Tuesday

16th Oct 2018

EU foreign ministers discuss Trump fallout

  • EU foreign policy chief Mogherini (c) invited EU foreign ministers to discuss US relations (Photo: The European Union)

EU foreign ministers over the weekend discussed US relations amid fears president-elect Donald Trump will unwind Amercia’s previous global commitments.

The crisis meeting in Brussels on Sunday (13 November) was called in the wake of Trump’s surprise victory and ahead of a regular ministers’ meeting on Monday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The US election outcome appears to have emboldened anti-establishment movements in Europe and sowed doubt over a broad range of previous US accords on climate change, Nato mutual defence, and the nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after Sunday’s dinner that "values, principles, interests" will continue to form the basis of the transatlantic partnership.

"We are looking forward to a very strong partnership with the next administration," she said.

But Boris Johnson, the UK's foreign minister, did not attend. France's Jean-Marc Ayrault sent an envoy due to a scheduling conflict. Hungary's pro-Trump prime minister Viktor Orban also kept his top foreign envoy at home.

EU leaders are worried the US will weaken Nato, given Trump’s campaign threats to not defend alliance members who don't pay their dues. The possibility has piled on additional pressure for EU states to budget at least 2 percent of their GDP on military spending as required under Nato rules.

"The United States currently accounts for almost 70 percent of Nato defence spending, and has rightly called for a more equitable sharing of the burden," said Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg in an opinion article in The Observer ahead of the ministerial meeting.

The Trump fallout and UK plans to the leave the European Union have also spurred talks of forming a military union among the remaining EU states.

Last week, Germany's defence minister Ursula von der Leyen urged Europeans to find the political will for more security policy.

Trump's overtures towards Russia could imperil economic sanctions against a nation that recently annexed the Crimea in Ukraine. The Kremlin is already drawing parallels on issues that align with a US presidential administration under Trump.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Russian parliament, on Sunday told Russian television that a Trump presidency could "radically change" relations between the two nations.

Mogherini maintained that the EU stand on the Russian annexation is not going to change, "regardless of possible shifts in others' policies".

Iran and climate change

Trump has also threatened to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran and repeal a Paris climate agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Trump's transition team is reportedly drawing up plans to withdraw from the climate pact.

"For us, it’s extremely important to work on the climate-change agreement implementation but also on non-proliferation and the protection of the Iranian nuclear deal," said Mogherini.

The shift towards greater defence cooperation among EU states will be further discussed by foreign ministers on Monday.

The stark absence of foreign ministers from Britain and Hungary on Sunday is a signal that rifts are already beginning to emerge on EU and US relations.

Johnson had earlier urged his counterparts to end their “collective whinge-o-rama" on the Trump election.

The UK is also seeing an opportunity to shape stronger trade ties with the US following Brexit.

Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said the Sunday ministerial gathering was "completely premature". Szijjarto also described statements by some EU leaders on the Trump win as "frustrated and hysterical".

Opinion

How the EU can deal with Trump

Donald Trump's views on Russia, Syria, Iran, climate change and trade all clash with Europe. EU leaders are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think it will be business as usual.

Agenda

Obama visits EU This Week

The US election, wide-ranging security concerns, and the EU budget dominate the agenda this week.

EU looks at Morocco and Tunisia to offload migrants

EU member states and the European Commission are pressing ahead with plans to possibly use Morocco and Tunisia as countries to offload asylum seekers and migrants - part of larger bid to create a so-called "safe third country" list.

News in Brief

  1. Le Pen warms towards cooperation with Bannon
  2. Bettel set to stay in power in Luxembourg after election
  3. EU-UK Brexit deal talks paused
  4. Macedonian parliament to vote on name change Monday
  5. Swedish opposition leader gives up on forming government
  6. Commission confirms: no record of Juncker speech seminar
  7. Ukraine splits from Russian orthodox church
  8. Polish doctor wins landmark pro-life case in Norway

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. Daily reality in Western Sahara - and how EU can protect it
  2. Bavarian election puts Merkel on defensive
  3. It's time for the EU to stand up to transnational corporations
  4. Tug of war between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' cohesion money
  5. 'Macron vs Orban' is no quick fix for EU democracy
  6. Brexit and sanctions at EU summit This WEEK
  7. EU looks at Morocco and Tunisia to offload migrants
  8. EU urged to seize assets of foreign hackers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us