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The Year Ahead 2018

“America First” Wakes Up the EU

Donald Trump won’t be president forever, and the ties that bind the US and Europe will far outlast his destructive leadership. But, in the meantime, the EU needs to do what it takes – with or without the US – to protect its interests on the world stage.

BRUSSELS – US President Donald Trump has been in office for less than a year, but he has already put the relationship between Europe and the United States to the test. Be it defense and security cooperation within NATO, trade relations, cooperation on global challenges like climate change, or participation in bodies such as the G7 or G20, there is hardly any area that has not been adversely affected by Trump’s malign judgment.

For over a century, the transatlantic partnership has been central to US foreign policy. At a time when the key challenges we face – from terrorism to climate change to mass migration – extend far beyond national borders, such cooperation is more important than ever.

Yet Trump’s “America First” approach, together with his erratic leadership style, is undermining the partnerships and mutual agreements on which transatlantic – and, indeed, global – cooperation has long been based. Trump’s doctrine might please his core constituents, but it fails to account for even the most basic principles and mechanisms of international politics.

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