Donald to Donald: Tusk reminds Trump that immigrants helped make America

Written by Rajnish Singh on 10 November 2016 in News
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As the Trumpquake" shock waves" spread across the world, reaction in Brussels was cautiously welcoming, reports Raj Singh.

Donald Tusk | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual


Wednesday afternoon saw EU Council President Donald Tusk congratulating Trump saying, "While respecting the democratic choice of the American people, we are at the same aware of the new challenges that the results bring."

However in a move away from the more anodyne responses of European leaders to the shock result, Tusk reminded Trump, whose negative campaigning on immigration was a key characteristic of the election race, how Europe's migrants helped establish America, "It is good to remember the strength of the Western community. Italians, Irish, Poles, Germans, Spanish - every EU nation has helped build America."

The Pole also highlighted the US role in helping to establish modern Europe and the EU saying, "By coming to our aid in the most dramatic moments of our 20th century history, the United States did more than anyone else to help build the European Union."

He also underlined the strong bonds between the US and Europe, "Our links are strong… No-one can take them away, or make us give up our shared memories and values such as freedom, solidarity and respect for the individual."

But Brussels knows that Trump is no fan of the EU, who hailed Brexit as a 'great victory' and during his campaign often had high profile eurosceptic and UKIP leader Nigel Farage speak at his rallies.

Tusk perhaps acknowledging that Brexit and Trump's victory have come on the back of rejection values that have been seen as the foundation of the EU said, "The events of the last months and days should be treated as a warning sign for all who believe in liberal democracy.

This means that we should finally get our act together and bring back a sense of direction, bring back confidence, and bring back a sense of order."

The EU Council President also called on the new president-elect not to turn towards isolationism "I do not believe that any country today can be great in isolation. But I do believe that America and Europe can, should and will work together."

He accepted this will not be easy, "We have to recognise that this will take major efforts from both sides."

However Tusk reassured Trump that despite differences the "EU is a strong and reliable partner and will remain so, and we expect the same from America and its new president."

Earlier on Wednesday Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter to Trump passing on their "sincere congratulations."

The pair pointed out that only through cooperating closely, could the EU and US deal with "unprecedented challenges; such as Da'esh, the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration." The letter also called on Trump to carry on with the controversial TTIP EU-US trade negotiations.

This may however fall on deaf ears seem given that Trump has attacked trade agreements such as NAFTA signed with Mexico and Canada, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries.

Both the Commission and Council presidents invited Trump to visit Europe for an EU-US Summit at his earliest convenience, in order "for us to chart the course of our relations for the next four years."

Given that Trump described Brussels as a "hell hole" following the terrorist attacks earlier this year, the EU may have to seek another city to host the first meeting.

About the author

Rajnish Singh is commissioning editor at the Parliament Magazine

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