MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) says it is more important than ever that the European Union acts collectively and decisively, especially now the United States are led by the unpredictable Donald Trump. Only a strong Europe can address the challenges we face, from the war in Syria to climate change. The American President will arrive in Brussels for a two-day visit today.
Schaake: "Trump has only been in power for a few months and the problems are piling up. He constantly undermines the international framework that the EU and the US have built together since the end of the Second World War. European leaders must take a clear position against the intimidation of journalists and judges and against undermining rules on international trade. Europe cannot wait and see, but must take a strong and united position.”
Trump has openly suggested the US may not provide military assistance in case a NATO ally is attacked if countries do not spend more on defence. At the same time, he is moving closer to Russia. Schaake: "We have called for more European defence cooperation for years. European countries must do more to integrate their defence forces and coordinate their procurement. This will also require investment into materiel and research and development. This is a crucial issue, given the challenges we face.”
Trump started his first official foreign trip with a visit to Saudi Arabia. This Gulf Kingdom represses human rights, does not allow free and fair elections and is conducting a war in Yemen. Schaake: "It is telling that Trump started his trip in Saudi Arabia, only to sign a huge weapons deal there. His 'America first' policies are increasing the instability in an already fragile Middle East. Europe must do its utmost to keep the balance. For example by reinforcing the nuclear deal with Iran, keeping human rights at the top of the agenda and claiming a larger role in the negotiations to end the war in Syria. Credibility and international cooperation on the basis of values and principles must be the pillars of EU foreign policy."