tv French President Emmanuel Macron on Transatlantic Relations CSPAN February 11, 2021 5:04pm-6:37pm EST
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c-span2. and now on c-span3, french president emmanuel macron at the atlantic council discussing transatlantic trade, the nato alliance, climate change, and working with the biden administration. >> good afternoon everyone. my name is john rogers and i serve as the chairman of the atlantic council. and not withstanding the pandemic requirements that we do this virtually, it's truly a pleasure to be hosting this extraordinary event. it's my privilege to kick off today's official launch of the atlantic council's europe's center with generous participation of our special guest, his excellency, emmanuel macron. i was fortunate to meet president macron in april of 2018 at the white house. how things have changed since
then. as this audience knows well, the relationship with europe is at the very heart of the historic mission of the atlantic council, as we look to shape our collective future, tackling the global challenges and issues that affect us all in lock step with our closest strategic allies. as we embark on 2021, a storied year already, in its own right as the atlantic council celebrates its 60th anniversary, we find ourselves in the midst of a historic moment where countries and societies the world over face simultaneously a health crisis, an economic crisis and in some cases an identity crisis while grappling with sweeping technological changes, climate imperatives and strategic rivals growing increasingly assertive, such as
china and russia. against that backdrop, i think most with us today would agree this is also a pivotal moment for transformation. a unique opportunity for those in the transatlantic community to step up and once again shape the future of international order. of course at the atlantic council, we take our responsibilities to this effort with ernest. our europe program in recent years has grown rapidly under our leadership director benjamin adodd and that's why we're doubling down on europe with the launch of the new center. i want to congratulate benjamin and the entire team for their achievements and thank them in advance for what's to come. in a period of stark need of transformational leadership, there is one leader who has established himself as a bold and innovative voice in europe, and i am, of course, talking about president macron, whom we
are honored to have with us today. president macron, you have been a courageous reformer in france and an advocate for an ambitious europe agenda on the international stage. and i know i speak for the broader audience when i say we look forward to hearing your vision for the european union as an impactful global leader and partner with the united states. as we come together today in tackling this century's biggest challenges so far unfolding before us. and with that once again, thank you for joining us. i'll now hand it over to benjamin, director of the atlantic center's european center who will introduce and lead a conversation with president macron. thank you. >> thank you, john. it's my honor to be here in paris with you, president
macron, for the official launch of the europe center. it's not a coincidence if we wanted to be with you today in this critical time for transatlantic relations. we're in the midst of a pandemic, of a global climate crisis, of an economic crisis facing the more assertive china, and these times call, more than ever, for deep transatlantic bond. at the atlantic council, we will play our role in advocating for this relationship, as we always have. but we need to look forward with no denial of the challenges that we face and no nostalgia for the past. and this is why we will advocate at europe center for strong responsible assertive europe at the core of this transatlantic partnership. with offices in washington and warsaw and stockholm and belgrade with a network of fellows all across europe, strategic partnerships with security conference, globe sec, the chamber of commerce in greece and much more to come. we will continue to be a strong
voice in not observing the problems, but really being actors of change. this year the eu will be our priority. we will partner with the eu delegation in washington to launch a national campaign to reset eu u.s. relations, explain the european union to americans and explain why a strong and united eu is a core national interest of the united states. mr. president, you've been a transformational leader for europe, leading the way to a more sovereign europe on the international stage to face these challenges. and this is why we're so delighted to have you with us today. we brought a group of americans and europeans from all walks of life and generations to ask you questions on the foreign policy issues, the global economic challenges, but also the societal challenges that our countries face together. let me ask you the first question, mr. president. joe biden was inaugurated as
president two weeks ago. you spoke to president biden, stressed the necessity to coordinate uncommon challenges from covid-19 global economic recovery, the climate, china, the middle east, africa, russia i can't. where do we start? >> thank you very much. first of all thank you for being here. and thanks mr. chairman for your interdiction and your first remarks. and i'm very happy to inaugurate in a certain way europe center. and i want to congratulate you first for this ambition. and i'm deeply convinced that this willingness to build a new common agenda is absolutely core. we will refer to a number of topics during this discussion, but let me say for me the number one priority in the relation with the new u.s. administration and for the work between u.s. and europe is to have and to
deliver, i would say, results oriented. we work hard during these past few years in order to preserve the framework. all the issues you mentioned, economic and social crisis, inequalities, climate change, our democratic issues and so on, all of these issues require more coordination. and during the past few years we experienced a sort of dismantling of the existing military frameworks. so i think number one priority is to revert this materialism by pushing materialism to ensure we are efficient and precisely inclusive. this means having concrete results in order to fix the main changes or at least to start fixing these main challenges.
