Friday

28th Apr 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

Analysis

Orban set to face down EU threats

The European Commission and Parliament are to debate Hungary's slide into illiberal democracy. But the bloc continues to think that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is not a systemic threat.

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act
  3. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  4. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  6. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  7. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  8. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  9. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  10. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  11. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?