underestimated in Europe. They commit murders, they purchase weapons, and yet there’s very little attention to what they’re planning. They are a real threat, both on this side and on the other side of the Atlantic.

And secondly, let’s remember that democracies are fragile and are always ‘work in progress’, and the EU has not always been agile enough to prevent the erosion of rule of law in several Member States. We must relentlessly work to safeguard fundamental rights and rule of law.

And thirdly, we need to look into the role of the social media tech giants in this crisis. Disinformation, amplified by algorithms, has divided societies and has even cost human lives. At the same time, the cooperative executives have acquired unbelievable power. So let’s bring social media under democratic scrutiny. That can wait no longer.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, the United States has always been a beacon of freedom. I wonder how long that will last. Nobody disputes that the breach of the Capitol was a criminal act and that the perpetrators have to be punished.

The question is: where does the United States go from here? Freedom of expression is under siege. Big tech companies cancel accounts arbitrarily, rather than on the basis of democratically adopted legislation. As rapporteur of the Competition Report 2020, I’m of the view that big tech companies abuse their dominant position. Their power must be broken. If need be, structural unbundling should be the reply.

Democrats are traumatised after four years of Trump. I can understand that. But revenge, retribution, exclusion and cancelling 74 million voters is not the answer. We can agree that many of the divisions in the United States are also found in our societies. The new incumbents – and I wish them luck today – should refrain from criminalising dissent. Raising inconvenient questions is the core of democracy. If politicians and media do precisely that, censorship will prevail and the US will become the People’s Republic of America. That would mean the end of freedom in the entire world.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Herr Präsident! Vier Jahre Trump haben das Vertrauen in die US-Demokratie untergraben, Organisationen wie die Vereinten Nationen und die Weltgesundheitsorganisation geschwächt und internationale Abkommen zerstört und beendet. Deshalb verbindet sich mit der heutigen Amtsübernahme durch Joe Biden durchaus die Hoffnung auf, vor allem aber Erwartungen an eine andere Politik der Vereinigten Staaten. Die schockierenden Bilder vom Sturm auf das Kapitol und dem gescheiterten Putschversuch sind ja nicht aus dem Nichts heraus entstanden, andere Kolleginnen haben darauf schon hingewiesen. Die Demokratie in den USA hat sich in den zurückliegenden vier Jahren unter permanenter Attacke aus dem Weißen Haus heraus befunden.

Die Demokratie ist in Gefahr, und das nicht nur in den Vereinigten Staaten, wo wir auch das Entstehen einer neuen faschistischen Bewegung gesehen haben, sondern die Demokratie ist auch in anderen Regionen, auch hier mitten in der Europäischen Union, unter Angriff, und Demokratiefeinde, die sich in den letzten Jahren mit Trump gemein gemacht haben, sitzen auch in diesem Haus. Einige haben ja auch schon das Wort ergriffen, andere werden es im Verlaufe dieser Debatte noch tun.

Das transatlantische Verhältnis muss zukünftig vom Kopf wieder auf die Füße gestellt werden, und daraus ergeben sich aus der Sicht meiner Fraktion ganz konkrete Forderungen an die Administration von Joe Biden, die sicherlich auch hier im Haus auf breite Zustimmung treffen dürften.

Erstens die Rückkehr zum Multilateralismus: Statt der weiteren Schwächung internationaler Organisationen wie der Vereinten Nationen oder der Weltgesundheitsorganisation, bedürfen wir deren Stärkung. Zweitens eine gemeinsame Politik, die sich dem Klimaschutz verschreibt. Der angekündigte Wiedereintritt der USA in das Pariser Klimaschutzübereinkommen ist da ein erster zu begrüßender Schritt. Drittens die gemeinsame Arbeit an einer stabilen Weltfriedensordnung. Das betrifft das Verhältnis zu China ebenso wie zu Russland. Das bedeutet aber auch atomare Abrüstung und den Wiedereintritt der Vereinigten Staaten in das Anti-Atomabkommen mit dem Iran. Viertens muss die US-Politik auf die Wiederherstellung und Stärkung der Demokratie ausgerichtet sein durch die Verteidigung von Bürgerinnen- und Bürgerrechten und Freiheitsrechten, aber auch durch die entschiedene Bekämpfung der sozialen Ungleichheit, die den gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt in den USA, aber auch hier in Deutschland, in der Europäischen Union immer weiter entkernt. Wer die Demokratie wirklich schützen will, muss endlich den Mut finden, die wirtschaftliche und politische Macht der großen Konzerne und der Superreichen zu begrenzen und gesellschaftlichen Wohlstand umzuverteilen. Das gilt diesseits und jenseits des Atlantiks.

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gli Stati Uniti sono un partner naturale dell'Unione europea, un alleato fondamentale dei nostri valori, dei diritti e del multilateralismo, ma la nostra reciproca amicizia è stata trascurata negli ultimi quattro anni, e tutto il mondo ne ha risentito.

Il presidente uscente ha portato avanti politiche che si sono dimostrate dannose per l'Unione europea, arrivando quasi a spezzare il profondo legame che ci unisce. Ora è il momento di cessare gli antagonismi deleteri e di ristabilire i nostri legami commerciali, politici e umani. Questo è quello che chiedono i cittadini.

Ecco perché spero che il presidente Biden dimostri da subito la sua buona volontà e abolisca i dazi americani sui prodotti europei, riportando quindi le nostre relazioni sul giusto binario. Inoltre, se proprio volessimo mantenere un aspetto positivo della presidenza appena conclusa, mi auguro che non impegni il suo paese in ulteriori conflitti esterni e che fortifichi la fiducia dei cittadini nelle istituzioni democratiche.

Concludo facendo le mie congratulazioni al presidente Biden per la vittoria. Il mondo si aspetta molto da lui.

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, le soulagement et l’espoir sont sans doute les sentiments dominants en Europe face à la fin de la présidence Trump et beaucoup d’interventions ici l’ont souligné ce matin.

Mais le soulagement et l’espoir ne doivent pas, pour nous Européens, signifier l’euphorie et l’amnésie. Nos liens historiques, culturels, commerciaux et de sécurité avec les États-Unis, la place particulière de ce grand pays dans le monde en font naturellement notre partenaire prioritaire et privilégié. On ne peut donc que se réjouir de l’arrivée d’une nouvelle administration respectueuse de ce lien transatlantique et soucieuse de rétablir les relations de confiance avec ses alliés.

Nos intérêts convergent souvent mais ils ne sont pas toujours identiques, c’est pourquoi l’euphorie que je note parfois ici ne serait pas une attitude responsable. Il faudra des actes pour surmonter des contentieux bien réels, tels que par exemple les fameuses surtaxes commerciales injustes qui frappent certains de nos secteurs. Et c’est le Bourguignon qui vous dit que les taxes sur le vin sont particulièrement incompréhensibles pour des gens qui aiment les États-Unis.

Il ne faudrait pas oublier non plus que la parenthèse Trump n’est pas totalement accidentelle. À trop se réjouir de son départ, on oublie un peu vite pourquoi il est arrivé et comment il a gagné il y a quatre ans. Dans un texte de 1941, en pleine période sombre, Raymond Aron, actualisant les leçons des grands penseurs grecs, nous expliquait comment les démocraties périssent de l’intérieur, avec le danger mortel des démagogues qui tirent profit de leurs faiblesses, de leurs contradictions, mais aussi du manque de résultats des politiques publiques.

Sachons nous en souvenir aux États-Unis et ici en Europe. La perspective que nous devons construire avec les États-Unis doit se faire dans la lucidité, pas dans la naïveté.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: KATARINA BARLEY
Vizepräsidentin

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, in just a matter of hours, reason and leadership and loyalty to the values of the US Constitution will return to the White House. And let me congratulate soon-to-be President Biden and, in particular, the first female Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris, on this historic day. Today is historic for multiple reasons. Never has the threat of violence loomed so large over the inauguration of an American president. And the wounds of four years of lies, disarray and division run deep. The incoming Biden-Harris administration will have to reunite the American people, heal these wounds and build back better. Not only do the American people need that, but so do our transatlantic relations. From today on, the US, the EU and all democratic allies must take responsibility as a team. Together, we must tackle this covid crisis, the climate crisis and the global crisis of democracy, side by side as equal partners with equal responsibilities.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Madam President, Biden’s inauguration is a victory for democracy. But even with Biden, it cannot be business as usual. First, we need to redefine our transatlantic relationship by establishing a stronger and more integrated European pillar, especially in defence. And secondly, we have to increase our fight against at least a dozen mini-Trumps in Europe who try to poison democracy on this side of the pond: Farage, who manipulated Brexit with lies; Orbán, who is killing Hungary’s democracy further every day; and then I don’t even talk about Salvini, Le Pen and Dewinter. People vote for these pied pipers of Hamelin because they feel insecure about their future, so the best way to fight them is not to wait for Biden, but to speed up European cooperation and integration – the COVID recovery fund, the euro bonds, the European health union, the role of Frontex – that’s what we need to kill the Trump virus here in Europe.

 
  
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  Susanna Ceccardi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, permettetemi di unirmi alla preoccupazione che molti hanno recentemente espresso in riferimento a quanto accaduto in questi giorni negli Stati Uniti.

La violenza non è mai la soluzione, e una condanna efficace va legata anche all'apertura di una prospettiva di dialogo. Ma è un fatto come episodi come quelli visti il 6 gennaio siano indicatori importanti dello stato di salute di una democrazia.