and for me, the very first days of this new administration are absolutely key in such a move. w.h.o. and his decision of president biden to go back first to be a contributor but as well to participate to the framework for all global health, to be part of the one health initiative at the same time. participation is the actor, our initiative for not just the african continent for poor and emerging continents in the context of the pandemic. and produce the commitment to invest at least 4 billion in this initiative. obviously decision to come back in the paris agreement and to join the club of countries in the situation to deliver carbon neutrality by 2050. and probably the coming decisions regarding
organizations and so on. this is the first issue because when i would say the main player, the one in charge is the one to live it. obviously it does weaken materialism. those who benefit from a situation are precisely the spoilers are those in the situation to propose or push which is not based on our common values and actual materialism. so, the second issue -- and it's linked to the very first one -- how precisely to invent altogether because we have to innovate clearly to fix these challenges. how to build new partnerships and build the new occurrences of our global world. what we see is clearly a world
where inequalities are at the top of the list. even before the pandemic and definitely after the covid-19 period of time, inequalities will be a very critical issue. we have now, i would say, a weaker regulation regarding largely damaged by past decisions. we have probably to invent new cooperations and partnerships. this is what we tried to do with the one planet summit, first to promote paris agreement but to launch new initiatives for biodiversity. we have to be very innovative because it's these type of new partnerships means building new cooperations between governments but new cooperations between
private players as well and ngos and some regional entities. and obviously when we look at digital issues, when we look at the crisis of our democracies we will have to build the series of new partnerships in order to precisely give content. this is the second pillar of critical zags. for me european union and the u.s. are the two main players to be together. but by being very inclusive with others sharing our values, precisely these new solutions in the current environment. and third i think we have to be much more committed to regional crisis and a consistent approach to this regional crisis. we spoke with president biden about the regional crisis. but when we speak about middle
east, speak about africa, speak about indo-pacific and the concept over the past few years, definitely we speak of the relation between u.s. and europe, our ability to work together, our ability to preserve or restore peace and stability in some of these regions. some of them are parts of the european neighborhood. some others are part of very critical origin in the current environment. some of them are part of resiesly the way to reshape the eu and china and the eu and u.s. relationship. and during this crisis means how the u.s. administration wants to engage in some of them. where are the main top priorities in the fight against terrorism is critical. and peace and stability in this region of the world is absolutely critical.
and it is as well how to clarify the whole of nato and the existing relationships. we'll have the occasion to revert on all the issues. but these are the three main ones for me to frame the valuation with the new u.s. administration. >> i want to pick up on your last point in reframing the partnership. europe has been at the core. ever since your election you gave a speech and pushed many initiatives on the european level. what do you think this european strategic autonomy agenda means for the transatlantic relationship? >> for me, very good news. why? i do believe you see the international fact. we are based on the expression of our people at the national level. but when you look at the current environment given all the changes, you see the european
union is a credible player and the one terrell advantage scale, i would say. so, my willingness from the very first dows of my mandates have been to try to bring them to the european sovereignty. during the past decades we lead the floor in a nationalistic approach, pushing for more sovereignty at a national level. but our actual sovereignty, which means deciding for yourself and being able to decide your own rules and regulation and to be in charge of your own choices and relevant at the european scale. this is why we decided to have a common agenda on tech, defense, currency, economic and fiscal answers to crisis and so on and
so on. and this is how we've progressively framed the concept of strategy. this concept means the european union has to be able to think itself as a common and relevant entity, to decide for itself and invest much more on the critical items of sovereignty. and different issues are a part of them. this decision is not just compatible with nato but very consistent with nato. and this is why i strongly believe that these decisions to make more together at the european scale is completely the interest of the united states. why? because when you look at the past decades in nato, the u.s. was the only one in charge in a certain way of our own security.
and the burden sharing as some former and present leaders were pushing, this is not fair. this is true. the relation became progressively insane. in a certain way, being part of nato was getting access to the umbrella of the u.s. army. and the counterpart was getting access to the contract and buying u.s. materials. and for me, this is a lose/lose approach for european countries and for the united states. why? first because this is not sustainable to have -- u.s. soldiers being in europe and in our neighborhood involved in such a scale without clear and direct interest. at a point of time, we have to be much more in charge of our neighbors.
sustainability in a democratic society was a risk. second it was, for me, an implicit decision of europe not to be in charge of its own defense. and there is no political entity which does exists, which is in charge of protecting its people. if you want to push, promote and preserve the idea and the reality of the european union, you want the european union to be in asituation to protect its people. that's why this strategy means having first european players investing much more for themselves. i decided myself an increasing budget for our defense. second, working hard together on common projects, streamlining our organization and developing common new technologies and equipments. this is what we did with
germany, spain and italy, but what we launch at the european scale as well. third, having big investment programs but as well developing much more common intervention with the common cultural intervention. this is what we pushed. i proposed it in september 17. now we have a dozen countries joining this european initiative of intervention. and we are developing concrete illustrations of this new approach. for instance we are engaging much more european countries with us to better protect countries. and i think this approach is definitely the interest of the u.s. because it creates more consistency and solidarity at the open scale and more involvement of european armies in basically different situations which decrease the
pressure on the rest of nato players, which means the u.s. what i want to preserve is obviously strong and political coordination with the united states in order to define design concept of nato. and what i want to preserve is the interoperability of our armies because it means more efficiency for our interventions everywhere. we decided together with the u.s. and uk, unique operation against the use of chemical weapons in spring 18 and we developed interoperability with nato. now in the coming weeks and months we will have very critical time because on the basis of the reports, after my formula in 2019, i think we are in a period, in a moment of clarification. we have to clarify the new
concept and our new willingness. who is the enemy? nato was basically created to fight against usso. how to deal with new specific issues, china. this is the question. this is the elephant in the room. we have to speak very clearly about this issue. my willingness is to have a political approach because i want a stable and peaceful world. but it means managing together to have a fair and open discussion, sometimes to share differences. but i think we have to face this issue. third, having a clear rule of conduct between states. we will probably revert in that. but how to speak as a path in
nato partners. when you have a partner like turkey having the behavior we experienced in 2019 and 2020. i'm happy to see the change, and i want to welcome the recent declaration of president erdogan. but both the u.s. and europe experienced an incredible aggress ift during two years in differ"e=j÷ theaters. and i think a clarification of the solidarity and the well behavior, good behavior in such a framework is absolutely critical. all this stuff is possible because europe is well and more organized and precisely because we developed this concept of sovereignty and strategy. >> so, i know that we'll unpack some of these issues with our guests. i'll turn to our first guest, dr. esther bremer, executive director and ceo, and former
secretary of state. i know she wants to talk to you about -- >> we are heirs to the enlightenment and the great revolutions of the 18th century, yet on january 6th, a violent mob marched down those beautifully straight avenues that design for our capitol city. they invaded congress and threatened our elected leaders. in 2018, protesters marched in paris. zen phobia and violence are no longer just at the edge of politics. what is the state of liberal democracy today?
>> thank you very much for this question. i'm not sure i will totally be in a situation to provide it completely. but i can share thoughts about this situation. these are probably most tame of the recent periods of time, democracies with the complete solidarity and friendship. and look, i think first violence, hate, xenophobia are back in our societies. and i think this is brand-new. it is pushed and legit mated by some political groups. for me, the initial deal of democracy is that you can choose your leader. you elect them.
you elect people in charge of making your rules. you have freedom of speeches, of demonstration. but in exchange of that in a certain way, you have to respect everybody. you have to accept somebody not to agree with you, and violence is forbidden. and it seems that some political narratives legitimated violence in our society, saying there is such a violence of the current economic or social organizations, that your decision to go into the streets and to kill, to hurt or to destroy is legitimate. violence is resuming. violence was progressively
vanishing and now it's resuming in the different forms you mentioned. i'm very worried about that because this is a threat for democracy. for a lot of people, this is unacceptable. how to stop that, it is very hard when this violence is found legitimate by a lot of people. and that's what we're experiencing in a lot of democracy. my deep conviction is that social networks are definitely part of the roots of this change which is a political change because they legitimated in a certain way the lack of inhibition in the certain speech. they promoted the culture of tough words, of conflict and so on. and it progressively, according
to me, changed the nature, the deep nature of what democratic debate should be. this is why if we want to preserve our democracies we have to address these issues. you know, we made a lot of progress in the past three to four years in order to fight against terrorism on social networks. i remember it started here after the terrorist attack of july 2017. we launched an initiative. we promoted in the un. at the very beginning a lot of people on behalf of free speech culture, which is by the way our culture were very reluctant to regulate our social networks to fight against terrorist content. a few months later, we had this attack and we launched with
prime minister arden and other leaders. and we delivered and we got from the main u.s. social networks to have the commitment, to have the content identified by the platform and social networks and ourselves. and they did it. i can tell you they are extremely efficient and they helped us a lot. we just a few weeks ago passed the legislation to do so. what we did on terrorist attack, we have to do it in order to fight against hate speeches, xenophobia on social networks and so on. the unique way to preserve our democracies is to re-establish order in this new space where people live and think and more and more because of the pandemic as well i have to say.
and this new regulation, this new governance in a certain way has to be democratic between our leaders. and i think this is very important and very critical challenge of our time. we have to do much more. you mentioned the capitol to say we are very upset here in paris. and i express my friendship and my solidarity and my trust in the strength of your democracy. but at the same time, we were very upset as well by the fact that a few hours later all the platforms -- and let me be very politically incorrect -- all the platforms which egged president trump to be efficient, to promote the same demonstrations a few hours before, at the second when they were over,
suddenly cut the mic and put the mic on mute and killed all the platforms where it was possible for himself and his supporters to express themselves. okay. it was unique, but it's not a democratic answer. i don't want to live in a democracy with the key decisions and the point of time to cut your mic to be sure that ben is not in a situation to speak anymore because of the speech is decided by a private player, a private social network. i want it to be decided by, discussed and approved by democratic leaders. this is one of the critical issues if we want to stop that because 2018 in france, 2021 in the u.s., this is indeed the new
violence in our democracy largely linked to the social networks. >> let's turn to some of the comment and foreign policy challenges we're facing. i'm going to take questions two at a time because we have a lot of questions for you, mr. president. let me turn to professor at columbia university, wrote a book on the financial crisis. and then you will turn to professor joseph nigh at harvard. >> hello. >> caller: mr. president, hello. it's a privilege to be here. i would like to ask you a question on the idea of multilateralism. i think the need for this focus is urgent. we obviously need to respond, if you like, to the challenge, the output, legitimacy generated, for instance, by the chinese
regime. but it is also a cruel and tough standard to live up to. it's not enough to say you did things the right way. you have to deliver results. the specific issue i have in mind is one of the ones which i know is in the minds of many europeans right now, and it's the issue of the vaccine and how we might think about our experience with the vaccine as an object, a project, a model but also in some sense a warning of how we go forward from here. it's a huge triumph of a transatlantic endeavor. but it's seemingly taking on the dimensions of a tragic failure in our ability at the macro level to ensure anything remotely like an equitable or even just prudent distribution of the vaccine. and then to be able to deliver it in a legitimate and credible way even to the affluent
populations of europe. i would like to hear your view on how that's going and how we might develop results around this critical issue of biosecurity by way of vaccine technology. >> let me turn to professor nigh, former dean of the kennedy school of government, board director of the atlantic council. >> mr. president, i would like to follow up on your comments about china. as you know, many economists believe that by the end of this decade, the chinese economy exchange rates will be larger than the american economy. at that point how should europe and france respond? there are some european leaders have suggested that europe should find a position equidistant between the united states and china. there are others who say, no, if you look at the internal nature of china and the chinese economy, if it becomes dominant
