The EU and Trump

How Trump’s election will influence US/EU relations and the rise of Europe’s Right

It is no secret that EU leaders are not too happy about Trump. In the days prior to the election, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has openly expressed her hopes that Hillary Clinton will win the presidency. We don’t even need to read between the lines to notice the underlying criticism in Merkel’s letter to Trump congratulating him his election victory.

Germany’s ties with the United States of America are deeper than with any country outside of the European Union. Germany and America are bound by common values — democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views.

Trump in European Media

Trump’s unexpected triumph has not received a warm weclome in Brussels where he is widely regarded as another bearer of the populist wave that has already swept over Europe. Anti-Trump sentiment is especially strong in Germany. One of the most reputable German papers, Der Spiegel, has represented Trump as an asteroid headed for Earth, with the title: The End of the World as We Know It.

In another article, Spiegel has called Trump ‘an Absurd and Dangerous President‘, linking him with racism and American nationalism.

Donald Trump depicted as an Asteroid on the cover of German magazine, Der Spiegel, titled: The End of the World (as we know it)
Donald Trump depicted as an Asteroid on the cover of German magazine, Der Spiegel, titled: The End of the World (as we know it)

The Rise of the European Right

The EU has every reason for concern. The migrant crisis, slow economic growth, competition from China and the breakdown of relations with Putin’s Russia have all eroded the trust in the capability of the EU to cope with mounting problems. Brussels is now faced with a permanent crisis, and the rise of the anti-EU and Euro-skeptic forces across the continent.

This is why EU leaders such as Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande, have shown such concern about the prospects of a Trump Presidency. With Trump sitting in the White House, the EU/US relations could enter a period of crisis.

It will be of little comfort to the EU that Trump will probably soften his rhetoric in the future, and that the upcoming administration will focus primarily on domestic issues, with the EU not being high on its agenda.

In the eyes of the EU establishment, Trump’s victory is a significant boost to Europe’s right, and we don’t have to be experts to see why.

Trump As a Hope for Anti-EU Forces

Marine Le Pen, the leader of Front National (FN), now France’s main anti-establishment, anti-EU party, and the symbol of the European right, has not hesitated to celebrate Trump’s victory.

In an interview to CNN, she stated that Trump,

Has made possible what was presented as completely impossible.

So it’s a sign of hope for those who cannot bear wild globalization. They cannot bear the political life led by the elites.

Le Pen has made it clear that she’s hoping to pull-off a Trump style upset in the forthcoming French Presidential Election.

In post-Brexit EU, weakened by the migrant crisis, Le Pen may have more chance than we like to think. Trump’s success will breathe new strength into various Euro-skeptic movements on the continent and pose a serious challenge for the EU in the future.