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Expect Biden's first European trip to drive concrete steps with G7, EU

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What do you expect from President Biden's first European trip since taking office?

Well, first, it will be sort of reconnecting with Europe, reconnecting with the European Union, with NATO, with the partners in the G7, and going really from the initial message, which was, "we are back," to a more concrete message, "here is what we could potentially do together." That is the expectations. And let's see how it turns out.

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Biden-Putin summit: US wants predictability; G7's strong COVID response

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

What topics will be in focus at the G7 summit?

Well, most importantly is the collective response to coronavirus. 1 billion vaccines, repurposed, and tens of billions of dollars in financing from the G7 to lower income economies around the world. It is by far the most significant show of leadership displayed since the pandemic started and it's coming from the United States and its allies. That is meaningful, especially given the direction that the world has been heading, this G-Zero world over the course of the past decades. It's nice to see. Lots of other issues being discussed. It's only 60 seconds. I can't go that far.

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What We're Watching: Biden meets Boris, Iranian ships in the Atlantic, Argentinian president's mishap

Biden hangs with Boris: On his first trip to Europe as US president, Joe Biden stopped first in the UK where he met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. While Biden is keen to reaffirm the close bond between the two countries, there are also some thorny issues on the agenda. The US president likely reiterated the importance of London safeguarding the fragile peace in Northern Ireland, and instructed Johnson to refrain from triggering a provision in the EU-UK post-Brexit trade agreement that would reestablish a land border separating Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state. Indeed, on this issue, Johnson will have to find a middle ground in managing the warming temperature in Northern Ireland, and placating the US president, who he desperately wants to agree to a juicy post-Brexit US-UK trade deal. Also on the agenda: coordination on climate change and ensuring the smooth and safe reopening of US-UK travel after 16 months of chaos.

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GZERO event highlights: IMF chief, G7 vaccine pledges, global health security

For IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (above), a two-track pandemic means a two-track recovery that'll hurt the entire world in the long run. That's why she anticipates G7 leaders meeting this week will commit to sending about one billion doses of COVID vaccines to the developing world by the end of the year in new financing and shots unused by wealthy nations. Georgieva hopes it'll be a summit that gives all countries "a fair short in the arm, a fair shot at the future."

Georgieva was one of many experts who joined this week's two-part livestream discussion about post-pandemic health security hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Flagship Pioneering, Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security, presented in partnership with Flagship Pioneering.

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Biden goes to Europe, but is America really “back”?

As he packs his bags for his first foreign trip, US President Joe Biden has some convincing to do.

On Wednesday he leaves on a weeklong journey to Europe, where he will meet with European allies, visit NATO headquarters, attend the G7 meetings in Cornwall, and hold a face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

Biden's European hosts will be glad to see him. After four years of a Trump administration that treated most of them with contempt, here comes a US president who values Washington's traditional alliances and seems interested in working with US partners to tackle big global issues like climate change, technology regulation, a rising China, and a revanchist Russia. "America," Biden has said, "is back."

But there are thorny items on the agenda too.

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What We're Watching: A year since George Floyd, G7 corporate tax, Samoa's political crisis

Marking a year since George Floyd's murder: May 25 marks one year since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which galvanized the biggest anti-racism movement in America in generations – and inspired a global reckoning with racial inequality and policing in dozens of countries around the world. Since then, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with Floyd's murder, a historic development after decades of near-total impunity for police who use excessive force against Black Americans. But many say that Chauvin's' conviction is not enough and are calling for the passage of broad police reform legislation in the US Congress. While the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Police Reform Act, the bill in its current form doesn't appear to have sufficient support to pass in the Senate. One of the biggest sticking points in the bill is over "qualified immunity," which protects government officials and law enforcement from being held personally liable for constitutional violations. Republicans oppose this structural reform, but even if they come to an agreement in the Senate, progressive House Democrats say they will not accept a watered-down version that does not eliminate this provision in at least some instances. Meanwhile, President Biden will host the Floyd family at the White House on Tuesday.

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