L'augurio per avere un partner stabile, all'altezza delle sfide geopolitiche che ci attendono nel futuro, è che il presidente Biden comprenda il malessere della democrazia americana e le dinamiche sociopolitiche che hanno portato all'assalto di Capitol Hill. Quando milioni di persone che ritengono truccato un risultato elettorale scelgono di occupare il centro del potere politico, la prima cosa da fare è chiedersi quali siano state le cause di questo disagio.

La narrativa prevalente, alimentata non solo dai politici ma anche dai media e da esperti, e gli attacchi volti a minare la legittimità della presidenza Trump hanno progressivamente eroso la fiducia nelle istituzioni, generando questo pericoloso boomerang.

La via per la riconciliazione passa per un dibattito politico inclusivo, che torni a considerare le istanze di quei 75 milioni di americani liberali e conservatori, senza squalificarli in partenza. Dunque la libertà di espressione e il potere eccessivo concentrato nelle mani di alcuni privati saranno temi cruciali nei prossimi mesi e riguarderanno molto da vicino anche il Vecchio Continente.

Nel lungo periodo la prospettiva di trasformare i social media in bolle ideologiche virtuali contribuirà a un'ulteriore radicalizzazione delle posizioni, unita all'incapacità e alla mancanza di predisposizione al dialogo e al reciproco rispetto. L'espulsione di Trump accelera dunque il processo di trasformazione dell'avversario in nemico.

I rapporti tra le due sponde dell'Atlantico sono solidi e tutti noi lavoreremo affinché, nel corso di questa Amministrazione, lo diventino sempre di più.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Fru talman! Äntligen förvandlas Donald Trumps presidentskap till historia. Äntligen kan vi lägga hans fossilnostalgi, hans nationalism, hans rasism och instabila agerande bakom oss.

Det är dock alltför lätt att tänka att vi nu slipper allt detta bara för att Trump är borta från Vita huset. Det är fel. I stället är det viktigare än någonsin att vi fortsätter att kämpa för att upprätthålla, förstärka och försvara demokratin.

Donald Trump har visat hur enkelt det är att få människor att tro på konspirationsteorier. Hur enkelt det är att uppvigla, förvirra och sprida hat och rasism. Tyvärr har han många följare. Även här i Europa. Tillträdande president Joe Biden har ett stort ansvar på sina axlar. Men det har också vi.

Demokratin måste försvaras. Varje dag, i varje rum, i varje möte.

 
  
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  Witold Jan Waszczykowski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Chciałabym na tej sali upomnieć się o trzeźwą i uczciwą ocenę sytuacji w Stanach Zjednoczonych oraz o uczciwą ocenę polityki prezydenta Trumpa. Uważam, że niesłusznie demonizujemy prezydenta. To nie on zaatakował Kapitol. Mieliśmy do czynienia z licznymi prowokacjami. Patrząc na relacje europejsko-amerykańskie z perspektywy mojej części Europy Środkowej, USA to europejskie mocarstwo, które w XX wieku wielokrotnie przychodziło Europie z pomocą.

Patrząc na relacje ze Stanami Zjednoczonymi w czasie prezydentury Donalda Trumpa, trzeba wspomnieć, że wzmocnił te więzi – więzi wojskowe, energetyczne, poparł kwestię Trójmorza. Upominam się o trzeźwą ocenę.

Uważam, że prezydent Biden będzie podtrzymywał te działania i zobowiązania, które zostały podjęte przez prezydenta Trumpa wobec naszej części Europy.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (The Left). – Frau Präsidentin! Präsident Joe Biden steht ab heute vor der schieren Titanenaufgabe, einer tief gespaltenen Gesellschaft Wege aus dem Graben zu ermöglichen und sie gleichzeitig wieder in die internationale Gemeinschaft zu integrieren. Was Hoffnung weckt, sind die Millionen junger Amerikanerinnen und Amerikaner, die sich mit so viel Idealismus für die USA der Bürgerinnen- und Bürgerrechte eingesetzt haben, dass sie den konservativen Milliardären und den Evangelikalen hinter Trump diese Wahlniederlage bereiten konnten. Ohne sie wird es nicht gelingen – black lives matter.

Trump lebte von Konflikt und Zerstörung dessen, was ist. Kein früherer US-Präsident hat mehr Handelskriege angezettelt als er. Die EU und die USA müssen nun auch in ihrer Wirtschafts- und Handelspolitik Neuausrichtungen vornehmen, dass sie nicht nur den großen Playern dient, sondern real die Lebensverhältnisse aller Bürgerinnen und Bürger verbessert.

Die Potenziale der USA, der EU und Chinas und vieler anderer sind zu nutzen, die zentralen Fragen für die Menschheit endlich gemeinsam anzugehen. Der Weg dahin ist in der UNO mit den 17 Nachhaltigkeitszielen längst vereinbart – Zeitraum bis 2030. Das ist die Aufgabe, die wir gemeinsam auch in den partnerschaftlichen Beziehungen mit den USA gestalten müssen.

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Madam President, exactly a century ago, in his campaign for the Presidency, Warren Harding said, ‘America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment’. A hundred years later, the US is facing the same problems, and I must say the people have voted and the Congress has finalised the decision. But if the new administration looks back to the past instead of the future, populism will prevail.

President-elect Biden, we might have ideological differences, but there is one thing that binds us together, and that is the respect for democratic institutions, rule of law and fair politics. Needless to say, these are just some of the many things my country, Hungary, is lacking currently. Just like the President a hundred years ago, you must navigate your country back to the path of normalcy, and the same normalcy should be brought back to US—EU relations. Don’t deal with the past because, if you do so, the polarisation of the US society will be worse. Show us an example of good governance and let us learn from the examples you are setting. I promise you my party and I will be working hard to take my country back to normalcy next year.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Madam President, today the entire world is looking at Washington DC as Mr Joseph Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. President Biden deserves all the best wishes for the enormous challenges that are lying ahead of him. Today’s inauguration certainly opens a new chapter for our American friends, but it also opens a new chapter in our transatlantic relations, which have been under such tremendous pressure since 2017. Strategic goals are important. They are crucial for our relations, to renew the trust that is at the heart of our alliance, to agree on a common strategy to address global challenges, and to adapt our political, military, technological and economic cooperation, so that we have the most effective alliance for protecting freedom, securing peace and supporting a rules-based order in an increasingly challenging world.

As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pointed out this morning, there are certainly massive challenges we should tackle jointly, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recovery, trade and digital technology, climate change and, of course, foreign policy and security issues. So let us give a fresh impetus to our transatlantic relations. Things can only get better, and I am convinced they will get better.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Madam President, for 70 years the international order, the representation of democratic values, has been based on cooperation between the US and the European Union. For the last four years we have lost our transatlantic partner. Congratulations to President Biden and Vice-President Harris. Our hopes and expectations are that the new administration will seek to refresh our relations on what we are — allies working together for a multilateral system based on fair rules, shared values, democracy and the rule of law.

But the European Union has to strive to redefine the relationship as one of an equal to an equal. That also requires bigger investments from our side. Where we agree, we should act together. Where we disagree, like regulating giant tech companies, we should negotiate our differences and reach common solutions. The United States is much better than the events we witnessed two weeks ago and I firmly believe that our cooperation partnership can be much better than it is today.

 
  
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  Nicolae Ştefănuță (Renew). – Madam President, a few hours ago the 45th President of the United States issued his farewell address. Today he will be leaving in a separate ceremony. He spoke of unity yet departs the White House through a separate door. He spoke of having started no new wars, yet I remind him that he brought no new peace either. On 6 January I was astonished to see the mob trample over George Washington’s tomb in the Congress Rotunda, and no one even stopped, because no one even knew any more that it was there. It made me think whether we do enough about democracy education, whether we speak enough of it, whether we are compassionate when we speak about it.

Could this happen here, Monsieur Le President, Frau Präsidentin? Here in this Parliament or there at the Berlaymont, or in the Bundestag or Casa Poporului in Romania, where I come from? If the answer is yes, then we have our work cut out for us. Frau Präsidentin, Mr Giuliani encouraged the mob to do trial by combat. I encourage you to do justice by education, by cooperation, by love.

 
  
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  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! „Die Demokratie ist die Notwendigkeit, sich gelegentlich nach der Meinung anderer Menschen richten zu müssen“, sagte Winston Churchill. Es ist eben so, dass es in den USA 2016 erfolgt ist, dass diejenigen, auf die man sonst nicht hört, eine Mehrheit organisiert haben. Davon ist die Demokratie nicht untergegangen. Im Jahr 2020 sind mehr Menschen an die Wahlurnen gegangen als je zuvor, und selbst der unterlegene Donald Trump hat mehr Stimmen eingesammelt als Barack Obama bei seiner Wahl und bei seiner Wiederwahl.

Wir sollten doch bereit sein zu akzeptieren, dass es Menschen gibt, die anderer Meinung sind, und anstatt sich jetzt hier zu freuen, dass man sie endlich losgeworden ist, die Frage zu stellen, wie man sie einbinden kann. Der Sturm auf das Kapitol war ohne Frage ein Verbrechen, und er ist ein Warnruf an jeden von uns. Aber das Abschalten eines Twitter-Accounts mit 80 Millionen Followern ist ein größerer Anschlag auf die Demokratie und den freien Meinungsaustausch. Insofern kann ich auch die Sieger nur bitten, im Moment des Sieges Demut und Vernunft walten zu lassen und nicht triumphieren.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, when President Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, expressing the resolve that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth, the doors opened to a new birth of freedom in that young nation. The secular and venerable achievement of building a popular democracy became a shining example to many nations.

