Disillusion is spreading after Trump’s Europe trip. The Süddeutsche Zeitung complains about how “Trump destroys Europe’s illusions”. But the EU is still not fighting back – even if Chancellor Merkel pretends.
Merkel was mistaken. This new US president is not to cope with good persuasion, much patience and educational exercises.
Anyone who tries to explain the EU (or NATO or the G-7) to him has already lost. Trump does not want any explanation, he wants a deal. And soon.
This is the great lesson from the unsuccessful tour of Europe. The new US administration is on its way to confrontation in trade, armaments and climate policy.
It may still hesitate in the choice of means. But something is happening in Washington. “From bad to worse” – this is what EUropa needs to prepare for.
EU not equipped
But the EU is not prepared. Even six months after Trumps’s entry (and one year after the Brexit), the motto in Brussels is still “carry on”:
In trade, the EU remains unhindered in liberalization. Economic and financial policy is aimed at letting all Euro countries make more surplus – Germany wants it so.
Safety and armor are driven by Trump, instead of formulating an own security policy, which is at hand (conflict prevention, civil-military operations, etc.)
In the Climate Policy one waits for Trump, rather than to advance. China is already on the verge of overtaking us in terms of clean energy. Meanwhile, Germany is missing its climate goals!
In the G-7 (and the G-20) it doesn’t look any better. At the meeting in Taormina, the group of “leading” states has even split – into a G-6 on one side and the USA on the other.
Merkel no longer leads (even if she pretends)
The alleged leadership power Germany plays no role. Chancellor Merkel no longer leads. She was engaged in self-defense – so that “bad, very bad” does not turn into “worse”…
Although Merkel said on Sunday, Europe must take its fate into its own hands. But so far, it was mainly the Chancellor who prevented any reform in “German Europe”!
The fact that she now stands out so clearly from Trump shows how much she and her politics are under pressure. Unlike France’s Macron she hasn’t developed a concept for a “sovereign” Europe.
No relaxation with Russia
The EU also makes a desperate impression. It has not even tried to play as a team and to challenge Trump – in the Middle East for example, where he is very one-sided with the Saudis.
Only in the particularly sensitive issue for the President of the United States, Brussels reports a “success”: the sanctions could not only go on, but even expand.
The opportunity for a re-adjustment, which was connected with the change of power in Washington was missed. Soon the saying is likely to go in Eastern Europe: From bad to worse…
The original post (in German) can be found here