RIGA - Members of the European Parliament welcome the inauguration of Joe Biden as the United States' President, as they see it as an opportunity for Europe to strengthen EU-US ties and tackle common challenges and threats to the democratic system.
The European Parliament's press secretary in Latvia Janis Krastins told LETA that on Wednesday morning, MEPs debated the inauguration of Biden as new US President and the political situation in the United States with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Michel opened the debate by saying: “Today is an opportunity to rejuvenate our transatlantic relationship, which has greatly suffered in the last four years. During this time, the world has grown more complex, less stable and less predictable."
"More than ever before, this requires us Europeans to take our fate firmly in our own hands to defend our interests and promote our values. Together with the US, we must stand as the bedrock for the rules-based international order, working for peace, security, prosperity, freedom, human rights and gender equality," Michel said.
Von der Leyen indicated that Europe now has a friend in the White House and is ready for a new start with its oldest and most trusted partner. "We must push for global change based on common values”, on democracy, climate change, the handling of the pandemic, and digitalization, the European Commission President said.
Referring to the siege of the Capitol organized online as well as to hate speech and disinformation spreading through social media, von der Leyen called for cooperation with the US to regulate tech giants. “The unbridled political power of internet giants must be reined in” as their behavior must be dictated by laws instead of “arbitrary decisions made by a Silicon Valley CEO”, she said.
Biden is due to be inaugurated US President in a ceremony in Washington on Wednesday. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and recent public disorder, the inauguration ceremony is expected to be very different from all previous ones.