in the global standards when it's a society based on surveillance, it's going to damage our democracies. and instead the democracies should start something called a t-12, a technology 12, of countries which will have special trading arrangements to set standards so that we're not prey to chinese companies or chinese standards in areas like surveillance, artificial intelligence and big data. in other words, eke distance would be a tremendous mistake. this is not just about balancing two large powers. it's about preserving democracy. so, these seem to be big choices that europe faces. i wonder if you could tell us how you see it from the french as well as the european perspective. >> thank you very much for these very -- these two easy
questions. let's first start with dr. tu's question about indeed how to illustrate results. i would say covid-19 is indeed a very interesting object in order to sink and how to deliver on that. on purpose i don't just speak about vaccine because i think the answer is covid-19 crisis and the consequences. i think first at the g-20 level and largely led at that time by the european leaders but in a co-constriction and common work with the african leaders, we launched march 2020 these actor limitations. we conceived an approach where dealing with covid-19 crisis was helping the african countries in order to preserve the system, to
treat people and to deal with economic and social consequences of the pandemic. at this stage the main consequences for africa is much more economic than health consequence. given the population, probably some other main features of african societies. and we started this approach and we delivered first results. we created the common organizations, the actor initiatives, common governance with the african leaders the african union and covax for the vaccine. if you look at the past few months, i agree with you. china probably managed to convince some countries with
deep diplomacy of the vaccine. they delivered very efficiently as a reaction to the first inclusive and much more g-20/african union initiative because they were in the situation to provide vaccine. they were less impacted by the pandemic during the recent period of time than the u.s. and the european union. and they put themselves in a situation to provide a lot of doses to some countries. some are in into golf and some african countries. with unclear diplomatic successes. and it can provide the ideas that they are more efficient than the approach we had a few months ago. but i think if we have a comprehensive and coordinated approach, i think on the very
long run we can be more efficient. and this is what i want to advocate. because on the very short term, we can be impressed by the chinese efficiency, this is true. this is a little bit humiliating for us as leaders, perhaps as countries. i received a few days ago no need to go to africa or poor countries, the serbian president was here. he get access to vaccines thanks to chinese corporation to be very direct with you. with clear and genuine remark, these are more efficient. but what we are seeing is i think much more complicated in the way to address it, especially for poor and emerging countries is likely more sophisticated. number one, dealing with the virus with vaccine requires to be sure that we have the appropriate vaccination, that the vaccine is clearly a relevant one against the different environments.
we have common and transparent information. and i think this is where at the very moment of the crisis w.h.o. has a very important role. i will have the opportunity next week to speak to dr. tedros. all the w.h.o. needs to be in the situation to access the vaccines against the initial covid-19 virus. today we have some evidence about the u.s. vaccines, some other european vaccines, some partnership made between players. it seems we can have more information with russian vaccines with the publication yesterday. i have no information about the chinese one. i will not comment. but this is matter of fact.
what it means is this vaccine is not appropriate, it will facilitate the emergence of new variant, and by the way, is probably a good example of what can happen with the situation, people infected, some being vaccinated and getting a new form of the covid-19. so, i think what we can provide is the best possible science with our stand out, transparent, relevant and science being proposed. and there's a scrutiny of, i would say, the best possible researchers in the world. this is not today's case for this chinese vaccine at this point of time and i would be very happy if they provide such
initiatives. so, for me efficiency could be detrimental to the midterm efficiency in this situation. this is for vaccine. but more than that, you think our actor initiatives that i want to advocate is exactly for me a new type of partnership where we can deliver much more rapidly collectively because we put ourself in a situation to provide vaccine to emerging countries. pfizer and moderna are not"di relevant for these countries given the main'r. especially in terms of logistics. but johnson & johnson, astrazeneca, others could be much more relevant. if we put together our financing and commitment we can provide to these countries a number of doses without comparison to the one provided by china. in the coming weeks and months,
this is the first first thing. the second thing, in our initiative we included treatments because you can avoid some severe form ifs r a lot of people. testing, it's impossible basically to deal with a pandemic if you don't have a testing strategy. and it means that on top of that, you have to work directly with the government and to allow them to sensor their primary health system. if you don't have strict rules, doctors, nurses and so on, it's impossible to have a vaccination campaign. we know that in our countries. it will be the same in africa and america. the fact that we have a much more comprehensive approach, inclusive, open to everybody, even china, by the way, and inclusive for basically the
countries where the pandemic could be very tough, african or latin-american countries is most efficient way to get access to precisely results. now what is at stake to follow you is number one, w.h.o. commitment to a full transparency and common standards because one of the weakening point of the oriented materialism is the diverse approach. if you have one big country, one playing with different standard, no transparency and so on, you are weakened. so, we need the w.h.o. second, more commitment of the country and the u.s. decision -- is a recent u.s. decision for the precisely actor and covax is critical. and third, implementation capacity by involving precisely all the emerging and poor countries and having this transparency approach i mentioned.
