MEPs worried about EU-US relations under Trump presidency

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In a shock victory for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the US president elect in his victory speech called on Americans “to come together as a united people.”

After one of the most bitter and divisive election campaigns in recent years, Trump in his acceptance speech in New York said:

“I pledge to every citizen, that I will be a president for all Americans and this is so important to me.”

In an election where Trump was heavily criticised for making controversial comments about Mexicans, Muslims, and also his treatment of women. The former reality star and billionaire called on voters who opposed him for their “guidance and help, so that we can work together and unify our great country.” He further added:

“By working together we can begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream.”

Trump who has never held public office also reassured the international community saying:

“I want to tell the world community, that while we will always put America’s interest first, we will deal fairly with everyone, all people and all other nations, through partnership and not conflict.”

Against all predictions Trump swept to power winning 276 college votes against the favourite Democrat leader Hilary Clinton, who only won 218 college votes.

Despite many key leaders in the Republican Party not backing Trump, his victory also lead to both the House of Representatives and Senate, being dominate by the GOP, which could mean Trump can pass legislation more easily through Congress.

Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy passed on his congratulations tweeting:

“My congratulations to Donald Trump on his victory. We will keep working to reinforce the relationship that binds us with the US, an indispensable partner.”

However former Italian prime minister Mario Monti, speaking on BBC Radio 4, was worried for the future of EU-US relations, saying a Trump administration will be “less indulgent to the EU, and also less indulgent to European defence. Europe in the future will need to learn how to be more self-reliant.” Europe now had to develop better security and defence cooperation. The Italian was also worried about future US commitments to climate change and carbon reduction targets, which the EU and the US under Obama, were working closely together on.

Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the US, David McAllister, was also shocked by the result saying:

“The outcome of this presidential election is not what we expected. Nevertheless, Mr Trump was freely elected and his presidency will be respected.”

He wanted to stress the continuing close relationship between the EU and US, saying:

“It is in the interest of the European Union to enhance transatlantic relations and continue a close strategic partnership.”

“The Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) and good relations between the legislators are crucial now and we have to stress the importance of our relationship while keeping the channels of communication open. In this new political climate, the TLD will be the first European delegation travelling to Washington. There, we should deliver a joint message of stability and unity.”

For McAllister it was also important to see who Trump hires to be part of his team “Important are the key appointments Mr Trump is going to make as well as policies that may diverge from his aggressive electoral rhetoric.”

Danish S&D vice chair of the EU-US delegation Jeppe Kofod said”

“We will, and we must cooperate closely with the incoming Trump administration and the Congress.”

“US-EU relations have always been close. But we also need President Trump to reaffirm his commitment to transatlantic cooperation and NATO, if we are to build on our strong friendship.”

For the Dane, “A thriving and strong US-EU partnership is crucial for global stability, and promotion of rule of law and democracy.”

Kofod accepted that EU and US relations will be different in the future where there will be “challenges” on TTIP, climate change and security. But he stressed “Europe is ready and willing to work with the US – and I hope and expect that Mr Trump is ready to work with us.”

Netherlands Alde MEP and vice chair Marietje Schaake, reacting to Trump winning, called on him to bring the country quickly together after a deeply polarising election.

She said: “Trump dismisses the status quo, but also challenges numerous fundamental principles we cherish. We face deep insecurity over what comes next.”

In his campaign, Trump promised to implement big changes in the relations between the US and Europe.

She was particularly concerned about trade relations where, “more American nationalism and protectionism will directly affect Europe.”

“The economic consequences of protectionism will only become visible over the long term, but will undoubtedly have a big negative impact on countries that are highly dependent on trade, such as the Netherlands.”

Worryingly for Brussels, according to the UK’s Daily Express, UKIP leader and high profile Eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage, who advised Trump during the US elections, wants to be Trump’s special EU ambassador. He said:

 “Being a foreigner will not disqualify me. As long as we can bring the EU down, it doesn’t matter how we do it.”