Von der Leyen praises Joe Biden’s message of healing

Date: Thursday, 21 January 2021 10:47

President von der Leyen made clear that EU-U.S. leadership is needed to address the many global challenges which need renewed and improved global cooperation. The President said: “And I am delighted that on day one – as they announced – of the new American administration, the United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement. This will be a very strong starting point for our renewed co-operation.”

The EU is looking forward to seeing the United States join the common effort to fight the pandemic and secure vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

Fight against hate and disinformation

Recalling the shocking images of the storming of Capitol Hill, President von der Leyen warned that some people in Europe may harbour similar feelings and called to action to prevent messages of hate and disinformation from spreading: “We should take these images from the U.S. as a sobering warning. Despite our deep-rooted confidence in our European democracy, we are not immune to similar events. In Europe, too, there are people who feel disadvantaged, who are very angry. We must seek to address the concerns and problems of each and every one of our citizens, such as the – completely justified — fear of being left behind economically in the pandemic. We must impose democratic limits on the untrammelled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants.”
Digital co-operation

The President also spoke about cooperation in the field of technology. She notably referred to the recently presented Digital Services Act and the Digital Market Act, which will ensure that the power of major platforms over public debate is subject to clear principles, transparency and accountability; that users fundamental rights are protected; and provide a level playing field for innovative digital businesses. Speaking in the hemicycle in Brussels this morning, Ursula von der Leyen extended an offer to the new U.S. administration to define a common global approach: “Together we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: From data protection and privacy to the security of critical infrastructure. A body of rules based on our values: human rights and pluralism, inclusion and protection of privacy.”