The summit between USA and the European Union In Washington it was resolved with a series of declarations of good intentions that masked the divergences between both blocs. Initially, it was planned that the presidents of the EU and the European Council, Charles Michel, would meet with the president of the US, Joe Bidento discuss trade issues related to steel, aluminum and the so-called ‘critical minerals’, in which negotiations are stuck.
But the Hamas attacks of October 7 burst onto the agenda, and the debate moved to middle East. The result was that the Europeans could only offer good words to Biden, largely because, as the EU itself recognizes, beyond general principles, such as the condemnation of terrorism and the defense of the concept of ‘two states’ – one Israeli, another Palestinian -, European countries lack a common position.
So the meeting was limited to grandiloquent words, with Von der Layen thanking Biden for his visit to Israel, Michel proclaiming that “we are more than great allies; We are friends”, and Biden celebrating “the commitment” of his Government “in revitalizing ties with Europe.” Meanwhile, the tariffs imposed by Trump on steel and aluminum remain in force, the plan by Brussels and Washington to replace them remains without move forward, and coordination between the two shores of the Atlantic to ensure the supply of ‘critical minerals’ essential in the development of new technologies is encountering one obstacle after another.
Nothing made the lack of European unity more evident than the news of the day in Washington, at least in relation to Israel and Ukraine: the request by the Biden Government for 106.6 billion dollars (100.6 billion euros) to Congress as aids Ukraine, Israel, and a number of Pacific countries neighbors of China, among which it does not expressly mention Taiwan – although it is assumed that it would be one of the recipients of the aid – and it does so, indirectly, with Australia.
Of that amount, 61.4 billion dollars will be in military aid to Ukraine and 14,300 to Israel. Another 9.5 billion dollars in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and, above all, to Gaza, while 4 billion more will go to the Pacific countries to confront China and another 3,500 for the modernization of US state shipyards that manufacture nuclear submarines. Finally, 14 billion will go to the fight against illegal immigration.