Advertise On EU-Digest

Anual Advertising Rates

2/3/17

EU leaders forced to unite in new Trump reality - by Eszter Zalan

United We Stand Divided We Fall
EU leaders pledged the need for unity and for Europe to stand on its own two feet at their meeting in Valletta on Friday (3 February), during a discussion on how to handle US president Donald Trump, whom EU council chief Donald Tusk described earlier this week as a "threat" to the EU.

Leaders emphasized the importance of the transatlantic relationship, and said they would work together with Trump on common interests, but move toward more independent European action on issues where the EU and the US administration disagree.

"We work on the basis of our shared values, [...] there are areas where we agree, like fighting international terrorism, and where we don’t agree," German chancellor Angela Merkel said after lunch, which summed up the mood toward Trump among EU leaders after a turbulent week of heavy criticism from Europe and concern over the US president's first days in office.

Merkel said that this is an opportunity for Europe to redefine itself and become more self-reliant. 

"The general debate concentrated on where we stand, we have to act together," Merkel said, adding that it could lead to boosting investment in defense capabilities in the EU but also in Germany. "We have our destiny in our own hands."

Some EU leaders heavily criticised Donald Trump's decision to ban refugees and people arriving to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Others, like Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban ( whose country represents the new face of corruption in Europe), slammed those who criticized Trump. Before arriving at the Valletta summit, Orban said that the US has the right to decide its own border control policy, and that he is puzzled at the "neurotic European reactions" over the travel ban.

Read more: EU leaders forced to unite in new Trump reality

No comments: