The USA President Joe Biden in his first address to the annual Munich Security Conference declared that the ‘transatlantic alliance is back’ and stressed the need to defend democracy around the world.

The USA President intended to improve the strained relationship between the USA and other European allies. The Munich Security Conference is an annual conference on international security policy that has taken place in Munich, Bavaria (Germany) since 1963.

Transatlantic Alliance: Key Points

  • About:
    • The Transatlantic Alliance has been the cornerstone of the post-World War II world order.
      • It is a real-world expression of West – of a sense that both sides of the Atlantic are in it together.
    • It is the foundation on which the collective security and shared prosperity of the USA and Europe are built.

      • However, this historic, long-established friendship between the world’s two largest economies has become strained in recent years.
    • Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP):
      • T-TIP is an ambitious, comprehensive, and high-standard trade and investment agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union (EU).
        • The TTIP negotiations were launched in 2013 and ended without conclusion at the end of 2016.
      • T-TIP will be a cutting edge agreement aimed at providing greater compatibility and transparency in trade and investment regulation, while maintaining high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection.
  • Reason for Strained Relations:
    • The Donald Trump (former) administration flaunted its foreign policy through an “America First” lens.
    • The former American president not only attacked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – the fundamental structure of transatlantic alliance but also withdrew from virtually all multinational agreements recently championed by the European Union (EU), such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.
    • The USA and the EU appear to be at odds with each other currently regarding their China interests, particularly on the economic and trade front.
  • Significance of the Latest Declaration:
    • A boost to multilateralism.
    • Concerned with maintaining its global strategic primacy, the USA was once equivocal about European defense and strategic autonomy. But as power has shifted eastward, subsequent USA governments have been keen to devote as much attention, money, and military muscle as possible to the Indo-Pacific.
    • The Alliance can lead to the development of an EU-USA carbon border adjustment mechanism and can help in averting the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
    • On Iran, Europeans can anticipate renewed negotiations on a revamped nuclear deal aimed at de-escalating tensions across the region.
    • Germany’s Merkel spoke about the need for a transatlantic policy towards Russia.

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