Today, the battle to defend and develop democracy has become a global battle. We can find encouragement in the actions of those who, on 6 January, gave priority to their constitutional obligations when the rioters challenged democracy. But the forces of darkness cooperate internationally. That is why we must help in building the global alliance for democracy. We must contribute to that primarily by allowing a new birth of freedom, of justice, of respect, and of defence of the public good on our own shores. Welcome President Biden. Welcome Vice President Harris.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi si apre una nuova stagione e auguriamo buon lavoro alla nuova Amministrazione americana.

Molte certezze aleggiano in quest'Aula, ma molti di più sono gli interrogativi irrisolti. Pensate davvero che sarà Joe Biden a risolvere i problemi di visione e di leadership di un'Europa smarrita e senz'anima? Vi illudete davvero che, una volta abbattuto il mostro Trump, scompaiano decine di milioni di patrioti in Europa e nel mondo che credono nei valori dell'identità, della sovranità, della famiglia, del senso religioso, del merito, dell'etica del lavoro?

Siete così democratici da voler governare il mondo con le multinazionali del web, che censurano la libertà di espressione di cittadini e leader politici, anche quando rispettano le leggi? Siete davvero così irresponsabili da pensare che il mondo sarà più pacifico e sicuro se si tornerà alla dottrina Obama-Clinton, che ha spianato la strada a guerre, fondamentalismo islamico, profughi e immigrati clandestini? E credete davvero che si possano fare accordi con il regime comunista cinese senza preoccuparsi di riequilibrare il commercio globale a difesa delle nostre produzioni?

Per noi le relazioni transatlantiche non sono qualcosa da piegare agli interessi di parte ma la cornice entro cui rispondere alle grandi sfide del nostro tempo. Noi continueremo a lavorare in questa direzione.

 
  
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  Idoia Villanueva Ruiz (The Left). – Señor presidente, hoy toma posesión Biden, tras el asalto violento al Capitolio que deja tras de sí cinco muertos y una democracia quebrada, asalto alentado por el todavía presidente de los Estados Unidos, Trump —«A mis feroces seguidores, ¡luchemos!»—.

Aún quedan muchos detalles por conocer, pero sí conocemos la escandalosa diferencia entre la actuación de las fuerzas de seguridad bajo el mandato de Trump frente a las protestas de movimientos progresistas como Black Lives Matter y la falta de medios y las connivencias en el asalto al Capitolio. Este ataque exige la condena rotunda de la comunidad internacional a su alentador y sus conniventes. Trump ha alimentado hasta el límite el odio, el racismo, el machismo, el negacionismo.

No se trata del último coletazo. Es un movimiento político, seguido por grupos políticos que hoy están aquí: en España, Vox —blanqueados por el Partido Popular—; en Italia, Salvini; en Hungría, Orban. Expresión de un mismo movimiento que intenta atacar lo que somos: la convivencia, la democracia, los derechos, las libertades, sirviéndose del odio y de la intoxicación del debate público. También son y serán culpables aquellos que callan.

Hoy debemos poner en valor y defender aquello que quieren destruir: lo común. Solamente mediante políticas sociales y economías redistributivas podremos derrotar la desigualdad, la incertidumbre y el miedo que alimentan estos monstruos. Hoy, desde aquí, digo a todos aquellos que están sufriendo miedo, incertidumbre y se sienten señalados: ¡ni un paso atrás!

 
  
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  Κώστας Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η σχεδιασμένη εισβολή ακροδεξιών αντιδραστικών δυνάμεων στο Καπιτώλιο, αλλά και ο τραγέλαφος που προηγήθηκε στις αμερικανικές εκλογές, εκθέτουν όλους εκείνους που «πέφτουν από τα σύννεφα» για τη λεγόμενη αμερικανική δημοκρατία· αυτή των δεκάδων πολέμων, των διαμελισμών χωρών, των πραξικοπημάτων και των ανατροπών εκλεγμένων κυβερνήσεων με αιματοχυσίες λαών, τόσο με Ρεπουμπλικανούς όσο και με Δημοκρατικούς. Και με τους δυο, ο αμερικανικός λαός βιώνει διαχρονικά εκμετάλλευση, ανεργία, καταστολή και ρατσισμό.

Το βάθος της σήψης μιας κοινωνίας σε βαθιά παρακμή βρίσκεται πέρα από τη διαχείριση του Τραμπ, ενώ πολύ σύντομα θα διαψευστούν και όσοι καλλιεργούν ψεύτικες ελπίδες για φιλολαϊκή διαχείριση Μπάιντεν, ισχυριζόμενοι ότι θα βάλει φρένο στην τουρκική επιθετικότητα. Τα περί τραμπισμού δεν μπορούν να απενοχοποιήσουν το ίδιο σάπιο καπιταλιστικό σύστημα με τις αγιάτρευτες αντιθέσεις του και την ταξική πόλωση.

Όλα αυτά συνδέονται άμεσα με τα οξυμένα προβλήματα της αμερικανικής οικονομίας, την αμφισβήτηση της πρωτοκαθεδρίας των ΗΠΑ από την Κίνα και τους οξυμένους ανταγωνισμούς με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Οι λαοί πρέπει να είναι σε επαγρύπνηση, να μην πληρώσουν την κρίση στις ΗΠΑ με νέο γύρο όξυνσης της επιθετικότητας και κλιμάκωσης των ιμπεριαλιστικών σχεδιασμών.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Madam President, in a few hours Donald Trump will become nothing but an appendix to the history books. As President von der Leyen pointed out, we cannot say the same about Trumpism, a virus that is still very much alive. Trump has confronted democratic institutions, the separation of powers, international organisations, the free press, and even science. Never has an American President hurt so much and harmed so many in such a short time.

As Europeans, there is one lesson to be learned from these last four years. When it comes to our destiny, we cannot rely on the United States alone. Not anymore. The myth has fallen. If we want to maintain peace and international order, if we want to protect our democracy, free press and human rights, Europe must react now. It is time for Europe to take a step forward. The world needs European values and principles more than ever. We have suffered two world wars, and two cruel dictatorships in fascism and communism. We know well what it is to live without freedom, justice or rights. We have a moral duty to prevent something similar from happening again. And the commitment goes beyond our borders. It is a commitment to the world and to history. From Europe to the United States: welcome back, we missed you.

 
  
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  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Madam President, the first priority to relaunch EU—US relations is to fight the pandemic and the related economic and political challenges. Cooperation is needed so that the least developed countries will also get their fair share of vaccines and their economies will not break under the weight of increased debt loans. We should show the world that true leading democracies can stand together across the globe and by the weakest members of the international community.

To quote the words of former President Wilson, from 100 years ago: ‘Make the world safe for democracy.’ Today, we need to make the world safe for democracy, also with the US, and make the global digital world safe for democracy. There is a lot to be done, not least to regulate platforms and emerging technologies, such as AI, in line with human rights and democratic principles. While intensified cooperation is our aim, we need to continue strengthening Europe’s independence capabilities. As a stronger autonomous actor, we will have more to give to the world and to our partners.

 
  
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  Sophia in ‘t Veld (Renew). – Madam President, we all congratulate President Biden and Vice—President Harris, and in particular of all the girls out there, we congratulate Vice—President Harris.

The transatlantic relationship is crucial for us, but the pre-Trump era will not come back. In fact, the relationship had already profoundly changed, but Europe didn’t seem to notice. A strong partnership needs two strong pillars, and Europe has indeed rapidly grown stronger and more powerful in recent years, and Renew welcomes that strong and self-assured Europe.

But, we should not be blind to the weaknesses in our own European democracy. Events in Washington two weeks ago are a warning for Europe as well. We don’t have one single big Trump but we have many ‘mini Trumps’, and like in the United States they are part of the political leadership of the EU, and they get their podium, not just on social media Madam President, but also traditional media, and yes they get protection from traditional parties as well.

So, today we enter a new era. Let’s make it the era of liberal democracy, shoulder to shoulder, with our American friends.

 
  
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  Tom Vandendriessche (ID). – Voorzitter, collega's, vrije meningsuiting is fundamenteel in onze democratie. Met dit grondrecht controleren burgers immers de machthebbers. Dat wordt gegarandeerd door de grondwet van elke natiestaat en door het Europees Verdrag voor de rechten van de mens.

Sociale media en het internet zijn de moderne marktplaatsen waar we dit recht op vrije meningsuiting uitoefenen. Deze platformen zijn echter geen vrije markten maar worden gedomineerd door een oligarchie, een Silicon Valley die overal zaakjes doet maar nergens faire belastingen betaalt. Multinationals als Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple en Amazon beheersen door hun monopolie de informatie in onze democratie. Ze eigenen zich vervolgens de macht toe te bepalen wat de waarheid is, en te censureren wat zij ongewenst vinden. Daarmee bepalen zij wie in onze democratie nog vrije meningsuiting heeft als fundamenteel grondrecht. Bovendien blijken ze ook de macht te bezitten om hun directe concurrenten – Parler – de toegang tot de markt te ontzeggen en zo te liquideren.

