A majority of Europeans believe a new cold war is under way between the US and its chief geopolitical rivals, China and Russia, according to a report – but few view their own country as a direct participant.
Based on polling in 12 member states, the study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) found, however, that more Europeans believed the EU leadership in Brussels was a party to the new international conflict.
As fallout from the Aukus alliance continues and amid talk of rifts in the western alliance, the report’s authors said the polling data suggested there was a clear danger of a widening gulf between European public opinion and that in the US.
The responses also pointed to a “disconnect” between the policy ambitions of Brussels and EU member states, they said, adding that this could undermine an effective European response in the event of escalating tensions with China or Russia.
“The European public thinks there is a new cold war but they don’t want to have anything to do with it,” said Mark Leonard, a co-author of the study and ECFR director. “Our polling reveals that a ‘cold war’ framing risks alienating European voters.”
France to send ambassador back to US after Macron-Biden call
France is to return its ambassador to the US who was recalled in the aftermath of the surprise announcement of the Australia-US-UK defence pact that saw France lose a multi-billion euro submarine contract.
The news followed the first call between the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and Joe Biden after relations between the western allies hit a low last week.
The two leaders are also to meet next month after their phone call in which Biden agreed that consulting France before announcing the Aukus security pact could have prevented a diplomatic row.
The central part of the Aukus pact is the requirement for Australia to cancel its contract to buy 12 French barracuda submarines with diesel-electric propulsion. America will instead partner with Australia and the UK to build nuclear-powered submarines.
At the virtual Covid summit today, Joe Biden urged other countries to step up after announcing the US will donate another 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
“The United States is buying another half billion doses of Pfizer to donate to low and middle income countries around the world,” the president said. “This is another half billion doses that will all be shipped by this time next year.
The meeting on the margins of the UN general assembly offered Biden a chance to exercise soft power and gain an edge on rivals such as China in “vaccine diplomacy”. The summit also came as the president faced scrutiny over why he is promoting a third vaccine dose for US citizens at a moment when less than 2% of people in developing countries have had their first shot.
In June Biden announced that the US would buy and donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and the African Union through Covax, the global vaccine initiative. These have begun to ship, though the logistical challenges of distribution and storage are considerable.
“And it brings our total commitment of donated vaccines to over 1.1 billion vaccines. Put another way, for every one shot we’ve administered to date in America we have now committed to do three shots to the rest of the world,” Biden said Wednesday.
Biden reiterated his pledge that “America will become the arsenal of vaccines, as we were the arsenal for democracy during world war two”.
But he added pointedly: “We need other high income countries to deliver on their own ambitious vaccine donations and pledges.”
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.