Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States following a surprising victory over his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton. Nationally, Mr Trump won with 47.5 percent of the votes, with Hillary Clinton taking 47.7 percent – yet, this translated into 279 electoral college votes for the Republicans and 228 for the Democrats. 270 votes were needed to claim the presidency.
President of European Council, Donald Tusk, has congratulated President-Elect on his victory and invited him to Europe for an early summit to chart EU-US relations. “We should consolidate the bridges that we have been building across the Atlantic. Europeans trust that America, whose democratic ideals have always been a beacon of hope around the globe, will continue to invest in its partnerships with friends and allies, to help make our citizens and the people of the world more secure and more prosperous.”
European leaders could not hide their concerns over the future of the transatlantic ties. Under Donald Trump, much is uncertain and according to some, his victory might be more shattering for the old continent than Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Donald Trump will likely shake Europe’s geopolitical order as his election is raising questions whether the US will continue to extend the unconditional security guarantee that has underpinned the continent’s security since the end of WWII. On top of security issues, the future of the TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement – is likewise very vague and the US commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change will be very likely under much pressure under the new President.
Also Europe’s far-right leaders with views similar to Donald Trump’s welcomed the US billionaire’s victory, saying that anti-immigrant Europeans could no longer be ignored by the political and media elites. With France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy all facing major ballot-box choices in the coming months, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and other Europe’s far-right leaders see Trump’s sweeping victory as marking the beginning of their own historic rise to power allowing them to topple the post-Cold War globalized world order.
Faced with the surprising result of the US presidential elections, Europe’s mainstream politicians will now have to deal both with the pressure at home and from the world’s biggest superpower – if they were to cooperate with an anti-trade and anti-immigrant President Trump, Europe’s top political leaders will have little choice but to also accommodate far-right politicians at home.