22nd Mar 2018

Juncker wants clarity on Trump's policies

The EU wants US president-elect Donald Trump to clarify his position on climate change, global trade and Nato following an election campaign in which he promised dramatic changes of direction.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday (10 November) said the forthcoming Trump administration needed to share its "intentions" in the next few months.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We would like to know what intentions he has regarding the [Nato] alliance. We must know what climate policies he intends to pursue. This must be cleared up in the next few months," he said in a speech, quoted by Reuters news agency.

Fears are mounting that a Trump-led administration may isolate the US on defence and the environment.

Speaking at a business event in Berlin, Juncker said Trump's critical stand on a free-trade deal between the EU and US must be clarified as well.

"We would like to know how things will proceed with global trade policy," said Juncker.

On Wednesday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said EU officials "frankly don't know" what to expect from Trump in the current talks on TTIP, the EU-US trade deal.

The firebrand US property and casino mogul has threatened to withdraw from the recently agreed Paris climate accord aimed at slowing the temperature rise of a warming planet and cutting emissions.

In 2012, he said global warming was a conspiracy "created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive".

Trump also tapped climate sceptic Myron Ebell to help reshape environmental policies, a policy wonk who described Obama's clean power plan on greenhouse gases as illegal.

It won't be easy for the US to withdraw from the Paris agreement, according to Segolene Royal, France's environment minister.

“The Paris agreement prohibits any exit for a period of three years, plus a year-long notice period, so there will be four stable years,” she said.

Instead, climate campaigners say Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda will strangle the renewable energy drive in the US.

"It is regrettable that the next US President has not yet understood that the world is on track to phase out fossil fuels," said Ulriikka Aarnio, from the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

Juncker, in his congratulatory statement to Trump's presidential victory, also said joint US-EU efforts on climate change and free trade needed to "remain strong and durable".

But the polarising president-elect is likely to push forward with his own agenda, regardless of EU-led pressure, in a congress that will also be controlled by Republicans.

Political groups in the European Parliament have spoken about Trump in less diplomatic terms.

"Donald Trump is the expression of a virus that has deeply infected our societies, not only in the US but also in Europe," said Italian MEP Gianni Pittella, who heads the socialist S&D group.

Merkel urges Trump to respect 'values'

Germany and France have appealed to Donald Trump to respect “shared values”. They “still don’t get it”, a former EU diplomat said.

TTIP's future in Trump's hands

EU commissioners admit they "frankly don't know" what the US president-elect intends to do with the US-EU trade talks.

EU leaders invite Trump to Brussels

Juncker and Tusk invite Trump to EU capital "at earliest convenience", mention climate change and Ukraine among top issues.


Selmayr case symptomatic, says EU novel author

The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.


The populists may have won, but Italy won't leave the euro

The situation as Rome tries to form a government is turbulent and unpredictable. However, the most extreme eurosceptic policies floated during the election campaign are unlikely to happen - not least due to the precarious state of the Italian banks.


Why has central Europe turned so eurosceptic?

Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

News in Brief

  1. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says
  2. Italy's centre-right set to share top posts with 5-star movement
  3. Brussels condemns tear gas in Kosovo parliament
  4. Finland pays billionaire €400,000 in EU farm subsidies
  5. 44 leaders sign up for Africa free trade area deal
  6. British 'blue' passports to be made in EU
  7. EU to have 'immediate' trade talks with Trump
  8. Separatist activist renounces Catalonia leadership candidacy

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  2. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  3. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  4. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  5. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  6. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  7. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  8. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions