Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Needs to Change Course on Europe ... and Quickly

With everything he said on the campaign trail, it was inevitable that the relationship between President-elect Donald Trump and the European Union would start off on the wrong foot. But if Trump appreciates that the liberal democracies of Europe are still the best friends that America has in the world, he has to make amends. There's still time.
Within hours of his election, a stern statement came from the German chancellor Angela Merkel, who offered Trump close cooperation on the basis of "values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views," implicitly referring to the president-elect's shocking campaign rhetoric.
Credit: Gary Locke
Merkel also waited until Thursday before calling Trump to congratulate him on his electoral success. Then there was the gaffe-prone President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who stated, that that Europeans needed "to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works." Even then, they'll "waste two years before Trump tours the world he does not know," he added.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, was among the few who understood the gravity of the situation immediately. His short, courteous letter of congratulations stressed America's and Europe's shared interests, and invited Trump to an US-EU summit at "his earliest convenience."
Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.

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