Dit is een fundamentele machtsverschuiving van het volk naar de aandeelhouder, van de democratie naar de oligarchie, van de grondwet naar de gebruikersovereenkomst. Dit is ronduit gevaarlijk voor onze democratie, die gebouwd is op de vrije markt en vrije burgers. Daarom moeten we deze bedrijven opbreken. En als dat niet voldoende is, moeten we ze de toegang tot de Europese markt ontnemen. De Europese Unie heeft daartoe de macht. Gebruik ze. Tijd voor actie.

 
  
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  Ciarán Cuffe (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, hope is back in Washington. In these dark hours, we look to the dawn of Inauguration Day. Democracy remains under threat in Europe and in the United States. But Joe Biden gets it. Kamala Harris gets it. They want to tackle injustice. They want to match our European Green Deal and address the climate emergency. So America, welcome back to the Paris Agreement. We missed you, Mr Kerry. Let’s talk. Let’s build this new transatlantic partnership, link climate action to racial justice, tackle poverty in Baltimore, in Brussels and in Dublin.

Martin Luther King said: ‘We are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ Those words ring as true today as they did half a century ago.

Today, there is a ripple of hope. I’m Irish, but my mother was from Chicago. So I wish you well. Ireland and the EU are your friends. We don’t always agree – we’ll call you out when we don’t – but today is a good day. A day of hope.

 
  
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  Angel Dzhambazki (ECR). – Madam President, isn’t it ironic that, for four years, we listened to the Democrats claim that walls are immoral, unnecessary and ineffective, yet today in Washington DC, an eight—foot wall circumvents the Biden inauguration ceremony. For four years, the Democrats and the far left used every single opportunity to attack the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, allowing citizens to bear arms. Yet today they have organised 30 000 very well—armed federal troops, flown in from all over the country.

This sort of hypocrisy is of course nothing new for the Democrats and the far left. Last summer, we witnessed the eruption of violence in many American cities with zones being occupied by the Antifa and BLM mob of Marxist extremists. The far left media and the Democrats call them peaceful protesters. However, when the protesters are not extreme Marxist terrorists, but patriots, suddenly they are called terrorists. One thing is sure: in history you either go down as a patriot or as a coward. The Democrats, dear friends on the left, are the cowards today because (inaudible)

 
  
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  José Gusmão (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, concordo com os que aqui disseram que o discurso de ódio termina sempre em violência, que o discurso contra a democracia acaba sempre por tentar destruí-la. Mas todos sabemos, e também já foi dito, que Trump e o discurso do ódio têm os seus adeptos deste lado do Atlântico e, portanto, perdoem-me se não consigo levar muito a sério discursos de choque e indignação com o que se passou no Capitólio vindos da bancada que continua a albergar o partido de Viktor Orbán.

Neste tempo, o tempo que vivemos, é um tempo de luta pela democracia e liberdade e todas as forças democráticas têm que escolher de que lado estão e agir em conformidade. Agir em conformidade é também aqui, na União Europeia, olharmos para aquilo que fez a extrema-direita nascer. A extrema-direita alimenta-se das feridas sociais que também existem na Europa que muitas políticas europeias têm procurado reforçar e aqueles que hoje se mostram ansiosos em retomar os programas de ajustamento de má memória farão bem em fazer esse balanço e esse exercício histórico.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, kolegice i kolege, upozorio sam i ranije na diktaturu milijardera koja nam prijeti.

Izbacivanje američkog predsjednika s društvenih mreža je skandalozno, to je udar na demokraciju i na slobodu govora. Tu odluku nisu donijele nekakve institucije na temelju zakona nego su ih donijeli vlasnici kompanija, menadžeri. Radi se o ljudima koji imaju bogatstva veća od cijelih nacija. Dok se ovdje zbor korona krize reže proračun Europe, dok je nestalo 10 % ili 15 % BDP-a Hrvatske, oni su sve bogatiji i akumuliraju sve veći broj novca na svoje račune. Države sve slabije, korporacije i njihovi vlasnici sve jači.

To nije sve. Također, prema istraživanju švicarskog federalnog instituta za tehnologiju, 147 kompanija drži 40 % svjetskog bogatstva a 737 80 % svjetskog bogatstva, inače s isprepletenim vlasništvom međusobno. Vrijeme je da se onemogući da korporacije pojedu demokraciju. Treba uvesti limit na bogatstvo tih ljudi a samim time i na njihovu moć a sredstva iskoristiti kao jedan od izvora prihoda za program univerzalnog bezuvjetnog temeljnog dohotka.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, the past four years have been very challenging for transatlantic relations. We have seen tweets replacing official communication between allies. We have seen temperament replacing long—standing policies. Now that this has ended, we’re looking forward to working with a US President who respects the freedom of speech. A President who respects the democratic order. An American President who wants an independent and strong judiciary. And let me be clear: one can only defend the rule of law around the globe if one respects and defends the rule of law at home.

Now is the time for us as allies, the European Union and the United States of America, to defend human rights around the globe. The fundamentals of American democracy and of European democracy are the same: respecting existing rules and institutions, respecting the international order and our allies and, first and foremost, respecting our values. Challenging these values has only served autocrats in recent years.

America has a fresh start. Transatlantic relations have a fresh start. We should be looking forward, but we should also learn from the lessons of recent years, and the lesson is clear: fake news and hate policies are dangerous. They lead to violence. That is why we should also tell people here in Europe: stay away from extremism, stay away from hate policies, stay away from populism, stay away from lies. They are dangerous.

To conclude, I would like to bring up an issue which is important to 30 million EU citizens. Today, the citizens of Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania still require a visa to enter the United States. Let’s work together with the new American administration to ensure full visa reciprocity between the United States and the European Union.

 
  
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  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D). – Voorzitter, mevrouw de Commissievoorzitter, mijnheer de Raadsvoorzitter, het is bekend, president Biden en vicepresident Harris staan voor een onwaarschijnlijke opdracht in hun eigen land om hun bevolking te verenigen, de democratie te versterken en opnieuw een wereldspeler te worden waarop we kunnen vertrouwen. Maar laat vandaag vooral een dag van hoop en perspectief zijn.

Hoop en perspectief, bijvoorbeeld op een doorstart in het wereldwijde klimaatbeleid omdat ze zich weer zullen aansluiten bij de Overeenkomst van Parijs. Maar er zal meer nodig zijn. Er zal een echt ambitieus klimaatbeleid nodig zijn, zoals wij de Green Deal hebben. Hoop en perspectief ook op een opnieuw actieve Verenigde Staten in de Verenigde Naties, de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie en de Wereldhandelsorganisatie.

Laten we dus dat partnerschap versterken, maar laten we dat doen vanuit de eigen sterkte van de Europese Unie en laten we niet aan het handje van de Verenigde Staten lopen, maar zorgen dat we gelijkwaardige partners zijn en onze rol in de wereld samen opnemen.

 
  
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  Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew). – Madam President, today marks a very important moment. A moment followed by many people in Europe and around the world: the inauguration of the United States’ President Joe Biden. It is also a moment of hope: of hope that our transatlantic ally and partner has finally returned and is ready to cooperate in a way that today’s situation asks of us.

Recent events have shown that the US is suffering from great polarisation, which this President will have to address. This will not be an easy task, and this is also something that we in Europe are all too familiar with.

Yes, the United States has changed, but so did Europe. So of course, our transatlantic cooperation will not be the same as a few decades ago. But having said that, I do hope that the Biden administration will join us in our ambitions and will join forces to promote multilateralism, rule-based trade, provide security and fight climate change.

With that, I wish President Biden and Vice—President Harris all the strength, wisdom and courage in the years to come.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gli Stati Uniti sono e saranno sempre la stella polare per la democrazia e la libertà nel mondo.

Al di là degli schieramenti politici, il nuovo governo americano troverà sempre in noi della Lega un alleato serio e affidabile, schierato convintamente con l'Alleanza atlantica a difesa dei valori dell'Occidente libero.

Oggi più che mai è necessario rilanciare con forza le relazioni tra Europa e Stati Uniti per affrontare insieme le grandi sfide del nostro tempo. E la prima sfida da vincere insieme è quella contro la Cina comunista, che rappresenta la più grande minaccia alla nostra libertà e alla nostra democrazia.

È scandaloso che l'Europa e il governo italiano di PD e 5Stelle siano complici silenziosi delle malefatte del regime di Pechino. La partita sul 5G e l'accordo commerciale tra Europa e Cina, tanto caro alla Merkel e a Macron, sono lì a dimostrarlo. Basta ambiguità, basta doppi giochi, basta affari sporchi di sangue con la Cina.

Cari colleghi, è chiaro a tutti che la dittatura cinese sta portando avanti una guerra economica e una guerra di civiltà contro il mondo occidentale. Insieme ai nostri alleati americani dobbiamo essere pronti a difendere con ogni mezzo la nostra libertà e la nostra democrazia. Gli italiani, gli americani, gli uomini liberi di tutto il mondo non moriranno mai schiavi della dittatura comunista cinese.

 
  
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  Marcel Kolaja (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, let me make one thing clear: I condemn the recent attacks on the Capitol as well as Donald Trump’s statements. However, I am also concerned about how much power dominant online platforms have, and by the fact that they have been taking over essential functions that belong to democratic institutions. Deciding what is appropriate and denying people the right to speak by suspending their accounts without a court order is a dangerous practice.

