"We are at an inflection point between those who argue that, given all the challenges we face -- from the fourth industrial revolution to a global pandemic -- that autocracy is the best way forward, they argue, and those who understand that democracy is essential -- essential to meeting those challenges," Biden said in remarks from the East Room of the White House that were televised at a virtual session of the Munich Security Conference.
He said that "our" partnerships have endured and grown through the years because they are rooted in "the richness of our shared democratic values."
"They are not transactional. They are not extractive. They are built on a vision of a future where every voice matters, where the rights of all are protected and the rule of law is upheld. None of this has fully succeeded in this -- none of us has fully succeeded in this [vision]. We continue to work toward it. And in so many places, including in Europe and the United States, democratic progress is under assault," he added.
"Historians are going to examine and write about this moment as an inflection point, as I said. And I believe with every ounce of my being that democracy will and must prevail. We must demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world. That, in my view, is our galvanising mission," Biden continued.
The President, a regular fixture at the Munich Security Conference over the years, affirmed his commitment to European partners and alliances, drawing a contrast with his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who often spurned multilateral organisations and criticised alliances and whose "America first" approach to foreign policy at times caused friction with Europe, as reported by The Hill.
"I speak today as President of the United States at the very start of my administration, and I am sending a clear message to the world: America is back. The transatlantic alliance is back. And we are not looking backward; we are looking forward, together," the President said.
Biden delivered the speech after meeting privately with the leaders of the Group of Seven nations in a virtual conference hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His remarks were aimed at reassuring European allies after four years of tumult under Trump, whose name he did not mention during the address.
The US President pledged support for Ukraine sovereignty and the NATO alliance, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to divide and weaken the partnership between the US and Europe.
"Putin seeks to weaken the European project and our NATO alliance. He wants to undermine the transatlantic unity and its resolve because it is so much easier for the Kremlin to bully and threaten individual states than it is to negotiate with a strong and closely-aligned transatlantic community," he said.