for me it's now the time to deliver by making it very pragmatic. and it's time to implement it. and i mean it's a perfect and complete equation, would be in the coming weeks and months if precisely we deliver ourselves and manage to organize big campaign in these countries based on our covax initiative to provide vaccine but more largely the actor initiative we launched together. but once again, i think it's -- the fact that we are more demanding, more comprehensive is forming definitely a strength. to go to the second question, professor, about china. first let me say that our view is that china is altogether a partner, a competitor and a systemic rival, which means this
is a partner when you have to deal on some global issue, with some global issues like climate change. china is a partner. they're committed. they are changing the system. they are trying to reduce their co2 emission, and i have to say during the past few years they definitely created an efficient carbon market in their country. they took some clear commitment and get some results. this is a competitor when we speak about trade issues. this is a systemic rival given its ambition in the indo-pacific region and its values, human ruths. so, question is how to recognize these different agendas and precisely how to deal with what you mentioned. i think we never have to precisely consider that we are -- for we we are two
different scenario. number one would be a scenario where we're put in a situation to join altogether against china. this is a scenario of the highest possible. thisthis is a complicated scena. it would push china to increase its original strategy. it would push china to diminish its corporation. the second scenario, depending, would be to say we should be a partner, the same distance from the u.s. as china. it doesn't make sense because we are a systemic rival. we do share the same values. we do share the same history. and we have to face precisely
all the challenges facing our democracies. so the question for us is how to precisely team up on some critical issues and try to be the useful player to push china not to diverge anymore. i don't know what will happen in the coming years, and to be honest with you, probably the coming semester's will be very critical for chinese leaders in the country. china decided to be part of the w.h.o., world trade organization, so on. now that the u.s. is not engaging, what will be the behavior of china? i think we have precisely, and good faith, to try to work together. that's why i will push in the
coming months a.g. five summit in order to recreate the five permanent members in convergence, because we totally lost the of fish and see. second, i think we have to engage china in a bold and efficient climate agenda. and i think engagement of the u.s. is a good occasion as well to have a collective execution on that. the fact that glasgow will be at the same time, more or less, than the chinese cup is good. we now have to creates a global initiative on trade, industry, and poverty.
on this issue, i think the disallowed meant of the u.s. and the european union was totally counterproductive. i think we have to resume an execution. the w.h.o. level and also we need to create north -- fix the issue of i.d., which is definitely a critical issue. ideally and market access are the two critical issues in order to, i would say, perhaps open a new fate of normalization. and then we have the human rights agenda. on this issue, i obviously think we have to put pressure, be very clear, and we have to find the right ways to try to reengage on some critical points. this is where the famous investment agreement signed at
the end of last year with china by the european union was formed. the agreement is not a huge deal. it's not a transformational deal for china or the european union. had president, some very important and positive items will improve issues on investment and access to market. it failed to deal with the issue of i.d.. let's be clear. for the first time, china accepted to engage on i-l oh regulation and to come to a decision on labor issues, which are a part of how human rights work. for me, this is very interesting. this is a test of the reality of good faith.
i tried to separate these. we have a series of decisions with china where we can have a positive agenda on common interests to deliver because we speak about global issues without controversial approaches. obviously, we have a very challenging agenda not only on economic issues, but the common interest should be to reduce the conflict. and we have the very complicated human rights agenda. we need to have direct execution and precisely engage on specific issues. in order to be in situation, it will take a number of years. what we have to do, obviously the u.s., but the european union as well is an ability to
negotiate. you mentioned that very fairly. i think on technology, on artificial intelligence, on the types of initiatives, space will be a critical issue as well, we have to put ourselves in a situation if we decide. but we have to avoid in any way to depend on a chinese solution. we have to avoid depending because i don't want to depend on the u.s. decision either. otherwise, i would be put in a situation not to decide for the european continent. this is why a year and a half ago, i launched an initiative on 5g in order to have a european solution.
i totally decided to endorse this decision in execution with china. i am very happy to see that the european commission in march of 2020 decided to put its own strategy out for 5g, same with the regulation of platforms, same with the regulation we need for artificial intelligence. i think we can cooperate more ; created lçc# semesters ago. luck i hope the u.s. will join and participate. we created it largely with canada. we can work together to avoid any dependency on a technical decision.
but where we want to be a preserving our ability to decide for ourselves is a precondition of any agenda with china. >> the next guest from berlin, sofia, is a research fellow at the atlantic council and then rachel resow from washington, d.c. as a director of programming at the national century project. >> mister president, thank you for speaking to us today. it's a great pleasure to be a part of this event. i would like to connect you to strategic autonomy and the role of nato. for some european governments, defense has become less urgent with president biden. for them, an essential point
for political autonomy has been nato's weakness. while turkey may well be an issue, the new u.s. administration has made restoring alliances and nato a central key of foreign policy. how can we make this transatlantic alignment succeed without undermining european defense initiatives? how can nato usefully meet your vision of european autonomy? >> thank you, ben. it is an honor to be a part of this conversation today. mister president, i would like to shift the conversation to russia. earlier this week, a moscow court sentenced oppositional leader alexei navalny to more than two years in prison. over the last weekend, thousands of russians have taken to the streets to protest his arrest, and it's likely these protests will continue in
light of the sentencing. you've adopted sanctions against russia. however, you've also been a proponent of ongoing dialog with moscow. what are the areas of overlapping interest between europe and the new biden administration to work together and shape a common russia policy. thank you. >> i think you're right. some leaders, some leaders in europe, could be convinced that a realignment of the agenda with the as administration could weaken our strategy and reduce its relevance. i don't believe that is the case. as i tried to explain at the beginning of our discussion, i think the more europe is committed to defend and be parts of the protection of these neighborhoods, the more it is important for the u.s. as well, because this is a more
firm position. the question is a nature of the coordination at nato and the quality of our political concepts and our common targets. look at the reality. the middle east, africa, they are our neighbors. they are not u.s. neighbors. it's a matter of fact. i remember a few years ago when we spoke about syria, it was a fair and democratic decision of the u.s. to finally not make an operation and an attack after the use of chemical weapons. this decision left europe without the ability to do anything. i think not only did it definitely weaken the
credibility of nato, but it weakened the europeans themselves, because we are not speaking about a place very far from us. we are speaking about syria in 2017, just speaking about a place where the terrorists attacked in paris of 2015. this is why i think the europeans have to understand that we do need this cooperation, in this very intimate world with the u.s.. but our duty, definitely, is not to put ourselves in a situation to depend on the u.s. decision. any u.s. decision that is democratic could be led by the domestic approach, could be led by a domestic agenda, and obviously the reasonable weight
of u.s. interests will not be exactly the same as the european one, especially when you speak about trump. i would say, whoever would be in charge on both sides, this will be the right approach for our fair interests on both sides. the point is we have to change the mindset that clearly exists in new york, because we built the concept of the absence of european defense, and in a lot of countries, basically, we created a system and a mindset and a dna where not having a clear defense, not being in a situation, was a precondition after world war ii.
now, we are opening a new era where we have to put ourselves in a situation to clearly prepare and endorse our european defense. i want to insist on the fact that we need strong cooperation. as for turkey, when i look at the situation both for europe and the u.s., we put ourselves in a crazy situation. in the absence of any regulation by nato, the absence of intervention to stop was detrimental for us. two years ago, turkey launched an operation without any cooperation with nato, the u.s., with france, in northern syria. they launched this operation as our troops were on the ground. the coalition was present in syria, a coalition led by the u.s. but with our participation. it was based on a national
approach. some of this is true, but they launched military operations in a place where our presence at the coalition level was. and it was against our proxies, u.s. soldiers, french soldiers, all our soldiers, working together against isis on the ground. suddenly, someone decided to kill them because they could have intelligence, exactly what happened. the credibility of nato, the u.s., france, was totally destroyed in the region. who can trust you when you behave in such a way without any consequence? this decision was lowered or at the explicit decision of the u.s. to restore a role in
syria. after libya, and the eastern mediterranean sea, we had a systematic turkish approach which was unfriendly with its different partners, european and nato members. this is why i suddenly declared that nato was a brand organization, because what is the concept? who is the enemy? you are supposed to be nice and an organization where such behaviors are totally out. in 2020, we've got some results. i think the reengagement of a
new u.s. administration, much more compliant with the approach of nato than with such demanding -- and i am very happy with that. i hope we will deliver concrete evidence of the ability to deliver. it is a delicate situation. get rid of turkish troops from libya. get rid of thousands of jihadists, exported from syria to libya by turkey itself. in complete breach of the berlin conference, the syrian approach, i hope they decrease the pressure in the mediterranean. even now, it seems better. i think in the coming months,
what we need is the u.s., the europeans, and a few members to clearly work hard on the basis of the reports that have been given to us a year ago to clarify the new concepts yuck. is isis, my enemy, it's not automatically a small area. how do you find the information to legitimize your enemy. we have some rules well established and we need solidarity when we are attacked. there is a lack of rule and order in situations where your interests can be at stake and where an intervention is
counterproductive. when we speak about the mediterranean, we speak of our neighbors and turkey. we do have an impact. this is why i believe that the u.s. realignment with nato is very important to make this clarification and to raise nato as a superstructure to coordinate our own forces. but the political body to arm our positions. i totally share your remarks and i expressed yesterday my extraordinarily clear condemnation of the russian decision to condemn someone politically not to be compliant with his treatment in russia as
in berlin, which i think is probably the most obvious way to display irony and disrespect not just for him but the rest of the world. i think it's a huge mistake, even for russian stability. we decided some sanctions, and i do regret and condemn the decisions. having said that, obviously, we have the ukrainian situation. we just to find sanctions and we designed in minsk with a format and we make some small progress on december 19th, here in perth. we are working hard to get more progress, but in such a context, why did i decide indeed to
resume these discussions with russia? indeed, i advocate ongoing dialog. because i think you have to deal with your history. russia's part of europe. i think this is very important, whatever happens, to accomplish it will be big for the world. we have common values, history, culture, things like that. it is impossible to have peace and stability, especially with
the borders today, if you are not in a situation to negotiate and for different reasons, largely due to instability and the nato expansion, we created a situation where we push our borders to the maximum place. we did not managed to decrease the stability at the border. the goal is precisely to find a common way to build peace and security for the whole continent. that means having a dialog on cyber stability, on any critical sensitive areas where
you have ukraine and so on. we needed a political discussion with russia. it will be our willingness to protect and the willingness to dominate. and when i look at the outcomes of the past strategy with ukraine, and with a lot of countries, our results are not positive. so we need to recreate a framework of execution for these countries and this part of our continent. second, when we speak about arms control, definitely, we need execution. with the u.s. decision to leave the inf, europe is no longer protected. we were not perfectly protected, by the way, poland and some other places, given the legal framework of the inf.