Today it is Donald Trump, but whose account will be suspended tomorrow? This is not how democracy and justice should work. In a democratic society, only independent courts can decide what is illegal. We need to update our legislation. Reform bills introduced via the American legislation regulating platforms have not been successful. Now it’s time for Europe to lead by example with the Digital Services Act.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta, señorías, desde luego cuánto odio, cuánta fobia, cuánto miedo a Trump. Se dijo cuando ganó que era el fin del mundo, que llegaba el fascismo, que iba a acabar con la democracia americana, que iba a arruinarla, que sería la guerra. No ha habido ninguna guerra por parte de los Estados Unidos, es el primer presidente que no hace una en generaciones.

Son malos consejeros el odio, la fobia y el miedo para valorar lo que ha pasado. Aquí se acusa a Trump de asaltar el Capitolio. Él pidió una manifestación pacífica. Pero no se acusa a Biden y a Harris de la violencia masiva, los incendios, los saqueos, los asesinatos durante todo 2020 con el Black Lives Matter, a pesar de que, a esos delincuentes, cuando eran detenidos, les pagaban las fianzas.

Aquí se ha callado la censura que ha habido. Realmente estamos violando todos nuestros principios apelando a ellos. No se protestó con la violencia del Black Lives Matter. No se protestó por la censura que se ha aplicado a medios que denunciaban la corrupción de la familia Biden, que no ha salido nunca a la luz. Estamos negando nuestros principios, y lo pagaremos también caro.

 
  
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  Michael Gahler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! „It must have been Trump, but it is over now“, möchte man fast melodisch sagen an diesem Tag, der es wieder möglich macht, das ganze Spektrum und Potenzial der transatlantischen Beziehungen in den Blick zu nehmen. Als außenpolitischer Sprecher der EVP-Fraktion freue ich mich, dass die neue Mannschaft in Washington auch von der Revitalisierung der amerikanischen Diplomatie spricht. Die Rückkehr in möglichst viele Bereiche des multilateralen, regelbasierten Beziehungsgeflechts ist eine Erwartung, die wir auch in unserem Interesse deutlich zum Ausdruck bringen.

Das Pariser Klimaübereinkommen ist erwähnt worden, der JCPOA mit dem Iran muss wiederbelebt werden. Weitere Stichworte unserer Erwartungen im Bereich der Rüstungskontrolle: die Verlängerung und Neuverhandlung des New-START-Abkommens, hoffentlich Open Skies neu verhandeln. Wir Europäer wollen beidseitige doppelte Null—Lösungen bei Mittelstreckenraketen, wir müssen unseren Teil der Verteidigungslasten erfüllen – 2 % –, wir müssen gemeinsam Länder wie die Ukraine stärken gegenüber einem aggressiven Russland und gegenseitig alle Strafzölle abschaffen, die WTO wieder voll funktionsfähig machen und gemeinsam China in diesem Rahmen verpflichten. Ich hoffe, dass wir mittelfristig etwas wie ein TTIP 2.0 hinbekommen. Das stärkt langfristig unsere Demokratien gegenüber einem systemischen Rivalen wie China.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Madam President, the events we witnessed at the US Capitol on 6 January were horrible and reprehensible. They surely do not represent what America is all about, but unfortunately they do represent a danger that continues to lurk, even after the inauguration of the Biden—Harris administration – and not only in the darker corners of US society, but also here on the European continent. It is the danger of authoritarianism that feeds on untruths and conspiracy theories peddled by power-hungry extremists at home and taken advantage of by our external adversaries.

The new administration in Washington represents an opportunity to welcome the US back as one of the global leaders in fighting the COVID pandemic and in fighting climate change. There are other policy areas – trade, digital technologies – where it takes more time and patience to restore the transatlantic trust and cooperation, but we must welcome this opportunity with open arms because it represents a chance, among other things, to actually score a final victory against populism and authoritarianism.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, America is back. This is how the new Biden administration summarised their foreign policy, and this is great news. Four years of assault on the multilateral order left us all in danger. Challenges like climate change, disinformation or the pandemic kept rising and our capacities to respond kept shrinking. So we welcome our key ally back to the table. Europe is ready to work together, with more unity and resolve than ever before.

But let’s not try to turn the clock back to the pre-Trump era, it won’t be possible. Autocrats are emboldened, also in Europe, and corruption – at the root of the surging authoritarian trend – is rampant, also in Europe. Civil liberties are at a historic low. The US is no exception. But are we, in Europe? I don’t think so. So where do we go from here? Let’s come together at a global summit of democracy and let’s put human rights and democracy at the centre of our fight, and let’s focus more than ever before on the fight against corruption.

 
  
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  Marco Dreosto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la nuova Amministrazione statunitense troverà nella Lega un alleato affidabile in Italia e in Europa. Saremo sempre al fianco degli Stati Uniti, che sono stati, sono e saranno sempre punto di riferimento per la democrazia nel mondo e per i valori dell'Occidente.

Per difendere questi valori Italia, Stati Uniti ed Europa dovranno lottare assieme ed avere come perno il contenimento dell'influenza cinese in Europa. Su questo purtroppo mi rammarica avere sentito l'altro giorno il Presidente del Consiglio italiano Conte mettere sullo stesso piano la più grande democrazia del mondo e la dittatura comunista. Questo è inaccettabile per il rappresentante di un paese importante come l'Italia, fondatore dell'Unione europea e membro del G7. Il Patto atlantico è una cosa seria. Che il Premier italiano non la pensi così è drammatico e allarmante.

Riteniamo che rafforzare i rapporti transatlantici vorrà dire non firmare quello sciagurato accordo commerciale tra Unione europea e Cina su cui questo Parlamento ha giustamente, Lega in primis, promesso battaglia.

 
  
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  Salima Yenbou (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, l’assaut consternant du Capitole nous montre une fois de plus, une fois de trop, la fragilité de nos démocraties et qu’il est essentiel de constamment défendre notre état de droit.

Ce n’est pas un incident isolé qui concernerait seulement les Américains. Rappelons-nous le Parlement allemand, fin août 2020. Nos démocraties occidentales commettent depuis trop longtemps l’erreur de sous-estimer les dangers de l’extrême droite. Cette extrême droite qui a marqué dans sa chair notre histoire commune européenne, l’avons-nous déjà oublié?

Ce qui s’est passé au Capitole doit être l’avertissement qui nous fait enfin réaliser qu’il est temps de prendre au sérieux les graves clivages et crises démocratiques que traversent actuellement nos sociétés occidentales. Cet aveuglement doit cesser et j’en appelle à vous, Madame von der Leyen, Monsieur Borrell, Monsieur Michel et Monsieur Sassoli, pour engager une profonde réflexion sur ces sujets. Si nous ne le faisons pas maintenant, demain il sera trop tard car, comme le dit un proverbe espagnol, demain est le mot qui ne veut rien faire.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko (ECR). – Madam President, as the era of ‘America first’ comes to an end, we can begin to look forward to a presidency of ‘Allies first’ from the Biden administration.

Europe has spent the last four years carving out its own strategic autonomy. Now we have an opportunity to make the transatlantic alliance great again. By speaking in unison as Democratic allies, our words and actions can be strengthened in the face of the existential challenges that we face: autocrats like Putin, challenges related to the tech revolution, violent Islamic extremism and the threat of climate change.

I urge the EU to support Biden’s efforts to unite democracy so that we can reinvigorate multilateralism in our own free image.

The recent events in Washington have shown how fragile all of our democracies can be, but I also do we agree with my colleague Danjean that we need to look deep inside the issues and face reality. The free world has the chance to come together in the defence of our common values which have been neglected for too long...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, besides congratulating the new US President, today is also a good occasion to reflect on recent events and how fragile our democracy is. It should become a common inspiration, on both sides of the Atlantic, to become much more serious about challenges towards democracy.

Our democracy on the European continent is also suffering from different diseases. Globally, democratic values are being attacked by autocrats in Belarus, Russia and China. Democratic values are also being attacked by an internal ‘cancer of democracy’, by the slow erosion of democracy, and by populism. Joe Biden has promised to organise a global democracy summit. It’s a great idea. Let’s prepare ourselves for that big event.

Why not have an EU Conference on the Future of Democracy next to the Conference on the Future of Europe? The defence and promotion of democracy should become our common most important strategic agenda.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, a tomada de posse da nova Administração americana é uma oportunidade para uma reconfiguração geoestratégica global e para o reforço das relações entre os Estados Unidos e a União Europeia num contexto de pandemia e de ameaça crescente do populismo e do autoritarismo no mundo.

O mandato de Trump deixa marcas que não se apagam com a sua derrota eleitoral. Vivemos um tempo em que o conceito de fronteiras está esbatido. Em democracia, a política externa, para ter legitimação popular, tem que ser compreendida e aceite internamente. É assim nos Estados Unidos e é assim na União Europeia. A autonomia estratégica é cada vez mais uma condição-chave para a cooperação saudável.

A UE e os USA têm desafios fortes em que a sua cooperação é fundamental: a segurança internacional, as alterações climáticas, a saúde, a digitalização das sociedades estão na primeira linha da agenda. É uma agenda em que a cooperação e competição estarão lado a lado e em que a capacidade de confrontar, com sucesso, um modelo centralizado das potências concorrentes será determinante. Temos que ser pragmáticos, fazendo dos nossos valores e princípios o eixo central das relações transatlânticas para que a relação União Europeia e Estados Unidos seja um jogo de soma positiva para os seus povos e para o mundo.

