EU President Donald Tusk has described the administration of US President Donald Trump a “threat“ to the 70 years of the American foreign policy in Europe. Donald Tusk has listed Donald Trump alongside radical Islam, terrorism, Russia and China as threats to the European Union, adding that “worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable.” In Mr. Tusk’s opinion, “the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation,“ reflecting upon Mr. Trump’s earlier comments about the European institutions and the broader role of NATO.
Donald Trump had previously described the EU as “obsolete“ and a “vehicle for Germany“, saying that he had had “a very bad experience” with the EU as a businessman. EU leaders generally fear that Mr. Trump’s comments will not only undermine the EU itself but they will also benefit Russia, which would like to see a weaker NATO and a broken trans-Atlantic alliance. Moreover, Europe’s elites grow wary of Donald Trump’s likely choice as ambassador to the European Union – Ted Malloch.
Mr. Malloch, who is himself a businessman, was an avid supporter of Brexit before the June referendum and he is said to have been interviewed for the post by President Trump. In his recent interview for the BBC, when asked about his interest in moving to Brussels, he replied: “I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming.” On top of Mr. Mallow, EU leaders are also wary about Mr. Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who is also anti-EU and had a major influence on the President.
Although analysts agree that it is very unusual for an EU leader to criticize the US President in such an open way, it is also true that Mr. Trump’s policies to the EU are completely unprecedented. Stefan Lehne of Carnegie Europe summarized this conundrum: “Every Brit and European was socialized to expect the US to lead on every international crisis. Now you have a US president who wouldn’t mind at all if the EU fell apart.”