but we framed, in a certain way, our position regarding arms control in a cold war way. i won't, as a european, stop participation between the european union and russia. we need the u.s., and probably china, which is very important for the u.s. agenda. that's fair. i do approve. but we need broader execution on different arms control agreements in order to face the conflict in our world. but as we speak about the safety of the european continent, we do need the europeans to have a resolution about these issues. if you don't create the right conditions and dialog, this will be impossible. last point, our neighborhood. in the middle east, what we
experienced in the last few years was a decrease of our collective credibility, because of the fact that we decided not to intervene. because of the fact that states and proxies are intervening and working very well with -- maximize their efficiency because of precisely this new type of war and, at this point in time, we almost, as european americans, we almost disappeared and we are not in a situation to basically stabilize an international or unilateral framework of solution if we want to reengage, we need to reengage dialog with russia. there are three examples where stopping you need dialog, and being stuck in some critical
situation like ukraine and meddling, which i extremely -- important and the way we have to be tough. full solidarity which is the case. beyond this, we do need a comprehensive dialog having said that, i'm extremely lucid in a short term or ability to deliver and have concrete results is very low. i'm listening. that is our duty it is to preserve and resume the channels of discussion and not to take the responsibility to stop the dialog on our side and to constantly reengage. my experience, even with the current people in charge in russia, is that the more you reengage, the more you put reasonable pressure -- when you are tough and you don't deliver, or when you don't speak, when you don't speak about an issue, they
consider that the bar is open and they can go. if you put a red line, and you deliver, you build your credibility, what we did by the way in 2018 with the operation in syria and if you constantly reengage dialog, you can get the results but at least to avoid strongest divergence. it will take years. perhaps decades. we do need such a dialog for european peace and stability. >> mister president with your permission let me take two last questions before we turn to our ceo to close this. the chairman and ceo of fedex, and then money through arson ville, who is a former staffer in the obama white house in atlantic council with a new leadership fellow >> hello mr. president. as you know, trade
liberalization since the end of world war ii was a very big part of the increased prosperity that we all enjoy today. and the transatlantic expansion of trade was particularly important. so what are your thoughts on how to re-engage europe and the united states in a more positive and expanded trade relationship? >> sorry, monique? >> his down my, called messi done as of all our gadget not a colossal. >> thanks for having us in this discussion, the current celestial and political climate, we have young people who are effect about covid-19 pandemic a generation that feels the economic -- job hunting during a recession, you young people have witnessed populism and the rise and really wars on and off their shores.
my question to you is, would you say to these young people, around the world, many of whom are isolated at home, grappling with these issues and still working every day to find creative solutions to lead and to stay connected with the people around them? >> thank you very much i do agree with you about the fact that trade liberalization did provide a lot of growth and opportunities for people all over the place. once extremely efficient strategy to reduce poverty in a lot of places. we are in quite different situation, our challenge is that we need a more comprehensive agenda. first, obviously, we have and we will have post covid-19 to resume some exchanges because, that was his word. reduced speed illness and
stability to exchange. i think that there is a critical point, is to preserve and increase market access. the ability to provide bold opportunities, and the ability to have an efficient organization of our trade and our industries. in such a framework, the kind of discussions we mentioned, formerly with, -- as critical as access market to china is one of the main and the agenda. having said that, we have to take into consideration, two issues. number one, climate change. we did not take into consideration climate change issues, in the former trade liberalization. if we want, and we do want, to reduce co2 emissions, we will have to completely reshape our way we see trade liberalization. as i was mentioning, how to
reduce our carbon footprint. how to rethink our logistics, how to be closer in terms of production to the final market. this is a very important part. the second point, is inequalities. i want to insist on that. our trade liberalization's was focused, i would say, on the consumer side. largely. how to reduce the pricing of different products and goods. and, we killed a lot of jobs in society, and this is true. we reduced property in emerging countries. but we increased the gap and the inequalities in our societies. this is part of the democratic crisis we have. i revert to the previous questions about democratic crisis, i focused my answer on violence and hate. but inequalities in our society is critical, they're a legitimizing basically resuming of violence.