 
  
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  Dragoş Tudorache (Renew). – Madam President, it is often said that the US and the EU are founded on the same principles and values, and that is true. But, beyond principles, a partnership is built on trust and reliance. As genuine long-standing partners, we need to know that we can rely on one another in moments of hardship, and this is a moment of hardship for all of us.

We need, therefore, to stand by President Biden in his efforts to heal the deep fractures of American society, just as President Biden needs to stand by us Europeans when we are dealing with our own challenges. We can both deliver for all citizens if we work together to fight COVID, to restore multilateralism and a global order based on the rule of law, to meet climate objectives, and to face the digital transformation of our societies and economies.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski (ECR). – Szanowni Państwo! Europę i Stany Zjednoczone łączą trwałe więzi przyjaźni, a nasze bezpieczeństwo gwarantuje przede wszystkim obecność amerykańskich wojsk. I to jest wciąż aktualne. Naiwnością jest sądzić, że zmiana gospodarza Białego Domu zwolni nas z obowiązków wynikających z członkostwa w NATO, o których stanowczo przypominał prezydent Trump. Presja na większe finansowe zaangażowanie państw europejskich w Sojuszu Północnoatlantyckim nie zniknie.

Widzieliśmy w ostatnich tygodniach sceny, które nie powinny mieć miejsca w demokracji. Jednak reakcja największych portali społecznościowych była jeszcze bardziej szokująca. Źle by się stało, gdyby kończąca się kadencja 45. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych kojarzona była w przyszłości wyłącznie ze szturmem na Kapitol, ale byłoby jeszcze gorzej, gdyby kadencja 46. prezydenta kojarzyć się miała z początkiem cenzury internetu i końcem wolności słowa. Chcąc tego czy nie, Amerykanie wybrali nie tylko głowę państwa, ale także nieformalnego lidera wolnego świata. Oby prezydent Biden podołał temu zadaniu. God bless America – and Europe.

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, inaugurarea astăzi a mandatului lui Joe Biden este o veste bună pentru Europa, pentru America, pentru lumea liberă.

Trebuie însă să remarcăm că evenimentul de la Capitoliu poate fi doar semnalul definitiv. După doi ani de manifestații de stradă, în marile democrații din Europa și din America, totul a culminat cu 6 ianuarie, evenimentele de la Capitoliu.

Trebuie să ne întrebăm de ce reușesc populiștii în Europa și în America. Trebuie să vedem ce este în neregulă în sistemul nostru economic, social și politic. Și credința mea este că Uniunea Europeană, împreună cu Statele Unite, trebuie să remodeleze procesul de globalizare.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Fru talman! Låt oss inte glömma att detta är en bra dag när USA nu svär in sin nya president, Joe Biden. En president som vill stärka demokratin, som tror på multinationalism, som vill vara en kraft för klimatarbetet.

Den blodiga stormningen av Kapitolium är resultatet av att Trump under lång tid har underminerat det amerikanska valsystemet. EU gör rätt i att fördöma hans agerande. Men även om Trump, denna arga clown, nu snart kommer att förpassas till historiens marginaler så ska vi inte glömma att det finns risk för att det finns många människor som vill ha revansch och då kan det bli ännu farligare, också för världen.

Den stora utmaningen för EU är ändå att stå upp för ett nytt transatlantiskt samarbete. Ta tillfället i akt med Biden-Harris, med en klimatinriktad EU-kommission. Se till att göra det här året framgångsrikt inför Glasgow. Se till att fylla det transatlantiska samarbetet med klimat och se till att vi har en framtid tillsammans som blir ännu bättre.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, when 60% of Europeans think that the US system is broken and few think Americans can be trusted, the transatlantic bond is at breaking point. We must urgently rebuild this trust.

On trade, isolationism must end. For starters, we need a functioning WTO and all tariffs against the EU lifted. On digital, we need common US—EU regulations on the digital world, from the internet to cyber security. We must not break our digital bond by Europe going alone.

To ensure our continued place in the 21st century, we need a renewed US—EU partnership. I hope we now have a partner on the other side of the Atlantic that we can call: a partner that understands the importance of this bond.

Here in Europe we must stop promoting protectionist solutions under the banner of sovereignty and remember that we should build bridges, not walls.

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to focus on the proposed EU-US trade and technology council.

But first let me say that we see on the other side of the Atlantic an American President who values international cooperation and a Transatlantic relationship. I believe if we stand together again and do our trade policy thoughtfully it will give us both greater agency in the global world.

Talking about the council, I think it could become a platform to deepen our mutual involvement through facilitating regulatory compatibility in areas of geopolitical relevance. While generating geopolitical benefits in areas like the digital economy, the council could help to avoid the risk of separate regulatory spaces and incompatibility. Benefits from common standards will be particularly high in the areas of new regulatory requirements for technology, investment and security. In this context, the council could also look into innovative approaches to standardisation.

After four years of largely dysfunctional relations, there is also the need for this House to intensify our Transatlantic dialogue because we have many converging interests and we face common global challenges.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Michel, signor Alto rappresentante, oggi gli Stati Uniti finalmente voltano pagina. Dopo quattro anni di unilateralismo è tempo di tornare a fare politica insieme.

Siamo sicuri che il nuovo presidente Joe Biden contribuirà, come promesso, alla costruzione di un rinnovato sistema internazionale basato su un nuovo multilateralismo e su un dialogo costruttivo con l'Unione europea.

I temi da affrontare insieme saranno molti. Ne cito due: un'azione globale nella lotta al cambiamento climatico, ripartendo dall'accordo di Parigi, e un accordo transatlantico globale sul digitale e i dati, che includa la questione della fiscalità dei giganti del web.

Oggi in tutto il mondo i nazionalisti e i populisti di destra, e i loro consapevoli o inconsapevoli alleati, subiscono una battuta d'arresto, ma la lotta per maggiore democrazia e giustizia sociale in tutto il mondo deve continuare ed è una battaglia che deve unire i popoli, specialmente in un momento così difficile della storia del nostro mondo.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, the storming of Capitol Hill on 6 January was not because people weren’t listened to; it was because they were actively encouraged by a partisan, divisive president. The days of Trump politics are over and I hope that they’re over here in Europe as well. For too long, we haven’t listened to the centre. We’ve been placating and appeasing the right. From now on, I think it’s important that we build a transatlantic alliance based on inclusive politics, on politics that are seen by the progressive centre as necessary.

I wish Joe Biden the best of luck. I wish Kamala Harris the very best as well. They’re both people I passionately believe can bring politics back to the centre and ensure that we have a strong transatlantic alliance that works for citizens and doesn’t appease the right, either in the States or here in Europe, of which, unfortunately, there are many in some governments in Europe and, unfortunately, in this Parliament too.

So, from now on, let’s work together to ensure that the transatlantic alliance is strong, is emboldened and is confident in what we’re trying to achieve with regard to the environment, the economy and for the citizens of Europe, the States and the world in general.

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Ratspräsident, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Mit Joe Biden und seiner Administration haben wir die Chance, ein neues Kapitel in der transatlantischen Beziehung aufzuschlagen. Unsere Werte Freiheit, Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit verbinden uns.

Nicht alles wird sich morgen ändern, aber in Bereichen, in denen wir gleiche Interessen haben, sollten wir wieder eng zusammenarbeiten. Die Ankündigung des neuen Präsidenten, umgehend wieder dem Pariser Klimaschutzübereinkommen beizutreten, ist eine gute Nachricht. Die Ankündigung des neuen Präsidenten, der WHO wieder beizutreten, ist eine gute Nachricht. Auch die Reform der WTO kam auf die gemeinsame Agenda, ebenso wie der gemeinsame Kampf gegen Corona.

Die Erwartung auf eine gute Zusammenarbeit ist groß, aber auch die schrecklichen Bilder vom Sturm des US-Kapitols am 6. Januar bleiben in Erinnerung. Der Sturm wurde durch die Echokammern im Internet angeheizt. Diese Entwicklung muss uns auch in Europa eine Mahnung sein. Auch hier gibt es Hass und Falschinformation in den Echokammern des Internets. Wir dürfen es nicht den Tech-Konzernen überlassen zu entscheiden, was über die sozialen Medien laufen kann. Das ist Aufgabe der Parlamente, und dessen müssen wir uns jetzt annehmen.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Borrell, señor Michel, quiero hablar de la cooperación con los Estados Unidos en nuestras respectivas políticas exteriores.

La coordinación de esas políticas será útil para el mundo libre, porque la promoción de la democracia y los valores y las prácticas democráticas es importante en un momento de gran polarización entre democracias maduras y sistemas liberales autoritarios. Esa Cumbre Mundial por la Democracia y una previsible Agenda común transatlántica, incluyendo actores privados, son esenciales.

En cuanto a las relaciones con Turquía, tanto el Consejo como la Comisión han hablado muy recientemente de nuestra coordinación con los Estados Unidos en relación con Turquía, pero Turquía no es un Estado que vaya a formar parte de los Estados Unidos. Es un Estado que quiere ser miembro de la Unión Europea y, por tanto, la naturaleza de nuestra relación es muy diferente. Para nosotros, Turquía no es un país tercero. Para nosotros, Turquía no es un vecino. Y las obligaciones de Turquía con la Unión Europea derivan de su condición de candidato y de la exigencia de reformas democráticas. Lo digo porque el Consejo, señor Michel, a veces no insiste demasiado en la condicionalidad democrática, que para esta Cámara es irrenunciable.

 
  
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  Benoît Lutgen (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, les Américains sont plus que des amis, ce sont des frères. Ils ont libéré nos territoires il y a 76 ans, je ne l’oublierai jamais. 80 000 y ont laissé la vie dans ma région de Bastogne. Merci d’ailleurs à vous, Monsieur le Président, pour votre engagement lors des commémorations.

Alors bien sûr, nous avons été heurtés, blessés par ces quatre années passées, par ces dernières semaines, ces derniers jours. Une nouvelle ère s’ouvre, qui donne des opportunités pour renforcer ces relations fraternelles et quasi charnelles, notamment, certainement, par rapport au climat, à la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Je l’espère – ne soyons pas naïfs – pour la taxation des GAFA sans riposte commerciale de la part des États-Unis.

Et je souhaite vivement que nous puissions aussi voir et revoir l’accord avec la Chine en fonction de ces nouveaux contacts et de cette nouvelle relation que nous allons élaborer avec les États-Unis, avec l’administration Biden. Ce serait de la folie d’aller signer cet accord sans avoir de nouveaux contacts et sans le revoir à l’aune de ces relations.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Madam President, with the Biden administration we should expect that relations with the US can now resume on the basis of a civilised and coherent dialogue. However, the deep dilemmas that gave rise to ‘Trumpism’, both inside and outside the US, will remain, and it will be difficult for President Biden to clear them.

First, President Biden will have to try and bridge the deep divide between Americans who are riding with success the ongoing technological changes after having recovered from the effects of the 2008 crisis, and the other half of US society, which has been losing out in the post-modern economy and was badly mauled by the financial crisis. COVID—19 is likely making this divide deeper.

Meanwhile, outside the US, the President will have to determine how best to manage the race with China for global predominance. Europe needs to position itself correctly in this context. Given its ideological and cultural affinities with the US, it will seek to promote close cooperation with the Biden administration. However, it should not appear as a member of the US racing team, nor be one.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Madam President, over the last four years the US Administration has implemented policies that challenged its partners and surprised its force. With today’s inauguration of the new President of the United States, a new chapter will commence. Nevertheless, the US is entering a new unprecedented era as a divided society. It will also impact its place in the world and, by extension, its ability to work with Europe on common peace and security issues in our neighbourhood and worldwide. This will require extra efforts on our side to export, support leadership and resources to maintain our important transatlantic partnership. I highly welcome the fact that an American return to multilateralism is high on the new Administration’s agenda. Re-joining the Paris Agreement is a big step forward in its global fight against climate change. I congratulate the new President of the United States of America and his Vice-President and wish them and their people and the people of America good luck.

 
  
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  Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D). – Señora presidenta, nuestro alto representante, Josep Borrell, escribía el otro día que los últimos acontecimientos de Washington deben ser una llamada de atención para los defensores de la democracia. Pero también hacía referencia a la creciente desigualdad. Porque no olvidemos que la desigualdad tiene efectos en la salud democrática y los ha tenido especialmente tras la salida austeritaria de la última crisis.

El caso norteamericano nos muestra que el énfasis en la igualdad de oportunidades, pero manteniendo esas políticas económicas que generan desigualdad y que también hemos seguido aquí en Europa, no redunda ni en mayor igualdad ni en mayor movilidad social; genera indignación y hasta odio y hace sentirse excluido de un sistema político que muchas personas no sienten que les represente, como vimos el otro día claramente en la toma del Capitolio.

Y es que Trump no es el origen de esta indignación, sino que es el síntoma. Por tanto, haremos bien en luchar conjuntamente con la nueva administración Biden contra las desigualdades y contra la desinformación y en defender la promoción del Estado de Derecho y los valores democráticos. Y también será fundamental colaborar en la regulación en el ámbito digital.

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Madam President, let me start by wishing our US allies and partners well. I am confident that the restart that the world expects will materialise.

But I also want to refer to the scenes that we witnessed in the last month. I don’t often quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he was right when he said that it started with ‘lies and lies and lies and intolerance’. The world watched transfixed as the shining city on a hill was ransacked and violated before our very eyes. The mob, after being egged on, enabled and encouraged for years, stormed the United States’ seat of democracy.

There are many lessons for us to learn here. In Europe, the shock gave way to realisation that the weight of the world’s democratic order now rests more heavily on our shoulders. It is true of course that the new administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris brings with it new hope of better cooperation, of new Transatlantic expectation, of optimism and a return to normality.

But Europe’s role on the world stage cannot be undervalued. Our belief in liberal democracy, founded in values and the rule of law, matters, not just to all our citizens, but to millions more people around the globe looking to us for hope.

With increasing hostility to our east and uncertainty to our west, Europe matters. Standing up for the rule of law matters. Defending democracy matters. Leaders’ words matter. Never underestimate how fragile our democracy is.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, Members of the European Parliament, after this interesting debate, it’s clear for all of us, and especially for the Commission, that the Transatlantic partnership remains the most important and strategic relationship for the European Union and its Member States.

The stability and prosperity of both sides of the Atlantic is deeply affected by our ability to work together. All of you have been expressing hopes, that we share, that a very good understanding of what Europe means for the US interest and policy is a cornerstone of our future relations.

We are also very much aware that in the past four years, they have delivered an important lesson for the EU for a policy engagement with the US. What has happened has to be taken into consideration in order to build our future relationship, and we should improve our capacity to anticipate the US internal drivers that at the end shape the US foreign policy. Certainly we have now a historic opportunity to rebuild and to reinforce our relationship, to effectively address together the needs and challenges of the 21st century.

In the post-corona world, Transatlantic cooperation will revitalise the international rules-based order. As I said yesterday, you had to make multilateralism great again, based on our common values, interests, and pursuing global influence on the Western world.

Dear Members of the European Parliament, most of you have been expressing your convincement that a more assertive, more capable and more resilient Europe will be the best partner for the US. Enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy will allow for a better cooperation when it comes to the security risks of today and those of the future, and I am sure that the new American administration will understand that and will put in practice a pragmatic framework for this new Transatlantic partnership.

You have been talking about the specific areas of cooperation: being partners and multilateralism. This will mean that we need to push for reforms of the United Nations organisations that preserve its democratic foundations, but being more ready, more able, to face pressing global problems.

It’s very good news that the Paris Agreement will be accepted by the US as the framework to fight against climate change. Only with that the new Presidency will make a strong difference on the role of the US in the world.

Thank you very much for all your interventions. I think that together with the Council we will be able to build a new partnership based on dialogue among equals, to preserve the security and defence of democratic values in the world.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, cette attaque, le 6 janvier, contre le Capitole, nous l’avons suivie avec stupéfaction et nous l’avons vécue comme un électrochoc qui démontre la fragilité de ce en quoi nous croyons profondément, parce que c’est l’ADN du projet européen, les valeurs de liberté, d’état de droit, de démocratie.

Si nous le choisissons, cet électrochoc peut être salvateur parce que s’ouvre maintenant aux États-Unis une nouvelle page qui donne la capacité, si nous sommes engagés, de pouvoir construire avec cet allié auquel nous sommes attachés pour des raisons historiques, pour des raisons fondées sur des valeurs, ce nouveau pacte fondateur qui doit être l’occasion d’être mobilisés autour des trois piliers qui doivent être les piliers pour ce projet européen.

D’une part, les valeurs de démocratie, d’état de droit, cet engagement permanent, constant. Ces derniers mois, d’ailleurs, dans le débat Parlement européen/Conseil nous nous sommes engagés en Europe pour faire progresser concrètement cet engagement pour la gouvernance et la démocratie. Nous devons rester vigilants et engagés sur ce sujet-là.

Le deuxième pilier essentiel, c’est la prospérité que nous voulons, c’est améliorer notre cadre de vie en se fondant sur le changement climatique comme levier pour modifier le paradigme de notre développement, notre capacité à rencontrer les besoins de nos concitoyens. Cette idée effectivement que nous devons soutenir l’innovation, soutenir avec force cette ambition, la neutralité climat à l’horizon 2050 et le renforcement des objectifs 2030 que nous avons décidé, il y a quelques semaines, au sein du Conseil.

Enfin, le troisième point que je souhaite mettre en évidence, c’est l’engagement pour une Europe mobilisée sur le plan global, la coopération internationale, mesurer quels sont nos atouts et travailler pour corriger nos faiblesses. Une Europe plus résiliente, une Europe plus robuste, c’est l’appel que je veux lancer en ce jour symbolique, important: l’inauguration d’un nouveau mandat présidentiel aux États-Unis. Nous ouvrons les bras, nous tendons la main, nous savons bien sûr qu’il y aura des débats parfois difficiles ou tumultueux, mais nous partageons l’essentiel.

Je vous remercie pour avoir été engagés dans ce débat parlementaire, démocratique, vous pouvez compter sur le Conseil européen pour maintenir cet engagement stratégique au service d’une alliance fondamentale pour notre avenir commun.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR), na piśmie. – Jednym z najważniejszych wydarzeń na arenie międzynarodowej w ostatnim czasie był moment zaprzysiężenia Joe Bidena na 46. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych, kraju niezwykle istotnego na płaszczyźnie wspólnych relacji z Unią Europejską.

