Biden: Transatlantic Relationship as Central as it Has Ever Been

Vice President Joe Biden pronounced the “transatlantic relationship as central as it ever has been” and declared “it’s hard to imagine a threat we can’t address more effectively together.”

Speaking at the Atlantic Council’s 50th anniversary gala, Biden referred to President John F. Kennedy, the speaker at our first gala in 1962, and his proclamation that “the Atlantic Community will not forget either its history or the principles which gave it meaning.”

He heaped praise on the lead role the European Allies are taking in Libya, which confirms yet against that “the Alliance must be preppared to address threats within and outside Europe.” And he announced, as strongly as perhaps any U.S. official ever, that our country welcomes a united Europe, declaring that “A stronger EU means a stronger Europe which means a stronger United States.”

However, the vice president cautioned, “Burden sharing requires sustained commitment” and that means devoting “a sufficient amount of resources” to security. He forcefully called on recalcitrant Allies to step up and meet their obligation to devote at least two percent of GDP to defense spending.

James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.