If there is one element that Europeans can agree on is the satisfaction of President Obama’s reelection. The European Union is currently facing visceral crises such: Cameron’s attacks on the EU budget, the uncertain future of France’s economic recovery, the movements of independence, and so on. Despite what was supposed to be a tight race, around 11:12pm on November the 6th major news networks such as CNN, Fox News, NBC called the reelection of Obama. According to the latest numbers, President Obama won 303 electoral votes, taking most of the swing states, compared to the 206 going to Republican hopeful Mitt Romney. The Senate remains blue, and the House stays under the control of the Republicans as it has been since 2010. But this election will be remembered for one aspect, the evolution of diplomatic relations using open social platforms, especially Twitter. Even the French newspaper, Le Monde, wrote an article claiming that the reelection of President Obama was the most “liked” — Facebook reference — political event in world history.
The European reactions to Obama’s reelection were without surprise very positive coming from the Heads of State and Government, but also from the press and European citizens through social platforms. As demonstrated in a previous piece, Europeans have more affinities with President Obama than his opponent, Mitt Romney.
Here are the words of European leaders to Obama following his reelection:
Statement by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on the U.S. presidential elections
We have the pleasure of extending our warm congratulations to President Obama on his re-election as President of the United States of America. The United States is a key strategic partner of the European Union and we look forward to continuing the close cooperation established with President Obama over these last four years, to further strengthening our bilateral ties and to jointly addressing global challenges, including in the fields of security and economy.
Creation of growth and jobs remains a priority for both the US and the EU and we will continue to work with President Obama to unlock the unparalleled potential of the transatlantic market. We are also ready to continue our intense cooperation in foreign policy issues and in the promotion of our common values. We look forward to meeting President Obama at an early date in order to reconfirm our priorities and provide renewed impetus to our joint action.
Statement by the French President, François Hollande
Dear Mr. President, [Handwritten] Dear Barack,
The American people have just renewed their confidence in you for the next four years. On behalf of all French people and on my own behalf, I offer you my warmest congratulations. This is an important moment, not just for the United States but for the world.
Your re-election is a clear choice for an America that is open, that demonstrates solidarity, is fully engaged on the international scene and is aware of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment.
France and the United States share common values. I am convinced that during your new term we will further strengthen our partnership in order to restore growth, address unemployment in our countries and find solutions to the crises we are facing, notably in the Middle East.
I know that our cooperation will continue in the same spirit of dialogue and respect, and I want to assure you of France’s commitment to strengthening the bonds of friendship and trust between us.
[Handwritten in English] Friendly,
But the main platform of congratulations was the twittosphere, which became quite active around midnight U.S. Eastern time with several tweets from NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, who posted three tweets back to back:
My warm congratulations to @barackobama on his re-election
— AndersFogh Rasmussen (@AndersFoghR) November 7, 2012
Soon after the results, the EU Ambassador to the U.S., João Vale de Almeida, as well wrote on twitter
Long election day and night almost over. Congratulations President Obama!EU ready to continue solid cooperation on common agenda
— ValedeAlmeidaEU (@ValedeAlmeidaEU) November 7, 2012
The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, wrote soon after the results on twitter,
— Martin Schulz (@MartinSchulz) November 7, 2012
Followed by a second message,
The EEAS also posted on twitter its best wishes reading ,
Even, the former High Representative, Javier Solana, tweeted,
Warm congratulations Mr President!
— Javier Solana (@javiersolana) November 7, 2012
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, did as well post on Twitter his words soon after the results, writing,
Warm congratulations to my friend @barackobama. Look forward to continuing to work together.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) November 7, 2012
What is certain is that this 2012 U.S. Presidential elections has taken place on twitter. Even President Obama addressed personally — well before his official victory speech and prior to the address by Mitt Romney conceding — to his supporters, the party and the nation on Twitter right after the outcomes with the following post,
We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you. -bo
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Despite the absence of Europe on the agenda of the 2012 presidential race, it will be an important factor for the future and success of Obama’s second mandate. Obama will face several considerable domestic challenges such as the fiscal cliff, immigration reform, healthcare implementation, tax code reform that will all necessitate a bipartisan approach, all these will take place under the cloud of an unstable Eurozone. Despite a brighter economic future for the U.S., the EU is far from having stabilized its crisis. The latest report published by the IMF earlier this week has warned France to implement structural reforms otherwise it could soon figure on the list with Spain and Italy. The future of Europe is too important to the U.S. recovery for simply being ignored; Obama knows it and will need to deepen the transatlantic relations in order to solve it.
The next piece will articulate and define the core elements for the EU-U.S. relations under the Obama II presidency.