European Leaders Are Ignoring Donald Trump and Congratulating Joe Biden

The sense of relief is almost palpable.
November 7, 2020, 6:43pm
Donald Trump White House
Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

European leaders have been quick to congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, despite President Donald Trump not yet conceding.

The Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Biden on Saturday, putting him above the 270 Electoral College votes he needed for victory. The White House is so far refusing to accept the results of the election, baselessly claiming that Biden and his allies are stealing the election.

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But that hasn’t stopped congratulations from outside the US pouring in for the victorious Democrats. Trump has endured a fractious relationship with most leaders in Europe, threatening to upend the US role in NATO, and appearing more at home alongside authoritarian leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, previously described by Trump himself as “Britain Trump,” did not mention Trump as he congratulated Biden and Harris.

Johnson notably mentioned climate change (Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate agreement) and trade. A large part of the UK government’s current Brexit strategy hinged on signing a trade deal with the US, something Trump had previously said he was amenable to.

French President Emmanuel Macron left no doubt that he believed Biden was the winner of the US election.

“The Americans have chosen their President,” he wrote. “Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHArris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a long history of public and private sparring with Trump, offered her congratulations to Biden and Harris, saying that the friendship between Germany and the US was “indispensable.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote that Spain was “looking forward to cooperating with you to tackle the challenges ahead of us.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the EU Commission, also said she was looking forward to working with President-elect Biden.

“The EU and the USA are friends and allies, our citizens share the deepest of links,” she said.

Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin wrote that “Joe Biden has been a true friend of this nation throughout his life and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said the EU was ready to work with Biden and Harris for a strong transatlantic partnership.

“COVID-19, multilateralism, climate change and international trade are some of the challenges which Europe wants to address together.”

And Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, said he knew Biden was a “strong supporter of our Alliance.”