Trump, cooperation and the Europe of defence
Let’s face it: we can’t go on like nothing has happened. Donald Trump is a threat to democracy and world order.
We need to coordinate a strong European response and a strong response from our political family. Our president, Sergei Stanishev, said: “We must speak out against all attacks on the EU and its core principles: democracy, freedom and non-discrimination. We can’t tolerate any ambiguities from the European side on that. It would be cynical to try and deal with the United States like nothing happened.”
Similarly, Martin Schulz (SPD) said: “What Trump is doing is un-American."
Indeed, the United States has historically stood for enlightenment, democracy and freedom more firmly than most other nations. Not anymore.
How can you cooperate with someone who doesn’t meet minimum democratic attitudes? With someone who scapegoats whole groups of people? With an authoritarian narcissist who wants to block all opposition and checks and balances? With a compulsive liar who denies any common ground for discussion?
It is a huge test for European governments.
“Italy will remain anchored to its core values of pluralism and openness, which are pillars of the EU” was the line of Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni after the Muslim ban.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We need to find out exactly what his intentions are in the long run and how much the US parliamentary system is actually going to protect fundamental rights, freedoms and laws.” He opposed the planned visit of Trump to the UK.
And French President François Hollande called for a united European response “when someone attacks Europe and calls for protectionism which may affect our economies.”
Trump’s likely appointee as ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, openly advocates the destruction of the EU “like we brought down the Soviet Union”.
If there’s something that’s clearer today than it was before the US elections, it’s that more than ever the world needs a strong and united Europe with stronger defence cooperation.