The Slovenia Times

Donald Trump: A challenge for the EU



It is not very clear what Donald Trump really means for Europe. On one side, he has made some comments which are not very friendly to the Union, on the other he may learn that he is depending on Europeans regarding some questions on the future of the United States. The main subject of his efforts is the economy and business. Listening to his comments, you get the impression that he is in favour of US business but not for investment from outside the US. How possible it is to keep this line is not yet clear because one of the consequences of US/EU relations and globalisation generally, is that business is very much interlinked, particularly for the biggest enterprises it might not be so easy to separate under the auspices of a "national" economy. What the Europeans have to learn is that there is a kind of flexibility needed to live with Donald Trump because he is obviously very flexible on everything.
Initially, President Trump criticised NATO but it now seems that he is aware that the security of the United States is very much dependent on its partners. One of the consequences will be that NATO members will have to make more investment in their own security, which is also very favorable for a stronger European position. Maybe we have to learn to be less dependent on the Americans than we have been in the past. For the neighbourhood of Slovenia, it also means that the involvement of the State Department in the affairs of South East Europe will diminish.
Will the Russians have an even stronger influence? What does it mean for Turkey which has a growing presence in South East Europe? How will the problem of migrants develop and will it lead to a nationalistic separation of every government or will it create even closer cooperation between the members of the European Union? We have to pay close attention to the developments. Who will be the real partners of the Americans in the future? What kind of themes are of interest for the new US government? At the moment, in the US government, there are no real experts on European affairs. In addition, we have to pay attention to the decisions on the people who will do the jobs in the State Department in the future. It needs a minimum of three or four months to fix the new crew at National Security, in the State Department and the Pentagon. In general it will be right if the Europeans fix their own position because there is not only Donald Trump but also Vladimir Putin in the neighbourhood. Significant attention on current developments is necessary!

Dr Erhard Busek is Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe


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