EU leaders invite Trump to Brussels
By Peter Teffer
The heads of the European Commission and the EU Council, where member states meet, invited US president-elect Donald Trump to Brussels for talks and congratulated him on winning the White House in a statement on Wednesday (9 November).
“We extend our sincere congratulations on your election as the 45th President of the United States of America,” commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and council chief Donald Tusk said in a congratulatory letter.
They said Trump should come to Europe “to chart the course of our relations for the next four years”.
“We would take this opportunity to invite you to visit Europe for an EU-US Summit at your earliest convenience,” they said.
The two noted it was “more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations”, and to cooperate on climate change, migration, counter-terrorism, and “the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
The choice of these issues are noteworthy, since Trump's campaign gave rise to worry that he would alter US policy on Russia and on climate change.
Juncker and Tusk stayed diplomatic.
“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", they said.
The tone of the letter was more formal than a statement given by European Parliament president Martin Schulz, who was the first to give a reaction on camera.
“As president of the European Parliament, I congratulate the newly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump,” said Schulz, a centre-left German, in a recorded statement broadcast at 10AM local time.
It was a recorded message, which included a cut, but it did not conceal Schulz reeling and once mistakenly speaking about the “United Nations” instead of the United States.
Schulz said the Trump victory constituted a “difficult moment” in EU-US relations.
“But the freely elected president of the United States deserves the full respect of the institutions of the European Union", he said.
The parliament leader said he hoped there could be a “fruitful cooperation” between the two sides, and that Trump will “respect fundamental rights and fundamental rules of the European Union as well”.
Schulz also noted that in his victory speech, Trump struck a “different tone than during the election campaign”.
Schulz said that transatlantic relations will “not be easy”, because during the campaign “we heard some elements of protectionism, also some worrying words about women, about minorities”.
He added that he was sure that president Trump will be different than campaigner Trump.