Trump won, and what now for Europe?

by João Alexandre Guimarães, Erasmus student at UMinho

Today, 09/11/2016, we discovered that Republican Donald Trump won the American Election for President. But what does this influence in the European Union?

Deutsche Welle, on its website, has stated that Europeans have had rather disappointing experiences with American presidents. That’s just as true for the relationship with Republican George W. Bush as it is for the one with Democrat Barack Obama.

Erica Chenoweth, an expert on international security policy at the University of Denver, said to DW, “Europe should occupy the top spot on the list of priorities for the next president, because it’s about the most important strategic alliance the United States has”.

Mark Stone, from Sky News, talked to Jeremy Shapiro, the research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who stated:

“European governments have a strange degree of confidence that although they certainly don’t want a Trump presidency, they can manage it, because he has said a lot of crazy things on the campaign trail but he probably hasn’t meant most of them and probably won’t be able to implement the rest because of the checks and balances and advisers”, via SkyNews.

Shapiro added for the International Business, “Trump presents an existential dilemma for Europeans. EU member states need to take Trump’s ‘America First’ rhetoric seriously, and think about what Europe would do in a world where the alliance was no longer its security anchor. President Trump’s foreign policy would scramble geopolitics, and Europe will need a creative response.”

With the confirmation of the result, the Europe awoke with the speech of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she said in Berlin,

“Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position. On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation”, via DW.

The paper believes though that “the initial cooperation between the two countries is likely to be tense. At one point in his election campaign, Trump described Merkel’s immigration policy as “a total disaster,” and the immediate reaction to his victory across Germany’s political spectrum was shock and uncertainty.”

The Jornal Económico, from Portugal, said “the first known statements from Europe were in the direction of the manifestation of the shock. This seems to be the general conviction is Donald Trump will not undoubtedly call into question the agreements, treaties, understandings and other diplomatic materials that the United States has in the pipeline with the rest of the world. To that end, the analyses of the most diverse observers have converged, both on television channels and on the most important sites. But one thing seems certain: Trump has no great interest in the most recent economic deals that the US and Europe are negotiating. In this context, it is quite possible that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will never be more than a manifestation of will surpassed by events – but this does not seem to be any drama: the truth is that the parties to the left of the spectrum European politicians were a long way from being highly affiliated with the project.”

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