any new trade agenda should take into consideration the question of inequalities, and our society. so, but i do believe in, is, i would say, a multi -- sticky order trade. where we have to take into consideration, consumers, workers, stakeholders, citizens, and where we have to reconcile, economic -- economic, climate, and inequality issues. it's impossible to resume the former framework we have, with u.s. and europe. they've nina -- they haven't taken into consideration of climate change, and inequality issues. to be frank with you. it means also as well, while i do endorsed have any regional trade agreement with countries or region, which does not comply with the paris agreement,
but we also have to assess the pros and cons of this agenda. so, it should be must more sophisticated, but more than that. what we should work on very actively, or together in the coming months and years, it's to build a common agenda between the world trade organization, the eye a low, the imf and our multi lateral regulation of climate change and biodiversity. putting phase are different tracks and agenda, is the only way to build the new sustainable openness and trade agenda. let me go to the second question, about our youth and this new generation. i share your concern and your willingness to i dress this issue to this generation. i have to say that, this
generation probably understand much more than ours the importance of climate change. with a unique awareness of the fact that, our ability to fix this issue, and to provide clear and relevant answers, was a global agenda. based on cooperation. this generation, it is the one to have 20 years during the pandemic -- 20 years old during this pandemic. and as one to the students, to have this first love affairs, and so on. as we live at home without any bars, restaurants, and sometimes without the ability to go to school, or to go to universities it's totally unfair, this situation where we are deciding lockdowns, a lot of restrictions to protect our older people my first point is
that, they understand the solidarity between generations. but, what they want now, what they need, it seems to me ... the necessity, not just to be part of a world pre-organized, not just have a place to earn money and live a normal life. but to be part of the reinvention, i would say, the ability to recreate a new world. and to have a meaningful path, of this ability to create, precisely. not just new governments, but, the role of the game. and our ability to live altogether. so, if i had a message to deliver to this generation, my first message would be --
i know the efforts we are asking of you, your generation, are definitely the highest of our society. because it's not just to protect yourself and stay at home, and so on. but it's to renounce to wet makes -- the pleasure of life during these years. but you do it precisely because, we probably reduced covid during this period of time. this is what's solidarity and -- means. we decided to put human life on top of economic interest. but, what we owe to your generation, it's not to go back to normal life, the day after. its first, to provide the opportunity to study during
this period of time, to clearly have a full awareness of the fact that, you are active and an important player of our fight against the virus. and, to help you, to build new initiatives in this period of time, and for the future, to reshape the world, and build what i call that the beginning of our discussion, this new consensus. to help innovate and provide new solutions. let's be clear, i am sure that our world, post-covid, first will be a world where human life, human dignity will be much higher than before. what -- our fight against inequalities, for an ambitious and fair health care system will be much higher. we will have to rebuild in a mu more inclusive way. and you'll have a role to play because you are the one to
innovate. and when i speak about innovation i speak about technological innovation but sociological innovation. and during this period of time what was unthinkable -- what was unthinkable, should be made and organized in order to provide medically, new solutions, for climate change, fight against inequalities, and build a new inclusive growth. i think our role in our duty as politicians, is to give them the opportunity to do so. by preserving the ability to go to school in university, by basically providing the best possible situation, post covid-19.
and, probably by giving them the maximum opportunities and chance, to be part of the solution. and this new innovation. >> mister president, before we turn to fred camp, our president and ceo to close a conversation, i really want to thank you for this fascinating exchange, and the ambitious agenda that you laid out. i want to tell you that, your friends and partners at the atlanta council in the united states, and europe to help you implement this vision in the next coming years. let's turn to fred, maybe you want to say a word first. >> thank you very much, thank you for this opportunity. we addressed a lot of topics, i'm sorry if i was too long of my answers. obviously, we need to address some of these topics. i just am very lightly in the beginning, but we can have further discussions, but obviously, our discussion our role and our new partnership
with the u.s., will be absolutely critical in africa. we mentioned about covid-19, obviously, the vaccine and our initiative. but we are very much involved, we have an agenda where, we do work hand in hand with the u.s.. we need this commitment, i think in the coming months, our path more ship with the u.s., based on security but also development issue, will be absolutely critical. and, we did not mention iran, which is a surprise for a lot of people, but we have various discussions about china and russia, but let me say that i do welcome the willingness to reengage a dialog with iran to and this is a common challenge. i will do whatever i can to support any initiative on the u.s. side to reengage with dialog, and i will be would i
was and available two years ago and one and a half years ago, to try to be honest and broker this dialog. i do believe we need to finalize, indeed, a new position with iran. president biden has a critical role, first, because they are much closer to the nuclear bomb now than they were before the jcpoa was signed in 2015. second, we have to address ballistic missile issues, and we have to address the stability. the agenda is to be negotiated now. this is the right timing. we have to find a way to involve saudi arabia. they are some of the key partners of the region directly interested by the outcomes.
it's possible to fix the issue without being assured every country is in support. i want to thank you again for this discussion and your questions, and by welcoming once again your initiative at the atlantic council. >> mister president, thank you so much. that was a tour de force. thank you for guiding us through that. congratulations on the new year up center. thank you mister president for helping us launch. you brilliantly framed what you see at the heart of u.s. european relationships and the opportunities of our time. everything from vaccine to diplomacy, turkey, russia, next
generation trade, iran. you outlined at the beginning a three point agenda for u.s. european relations, starting with rebuilding and strengthening the multilateralism that we together created after world war ii and his service so well for 75 years. you called for new partnerships for our new and future challenges, climate, biodiversity, nato, with the european union and united states. third, he focused on working together on key regional challenges, the middle east, africa, indo-pacific, again, with europe and the u.s. at the heart, but also working with china, also involved in the eu and nato, calling the eu the political body to harmonize our choices. the european union can be impactful partner for the united states to tackle the
centuries biggest challenges. it's the right time for that message. at the atlantic council, we see ourselves as being a historical inflection point, as important as the periods of time after world war one and world war two. we know at that time, the transatlantic relationship was decisively negative. mister president, i want to thank you for your significant comments in launching this, but to be truthful, the entire atlantic council has been europe's center for 60 years. we have 14 programs and centers in africa, latin america, the middle east. we have -- in this way, we are designed to promote suggest the future agenda you outlined for us today, as we work on common
cause of all the issues. mister president, you can count on us to be there in the global atlantic council community as partners for robust, franco american relations and of course long-standing nato allies. thank you for closing, giving such an inspirational message to the next generation with the wonderful quote post-covid, how the value of life will be higher than before and after covid. thanks again mister president. we will continue to build this agenda by hosting the president of the european council, who will be live a week from now on february 10th at 10:30 am eastern standard time. we hope to see you all than and thank you again, mister
president. next, governor kevin stitt talks about oklahoma's covid-19 response and his state of the state address. governor state is in the middle of his first term in office. he spoke from the state capital in oklahoma city for almost 40 minutes. >> chief operating officer john but and members of my