In the United States, President von der Leyen meets President Biden, receives the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Award

(Source: European Commission)

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen visited the United States from 9 to 11 November, and met with President of the United States Joe Biden.

Two leaders discussed pressing international topics, from the efforts on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, to the situation on the borders of the EU and Belarus.

On the topic of vaccination, President von der Leyen stressed the need to increase the vaccination rate, and repeated the joint commitment to the goal of vaccinating 70% of population worldwide by next year.

Speaking of the situation on the EU-Belarus border, President von der Leyen said this was ‘a challenge to the whole of the EU’. “And this is not a migration crisis. This is the attempt of an authoritarian regime to try to destabilise its democratic neighbours. This will not succeed,” she stressed.

Presidents von der Leyen and Biden also discussed Ukraine, and agreed that they fully supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as well as country’s efforts to modernise and transform the economy.

The situation on the island of Ireland was also part of the talks, where President von der Leyen underlined that it was very important that the agreement found in the Protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement were in place, because they are the possibility to keep peace and stability on the island of Ireland.

While in the United States, President von der Leyen received the 2021 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council for her commitment to maintaining transatlantic ties.

Receiving the award, President von der Leyen said the EU and America were natural partners, and that their interests and values converged on all of the most crucial issues of our times. She spoke for example about the joint efforts to shape the economic recovery while fighting climate change, to rewrite modern rules for the global economy, and to protect our democracies.

She touched upon a number of recent initiatives the EU and US have launched together, from the Global Methane Pledge, efforts to decarbonise steel and aluminium industries, to the work of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.

President von der Leyen also met with the Heads of mission of EU Member States in Washington D.C., as well as representatives of several US think tanks.

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