MEPs launch withering attack on Donald Trump's reported pick as EU ambassador

Controversial economist Ted Malloch is unfit for the job, warns senior MEP Jo Leinen.

Ted Malloch | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

16 Feb 2017

MEPs have made a withering attack on the man tipped to become the next US ambassador to the EU after he said the Union was categorised by “over-regulation, low growth, high unemployment, and structural rigidity.”

In an article published by The Parliament Magazine on Tuesday, Malloch wrote, “The failure of the European integration project should by now be self-apparent to everyone. This is simply not something Churchill or Roosevelt would countenance. The European Union has become undemocratic and bloated by both bureaucracy and rampant anti-Americanism.”

Malloch, who is yet to be confirmed in the post, went on, “The Trump administration is steadily making it clear that the US is no longer interested in the old forms of European integration. In fact, it may be able to encourage a reversal of the EU’s accelerating drive to a socialist, protectionist, United States of Europe.


“This movement should be seen for what it is. It is very harmful to US business, to US investment, to US security, and is categorised by over-regulation, low growth, high unemployment, and structural rigidity as its outcome,” said Malloch, a professor at Henley Business School in the UK.

Reaction to the controversial economist’s comments was swift, with Swedish Greens MEP Linnéa Engström branding them as "Rubbish, rubbish and utterly rubbish.”

She added, “This guy is not serious and I'm surprised he gets so much attention. Several actors like Oxford University have distanced himself from Ted Malloch, even exposing him as a fraud. He apparently wants to split the EU but we shouldn't give this clown our attention."

UK Socialist deputy Claude Moraes said, “His many needlessly provocative remarks have revealed an ill-informed contempt for the EU. With the alleged embellishment of his CV, Ted Malloch long ago showed his unsuitability to be an EU ambassador who would manage some of the most complex diplomacy, trade and security relations between two blocs where trust, attention to detail, diplomatic skills and intellectual credibility are critical qualifications."

Austrian EPP group member Paul Rübig, said, "The transatlantic partnership is of major importance to both Europe and the United States of America. I refer not only to geopolitical considerations, but also the economic and cultural links that bring us together. In my view, it is also in the national US interest to closely work together with a Europe that speaks with one voice on the world stage as a close partner and ally.

“On both sides of the Atlantic, we should emphasise the mutually beneficial arrangements in particular in terms of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. I expect from a future US ambassador to the EU that he supports the four EU freedoms, the separation of power and further democratic development within the European Union. These achievements have brought peace and prosperity to our continent over the past decades."

More comment came from UK Socialist deputy Richard Corbett who said, “Ted Malloch appears to be ignorant as to how the EU works. He faces a steep learning curve.”

German deputy Ska Keller, co-Chair of the Greens/EFA group, commented, "His article is a provocation and a diplomatic disaster. Ted Malloch puts America first, at all political costs. He is openly threatening a united Europe and harming the partnership between the EU and the US."

German Socialist Jo Leinen, a member of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee said, “The European Union should refuse to accredit Malloch whose latest remarks about the EU show he is unfit for the job.

“What we don’t need now is an obstructionist who dreams of the end of the euro and of taming and wrestling down the EU like he allegedly did with the Soviet Union.”

Denis MacShane, a former UK Europe Minister, added, “I am not sure how seriously we can take "Sir" Ted Malloch as he claimed to have been knighted by the Queen, been the most senior US diplomat at the UN in Geneva and written his PhD in record time all of which are untrue.

“His argument about the EU is a rehash of tired 15-year-old Anglosphere clichés. If America does indeed wish to see the EU balkanised back to rival nation states this will be a massive defeat for US geopolitical strategic interests. In the week when the new US Vice President and Defence Secretary are in Europe building relations between the EU and the US, this article is like a UKIP news release from the Brexit campaign.”

Socialist group leader Gianni Pittella was one of the leaders of three main parties in the parliament who recently wrote to the European Commission and the European council calling for Malloch’s potential nomination to be blocked.

The letter was also authored by the leaders of the European Parliament’s centre-right EPP and liberal ALDE groups, Manfred Weber and Guy Verhofstadt.

Elsewhere, Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at the think tank, Friends of Europe, said, “Malloch has done us the favour of articulating – very clearly – the new US Administration’s view of the EU and its future. We now know what transatlantic relations will look like under the Trump administration. These comments are a wake-up call for Europe to stop living in America’s shadow and to forge a distinct identity – with its strengths and flaws – in this challenging new era.

“The world is changing and the EU – like other countries – should adapt to it. With the US no longer rooting for Europe, the EU must work harder to stand proudly alone – and work with other partners that it has tended to neglect or treat perfunctorily in the past.”

One US official told this website that it would be “very unusual” for an ambassador to be refused on account of something that they had said. For any country or state, “it is very rare to refuse credentials” for diplomats, he said

If the EU refuses to grant credentials to a candidate, another name can be put forward or the post can be left vacant, with a more junior diplomat in charge of the embassy

Adam Shub, the deputy head of the US mission to the EU, has served as the acting ambassador since the departure of the former ambassador, Anthony Gardner just after Christmas.

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