EU foreign Ministers meet to discuss Trump victory

Britain and France did not attend an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers on Sunday.

Donald Trump | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

14 Nov 2016


The informal meeting was called to discuss Donald Trump's election victory.

At the meeting, over dinner in Brussels, ministers agreed to "send a signal for what the EU expects" from Donald Trump. 

The message comes as Ukip MEP Nigel Farage became the first British politician to meet the US President-Elect.


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His meeting, in New York, came after comments by European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker, who said, "The election of Trump poses the risk of upsetting intercontinental relations in their foundation and in their structure.""

Speaking on Friday, Juncker added, "We will need to teach the President-Elect what Europe is and how it works."

At Sunday's meeting, the EU foreign Ministers said they expect a "very strong partnership" with the US. 

They also said they needed to know details of Trump's plans but said they expected good ties. 

The talks took place on the eve of a formal meeting of foreign Ministers on Monday and Tuesday.

Ministers from Britain, France and Hungary did not attend on Sunday.

"We are looking forward to a very strong partnership with the next US administration," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

"We have decided together to engage with the incoming administration even from this very first week of transition," she added.

Hungarian foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said Sunday's meeting was "completely premature" and hit out at "frustrated and hysterical statements" made by other European leaders following the US election result.

The statement from the ministers contrasts sharply with comments by Juncker, who warned on Friday that Trump's election risked upsetting EU ties with the US "fundamentally and structurally."

Analysts are still grappling with the implications of Trump's win, particularly for Europe. 

Hans Kundnani, a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, said in an interview on Sunday that, "The entire European project has always taken place in the context of American hegemony and the security guarantee, and all of that now is in question."

"The argument that Europeans finally pull together as a result of the election of Trump could be very wrong, as it may well sharpen their differences and help pull them even further apart," Kundnani said.

 

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