US Democrat Joe Biden succeeds Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. The following are important events around the day the 78-year-old was sworn in:
5.18pm – President-elect Joe Biden takes the stage in front of the Capitol.
4.45 p.m. – President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble is relieved about the change of staff in Washington. “Since the attack on the Capitol, there has been no denying that Donald Trump was a threat to democracy,” Schäuble told the Handelsblatt. He hoped that the US would now come together again. “I can only wholeheartedly wish the new US President Joe Biden all the luck in the world that it succeeds.”
4:01 p.m. – Future US President Joe Biden went to church a few hours before he was sworn in. The Catholic Biden was accompanied in the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington on Wednesday by the leaders of the Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress. TV images showed that the participants in the service wore masks and kept their distance. Biden is the second Catholic to become President of the United States after John F. Kennedy. A few minutes earlier, Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump said goodbye to the US capital with a brief appearance at the Andrews military base. There the invited guests stood tightly packed and did not wear masks, as could be seen on video images. Trump will be the first president since 1869 to avoid his successor’s inauguration. The most important Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, went to church with Biden. He has been one of Trump’s most influential allies in recent years. McConnell distances himself from the outgoing president after Trump supporters storm the Capitol in Washington.
3 p.m. – Trump is leaving Washington. The Air Force One presidential machine with Trump on board takes off from Andrews Military Airport. The destination is Florida, where Trump owns a luxury estate.
2.40 p.m. – After leaving the White House, Trump will give a short farewell speech on the grounds of the Andrews military airport. Despite the corona pandemic, his government has done “incredible things”. He wishes the new government good luck without naming his successor, Biden. Trump assures his supporters that he will always be there for them. “We love you. We will return – in some form.”
2:20 p.m. – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier congratulates and is counting on an early meeting in Germany: “My best wishes go to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their team for their big and difficult tasks. I hope that we can see them soon in Germany,” says he in a video message. Today is a good day for democracy. “I am greatly relieved that Joe Biden is sworn in as President today and is entering the White House.” He is looking forward to having the USA “by our side again in the future” as an indispensable partner on many issues. This applies, for example, to the fight against the pandemic, climate protection, security issues, arms control and disarmament. Despite all the joy, one must not forget: “Populism has seduced even the most powerful democracy in the world.” One must resolutely oppose polarization and “deliver politics on the basis of reason and facts”. Steinmeier does not mention the outgoing President Donald Trump.
2.15 p.m. – The outgoing US President Donald Trump has left the White House. Together with his wife Melania, he boarded the presidential helicopter Marine One, which shortly after took off from the lawn of the White House.
1:58 p.m. – Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) speaks of a “big sigh of relief” with a view to Biden’s inauguration. With Biden “hope is connected,” says Söder. “The transatlantic bridge is being rebuilt, and the rubble that Trump has caused has to be pushed aside.”
1.40 p.m. – “We share the high hopes that transatlantic relations will now improve again,” says Hans-Walter Peters, President of the Bankers Association (BdB). The new US President Joe Biden has the mammoth task of reuniting such a divided country. “The private banks also hope that the good US-American-European cooperation in the area of financial services can be further expanded.”
1:15 p.m. – Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he looks forward to working with Biden. It is important that Britain has a good relationship with the US president. Johnson said in parliament that he hoped Biden would also agree and strengthen the transatlantic alliance. Other common topics included the corona pandemic and climate change.
10:10 a.m. – “Joe Biden’s presidency has recently opened closed doors to Europe’s economy, but the EU must step through the threshold itself and approach the new administration proactively,” says BDI President Siegfried Russwurm. “In terms of climate protection and digitization, companies on both sides of the Atlantic face enormous challenges, but also opportunities.” To this end, the EU and the USA would have to agree on multilateral solutions. A common agenda is also necessary when dealing with China. “In trade policy, it is important to finally dismantle the special tariffs that are on both sides and instead to continue to exploit the great potential of the transatlantic market through strong partnerships.” The USA has been the most important sales market for German exports of goods since 2015.
09.08 a.m. – EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expects his supporters to have a considerable influence even after Donald Trump leaves office. These would stay, she says. “Maybe we won’t be able to remove dark forces from society.”
08.55 a.m. – According to Council President Charles Michel, the EU sees Joe Biden’s presidency as an opportunity to renew transatlantic relations. Climate change, the corona pandemic, digitization and security have priority. “America seems to have changed.”
8.50 a.m. – According to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union is ready for a fresh start in relations with the USA. After four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House, she says of Joe Biden’s upcoming takeover. There is a “new beginning” in the USA. The fact that the US wanted to return to the Paris Climate Agreement is a very strong starting point for the transatlantic partnership.