Wednesday

20th Jun 2018

Juncker keen to build EU 'bridge' to Trump

  • Juncker (r) waves goodbye to Trump after last week's "amicable" meeting (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The European Commission wants to “build bridges” between the EU and the US amid negative fallout from last week’s meetings, it has said.

“[Commission] president Juncker stands for building bridges”, Juncker’s spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, told press in Brussels on Monday (29 May) as the US dispute gathered traction in Germany.

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.

... our join as a group

  • Trump denigrated Germany and was lukewarm about Nato (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

“Transatlantic relations remain crucial to global security and prosperity”, the EU spokesman added.

He declined to say whether Juncker thought US president Donald Trump would uphold the Paris Agreement on slowing global warming, but he said Juncker’s meeting with Trump last week, which covered trade and climate, had been “constructive” and “amicable”.

Amber Rudd, the UK’s home secretary, told the BBC also on Thursday that “we want to have a deep and special partnership” with the EU after the UK left the bloc.

Their remarks came after US president Donald Trump denigrated Germany and caused uncertainty over US defence and climate commitments in a series of meetings with EU, Nato, and G7 leaders in Belgium and in Italy last week.

Trump called Germany “very bad” for selling too many cars in the US and attacked Nato allies for spending too little on defence.

Merkel, who is in the middle of an election campaign, told a party rally in Germany on Sunday that “the last few days” had taught her that the EU could no longer “depend” on the US or the UK.

Martin Schulz, her main rival, who hails from the centre-left SPD party, went further, saying Trump had “humiliated” Merkel and that he was “outraged” and “appalled” at the US leader’s treatment of the chancellor.

He said in an op-ed in Der Tagesspiegel, a German daily, that Trump relied on “political blackmail” instead of “international cooperation”.

He also tweeted on Monday that: “The best answer to Donald Trump is a stronger Europe”.

Schinas, the Commission spokesman, noted on Monday that the EU was taking steps on defence and economic integration.

Echoing Merkel’s speech on EU self-reliance, he said: “This is really about making sure Europe is in charge of its own affairs, but, at the same time, Europe is open to the world and we remain always ready to engage”.

He said Juncker wanted EU international development and refugee aid to be considered as a contribution to transatlantic security because it helped to “stabilise” potential conflict zones.

Schinas, like Merkel, also referenced Brexit, saying: “the Commission works for the unity of the 27 member states” vis-a-vis the US and the departing UK government.

Rudd, the UK minister, told the BBC that the UK would not use its contribution to collective security in Europe as a bargaining chip in the Brexit talks.

"We can reassure Mrs Merkel that we want to have a deep and special partnership so that we can continue to maintain European-wide security to keep us all safe from the terrorists abroad and those that are trying to be nurtured in our country”, she said.

Merkel: Europe cannot rely on its allies anymore

The German chancellor said Europe must take its fate into its own hands in the era of Brexit and Trump, in a speech aimed at rallying support in Germany for her re-election.

Nato head defends 'blunt' US leader

Nato chief Stoltenberg defended Trump’s behaviour at Thursday’s summit. The prime minister of Montenegro also apologised for him.

Opinion

Europe could lose out in North Korean bonanza

South Korean businesses including Hyundai and Samsung are already scoping investment opportunities. Will North Korea become a 'new Vietnam' opportunity - or more like Myanmar, where slow Brussels policy-making meant EU exporters lost out.

News in Brief

  1. PES to announce 'spitzenkandidat' names in October
  2. Macedonian parliament ratifies name deal
  3. EU to hit US with import duties from Friday
  4. Commission: New on-road CO2 test would take years
  5. Juncker orders migration 'mini-summit' on Sunday
  6. Luxembourg gave illegal state aid to energy firm
  7. Negotiators lower finger printing age of refugees to six
  8. EU to lift its internal data storage barriers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. How to get around the EU posted workers directive
  2. EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'
  3. Fate of EU refugee deal hangs in the balance
  4. Merkel, Macron in pre-summit pledge on migration, eurozone
  5. Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs
  6. Swedish party puts EU referendums back in fashion
  7. EU summit set to outsource asylum
  8. Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us