Friday

13th Dec 2019

EU leaders invite Trump to Brussels

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Schulz: 'difficult moment' in EU-US relations (Photo: European Parliament)

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.

Schulz

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.

Feature

What would a Trump victory mean for the EU?

A Trump win would cause cold sweats in Europe's chancelleries, but his foreign policy might not be as radical or as pro-Russian as his rhetoric.

Juncker wants clarity on Trump's policies

Donald Trump will have to clarify his policy intentions on Nato, global trade, and climate change in the next few months, the EU Commission chief says.

News in Brief

  1. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  2. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  3. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  4. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  5. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  6. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality
  7. Czech PM: nuclear energy needed for climate neutrality
  8. Hungary: Climate target is burden, EU should help

Magazine

EU diplomacy 2.0

MEPs on the foreign affairs committee ought to be like second-tier EU diplomats on the Western Balkans and Russia, according to its German chairman, but foreign policy splits could bedevil its work.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  2. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  3. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  4. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  5. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  6. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks
  7. Europe needs to make mind up on relations with Africa
  8. Leaders face crucial EU summit for climate action

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us