“Seizing the Moment: European Strategic Autonomy and the Biden Presidency”, Riccardo Alcaro and Nathalie Tocci (IAI, Italy)

The European Union was increasingly ill at ease in the world in which Covid-19 unleashed social and economic devastation in early 2020. Growing tensions between great powers, fragmented and fragile neighbouring regions and a mounting wave of Eurosceptic nationalism weighed heavi-ly on the quintessentially liberal European integration project. Exacerbating Europe’s predicament was the unprecedented degree of estrangement with the United States, ruled by a president openly hostile to the EU and multilateralism such as Donald Trump. Last year this could have rep-resented the culmination of a perfect storm jolting the EU to its foundations. Yet, the much-feared collapse did not materialise. On the contrary, the urgency of tackling the public health crisis and its economic consequences spurred EU member states into action. The result was an integration thrust that would have been unthinkable just days before the pandemic reached European soil.The Biden Administration provides Europeans with a chance to relaunch the transatlantic partnership

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