Liczymy na bliską współpracę z nowym prezydentem w zakresie dalszego wzmacniania zarówno Polsko-Amerykańskiego Partnerstwa Strategicznego, jak i w wielu płaszczyznach na poziomie Unii Europejskiej. W naszym wspólnym interesie leży utrwalenie strategicznego partnerstwa w wymiarze bezpieczeństwa i obrony oraz dalszy rozwój współpracy w sferze gospodarki, energii i bezpieczeństwa energetycznego. Europa i Ameryka potrzebują siebie nawzajem.

Pamiętając, jaką rolę Stany Zjednoczone odgrywają w globalnym układzie politycznym i gospodarczym, jestem przekonany, że możemy i powinniśmy skoncentrować się obecnie na najpoważniejszych wyzwaniach i zagrożeniach dla społeczności międzynarodowej, szczególnie na opanowaniu pandemii Covid-19 i odbudowie gospodarek, promocji praw człowieka, walce z dezinformacją i fałszywą narracją.

Europejskie inicjatywy obronne powinny pozostawać komplementarne wobec zdolności NATO, a nie je wypierać. Bardzo ważne są więc wszystkie inicjatywy unijne umożliwiające współpracę z NATO, zwłaszcza ze Stanami Zjednoczonymi, Wielką Brytanią i Norwegią. W naszym wspólnym interesie jest silne zaangażowanie Stanów Zjednoczonych w Europie. Wierzę, że z powodzeniem będziemy kontynuować dotychczasowe i wszystkie nowe kierunki współpracy.

 
  
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  Josianne Cutajar (S&D), in writing. – The 2020 US presidential election was historic for many reasons. Never have so many Americans cast their vote in the country’s history, in what may be viewed as a firm expression of disapproval for the misconducts of the Trump presidency. The outgoing administration has disregarded centuries of US—EU cooperation – one that helped bring peace to our own continent. President Biden has vowed to undo the wrongdoings of his predecessor, starting with the reinvigoration of the transatlantic relationship. A strong EU—US partnership means strengthening the international public good and common values, including democracy, security, human rights and gender equality.

Biden has also promised to re-enter the Paris Agreement, bringing back to the table a player that can afford an enormous contribution towards decarbonising our world. A new US administration will also allow for new consultations on the benefits and threats posed by digitalisation. In particular, we expect the US to help us fight disinformation and hate speech – the plague of our century.

This election was historic for many reasons, though one of them stands out. Kamala Harris’s election as the first woman VP is a landmark achievement in gender equality, setting the tone for many more to come.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D), na piśmie. – Rozpoczynająca się dziś kadencja 46. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych, Joe Bidena, jest nadzieją na nowy początek. Jest nowym otwarciem po trudnych latach prezydentury Donalda Trumpa, który z dezinformacji, fake-newsów, dzielenia i wykluczania uczynił narzędzia walki politycznej. Jest również świadectwem tego, że demokracja jest odporna – odporna na nienawiść i kłamstwo.

Ale nie możemy być naiwni – ta odporność, jeżeli zbyt nadwyrężana, może się skończyć. Historia przynosi nam wiele dowodów w tej sprawie. O demokrację trzeba walczyć każdego dnia, pielęgnować ją każdego dnia. Nie można pozwolić na jej atakowanie i osłabianie.

Prezydentura Joe Bidena to nadzieja na powrót Stanów Zjednoczonych do głównego nurtu polityki międzynarodowej w roli konstruktywnej, nie destrukcyjnej. Dla Unii Europejskiej i całego świata Ameryka silna swoją konstruktywną obecnością w międzynarodowych gremiach jest ogromnie ważna. Dziś również po raz pierwszy funkcję wiceprezydenta USA obejmie kobieta. Historia pisze się na naszych oczach. Trzymam kciuki za prezydenta Bidena i za wiceprezydentkę Harris. Stany Zjednoczone zasłużyły na mądre przywództwo.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Kruk (ECR), na piśmie. – Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki Północnej odgrywają kluczową rolę w globalnym układzie zarówno gospodarczym, jak i politycznym. To, co się tam wydarzy, prędzej czy później przełoży się na znaczną część świata. Dlatego trzeba uważnie obserwować niepokojącą sytuację w USA.

W ostatnich tygodniach byliśmy świadkami wydarzeń, które nie powinny mieć miejsca w demokratycznym państwie. Mam na myśli nieprawidłowości wyborcze czy cenzurę internetu. Oto prezydent Stanów Zjednoczonych jest już otwarcie cenzurowany nie tylko przez firmy internetowe: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ale też przez wielkie stacje telewizyjne. Korporacje orzekają, co jest prawdą. Obserwujemy – zdaje się – proces przejmowania przez wielkie korporacje, w tym z tzw. Big Techu, pełni władzy na niespotykaną w dziejach skalę. Będzie to nieuchronnym skutkiem zaprzeczenia wartościom, na których USA i zachodnia demokracja zostały zbudowane.

Jeśli obiektywnie spojrzymy natomiast na politykę Donalda Trumpa, to trzeba ocenić ją pozytywnie. Na pewno taka była z punktu widzenia interesów państw Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, w tym Polski. Wzmocnione zostały więzi wojskowe, gospodarcze, energetyczne. USA poparły inicjatywę Trójmorza, mającą tworzyć trwałe podstawy dla rozwoju gospodarczego regionu. Inicjatywę powołano jako forum współpracy 12 państw: Austrii, Bułgarii, Chorwacji, Czech, Estonii, Litwy, Łotwy, Polski, Rumunii, Słowacji, Słowenii i Węgier.

Wyrażam nadzieję, że Joe Biden podtrzyma te działania i zobowiązania.

 
  
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  Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (PPE), in writing. – It is with the utmost pleasure that I welcome the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden. I hope that the auspices of his tenure will be favourable both to USA—EU relations, and also for our friends and allies all over the globe. The incoming administration’s messages are most encouraging and, even if this will not materialise in a return to the old order to which we were all accustomed, it will for sure represent a strengthening of our historic and, I emphasise, natural alliance.

Even at the low points of our relationship, the US was a committed ally. We can again work together to restore and deepen relations and focus on mutual interests. The bilateral relationship must be built with the desideratum of restoring a true multilateral order, especially in these trying times for humanity and for the planet we inhabit. The responsibility is now, probably, much higher than it was during the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War era; we must now work together to actively protect our ideals, secure recovery and future prosperity and protect our planet.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (Renew), kirjalikult. – USA sise- ja välispoliitikas on alguse saanud uus aeg. Eeldused Euroopa ja USA suhete kiireks paranemiseks president Bideni ametiajal on väga head. Kiireid positiivseid arenguid ELi ja USA koostöö tihenemises võib oodata näiteks kliimamuutuste vastases võitluses, kus president Biden on juba otsustanud uuesti ühineda Pariisi kliimakokkuleppega, ja ka kaubandussuhetes. Kindlasti loob Bideni presidendiks saamine ka positiivsema õhkkonna NATOs. Biden oli omal ajal ka üks Eesti NATOga ühinemise toetajaid. Eestil on EL-i ja USA headest suhetest ainult võita.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE), in writing. – The inauguration of the new US President Joe Biden represents for the EU an opportunity to relaunch transatlantic cooperation, which has severely suffered in the last four years. Trump’s unilateral action, withdrawals from treaties and international organisations often led to a divided and less stable society as well as a deterioration of our EU-US relations. The EU and the US were the oldest and the most trusted allies.

The recent events in Washington showed us how fragile democracy could be. Therefore, now more than ever, the US and the EU must act as partners and together rebuild the multilateral system based on our shared values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Only together are we more powerful to face the threats posed by extremists and populism that are challenging our democracies, tackle the emerging problems due to the global pandemic, climate change and digitalisation and finally secure the peace, prosperity, security, freedom and human rights equality.

 
  
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  Mihai Tudose (S&D), în scris. – Președintele Joe Biden e chemat să scoată SUA din criza dezbinării extreme și să stopeze dezechilibrul global, tot mai accentuat. Societatea americană a ajuns la o cotă periculoasă de tensiune, după ani de instigări la intoleranță și violență. Administrația Biden trebuie să închidă rănile Americii, dar și să pună piciorul în pragul unei lumi mai învolburate ca niciodată după sfârșitul Războiului Rece. Replierea SUA a lăsat loc liber ofensivei imperialismelor orientale. E nevoie urgentă de resudarea relației transatlantice, pentru o colaborare strânsă în fața provocărilor geostrategice și economice cu care se confruntă, tot mai intens, lumea democratică. A devenit evident, sub acceleratorul pandemiei, că este imperativ să acționăm împreună, UE și SUA, într-un parteneriat de forța celui care a înfruntat dictaturile secolului trecut. Noi, cei care am cunoscut în Est ororile comunismului, înțelegem bine miza actualei încercări de reconfigurare a echilibrului de forțe în lume. De aceea, în spiritul solidarității prevăzute de art. 5 al Tratatului Nord-Atlantic, e momentul să afirmăm răspicat voința euro-americană de a nu mai permite niciun pas înainte dictaturilor agresive - de la ingerințele lor în procesele noastre democratice și inițiative nocive ca Nord Stream 2, mergând până la amenințarea militară și chiar recurgerea la forță.

 
  
 

(Die Sitzung wird um 10.52 Uhr unterbrochen.)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
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