Europe gets Trump 'wake-up call', but can it step up?

Kerry Wise
November 10, 2016

The European Union must take responsibility for dealing with neighbours Russia, Africa and the Middle East, its commissioner for "neighbourhood policy" said on Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected USA president.

"We must respect the future president of the United States (...) I hope we will find a slot to cooperate", he said.

But former Polish prime minister Tusk struck a more sober tone in a statement to journalists at the 28-nation European Union's headquarters as he recalled that "Italians, Irish, Poles, Germans, Spanish" had helped build America.

In a joint letter, the heads of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that "today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations".

Juncker later said in a speech in Berlin that the European Union should not "upend its relations with the United States" out of "annoyance" with the shock outcome of the presidential election.

USA polls show Clinton ahead but battleground states up for grabs
So over the course of seven days, the poll's full sample size, she actually has increased her lead since the announcement. Trump opened a furious day of campaigning in Iowa, the battleground states where he appears in the strongest position.

He said: "Europe and the United States have no option but to co-operate as closely together".

"While respecting the democratic choice of the American people, we are at the same time aware of the new challenges that these results bring".

The president of the European Council urged Europe and the USA to work closely together. "From the fight against global warming to its commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the world awaits and hopes for an outward-looking presidency aiming at shaping worldwide relations and upholding the values of freedom and democracy", Schulz says.

"We must consider the concerns of the people seriously and give concrete answers", Weber tweeted.

For his part, Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberal ALDE group, regretted the missed chance to have Hillary Clinton as first woman president of the United States. Marine Le Pen is widely expected to make it to the 7 May runoff of the French presidential election. We must be more self-confident and assume more responsibility.