What does Europe think about President Donald Trump?

Article published on Nov. 14, 2016
Article published on Nov. 14, 2016

Europe's foreign ministers met this weekend to discuss their reactions to Donald Trump's shocking victory in the US presidential elections last week. Some commentators fear that a Trump presidency could lead to a renewed friendship between Washington and Moscow, with Europe caught in the middle. 

EU could be left naked and helpless - De Morgen, Belgium

A close alliance between the US and Russia would have dramatic consequences for Europe, De Morgen warns:

"What Trump has said on Syria since his election confirms that the future president will try to partner up with Putin. Trump doesn't care about what Assad is doing to his people... This is precisely Putin's position, and also that of all the far-right parties in Europe that sympathise with Moscow. If the US does forge an alliance with Russia we will face a dramatic shift in the balance of power. If Putin realises he has carte blanche he will continue with his strategy in Ukraine and perhaps repeat the 'Ukraine trick' in Estonia and Latvia, where a fifth column of ethnic Russians is waiting. If Trump does what he said he would do - namely nothing - then the fragile EU will suddenly be standing naked on the world politics stage." (14/11/2016)

Time for a Security and Defence Union - Jutarnji List, Croatia

It's time the EU made itself strong for the future, Jutarnji List urges:

"Trump is an even bigger unknown after the elections than he was before them. The most dangerous thing about him is his unpredictability. So only time will tell if 'The Donald' really wants to - and can - withdraw militarily from the world. Because until now the American arms industry has had every US president wrapped around its little finger! But for the European Union, the question should really be: In view of Trump's disinterest in Europe, Putin's annexation of Crimea, Erdoğan's blackmail tactics with immigrants, France's fanning the flames of evil in Libya, and the Americans' and Brits' involvement in Syria and Iraq, do we want everyone to go on doing their own thing? Or shouldn't we strengthen the Union economically and finally establish the common Security and Defence Union - our European Union?" (14/11/2016)

Putin's camp are counting their chickens - gazeta.ru, Russia

The conservative camp in Russia is delighted at Trump's victory, but gazeta.ru questions the euphoria:

"The flipside of the doomsday atmosphere among Russia's liberals regarding Trump is the incomprehensible euphoria of the conservative patriotic wing. At least, they think, Putin will get along better with the American version of his friend Silvio Berlusconi. This may be true. But Moscow will still have a hard time getting along with the White House Trump is moving into. He and those around him who were responsible for the political components of his election campaign are people with a right-wing conservative Reaganesque mindset... And in keeping with Reagan's understanding of peace through strength, Trump has already promised to scrap Obama's programme of $500 billion in military spending cuts." (14/11/2016)

New US government will include Moscow in alliances - Star, Turkey

Trump's foreign policy will strike out in a new direction, Star predicts:

"Trump's views lead one to believe that Western industrialised states could become his targets because they are exacerbating global crises [for example the refugee crisis] but trying to duck out of contributing financially to the countermeasures... In short, the new US will frequently be at odds with Europe. And it is more likely to partner up with Brexit Britain, Turkey, Israel and later on Saudi Arabia. And unlike in the past it will not lead the alliance against Russia but instead actively include Russia. If all this comes to pass it will be advantageous for Turkey." (11/11/2016)

Europe must pay for its own defence - Pravda, Slovakia

With Trump's election a phase of uncertainty begins that will force Europe to show more commitment to ensuring its own security, Pravda believes:

"Trump's statement that he would not risk going to war with Russia over Estonia, for example, raises the question of collective security in the context of the North Atlantic Alliance anew. Yes, we still don't know how much of what he said was campaign rhetoric. But what is clear is that we are on the threshold of an insecure era... We have to prepare ourselves for a situation in which the US no longer guarantees our security to the extent we have grown accustomed to. Rich Europe will have to pay for its own defence. The chaos in eastern Ukraine, the civil war in Syria and the ongoing refugee crisis oblige us to be self-sufficient." (11/11/2016)

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