European Parliament President Martin Schulz has called Donald Trump's US presidential victory a "difficult moment" for US- EU relations.
However, addressing the shock result at a press conference earlier today, Schulz said he hoped that transatlantic cooperation on common interests and responsibilities would continue under the 45th president-elect.
"The freely elected President of the United States deserves the full respect of the institutions of the European Union."
"We have common interest and common responsibilities and my hope is that we can [continue to] tackle these challenges together.
Schulz said he was heartened to hear that Trump's initial comments in his acceptance speech were in a more conciliatory tone that that used during the campaign.
"I'm sure that Donald Trump the elected President will be different from Donald Trump the campaigner," he added.
Earlier, speaking on Europe 1 radio, Schulz said "It will be hard, harder than with previous administrations but he is the freely elected President."
And in a further statement, the German MEP conceded, "The US electorate has spoken. The victory of Donald Trump is unequivocal and must be respected."
And although publicly congratulating Trump and the Republican party on their victory, Schulz added, "Mr Trump has managed to become the standard-bearer of the angst and fears of millions of Americans. Those concerns must now be addressed with credible policies and proposals."
Schulz suggested that the 2016 presidential campaign would not be remembered fondly. "Vitriol and polarisation have fuelled this electoral contest. President Trump will have the daunting task of bringing together a divided nation."
However, he told reporters, "My experience is also that election campaigns are different from the real politics during a presidential term and so I hope we will return to a [more] rational approach."