Trump’s stance on cooperation is ‘new challenge for EU’
On Sunday, a day after attending the G7 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe's destiny is in its own hands and it should no longer rely on the US.
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days,” she said during a campaign event in Munich.
“We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with good neighborly relations wherever possible, also with Russia and other countries – but we have to know that we have to fight for our future and our fate ourselves as Europeans," she added.
But is this a policy shift or just campaign talk ahead of the elections in September?
Geopolitical analyst Dr. Rainer Rothfuss told RT that Angela Merkel’s statement is an attempt to gain voters’ support.
“The situation is simple: Angela Merkel is in an election campaign; in less than four months we will have elections which will also determine her fate. And that is why she follows a certain strategy of winning voters support in Germany,” he said.
“On the one hand, you can always win if you are criticizing Donald Trump, on the other hand, you could also win on the front of climate change. If you propose to support and push forward climate friendly policy, you also have the more environmental sensitive voters on your side,” he said.
In Rothfuss’s opinion, “this is obviously the intent of Angela Merkel to strengthen her base voter support in order to have for the next four years again and an overwhelmingly positive election result.”
Dr. Werner Patzelt, from the Technical University of Dresden, says American-European relations face new challenges and therefore need new strategies.
“Apparently, the present American president is not willing to cooperate with the Europeans to the same degree as his predecessors did and this poses a new …challenge to Europeans. And what Angela Merkel said is a reflection of this new situation,” Patzelt said.
According to Patzelt, “the member states of the European Union have not really been dependent on Great Britain, but they have always been in an asymmetrical relationship with the US as the most important economic power for many decades and as the most important military power in the world.”
“And in particular during the time of the Cold War, it was of utmost importance for the Europeans to have the US at their side…With the transformation of the East-West conflict into something new, for which we do not yet have a proper label, things change, and therefore strategies and basic convictions will change as well,” he told RT.
According to Hansjorg Mueller from Alternative for Germany party (AfD), for about 15 years the G7 nations have been following the pace set by the US.
“The other six leaders were following the [US president] like in a kindergarten,” he told RT.
However, now the situation has changed, as Trump, “by isolating himself” has put other leaders into a position when they have to “do something on their own.”
Lawyer and political analyst Maximilian Krah suggests that Merkel was probably “more honest than she wanted” and admitted that her policy failed.
“It is obvious that she lost Britain, she lost America, she lost Russia, and the last ally is now Erdogan in Turkey. It is honest that she said “Ok, my policy failed,” he adds.
The G7 nations remained divided on climate change as US President Donald Trump said he needed more time to decide the matter. Besides that, Trump reiterated his call on NATO allies to commit two per cent of their GDP to military spending.
Commenting on whether that was what was really rankling the EU, Krah said: “If you look at the political class in Germany, they have always completely underestimated the value of military strength. They never understood that a country needs a strong military…And now Trump comes and reminds them “You need a military, you need a strong force.” It is something they had not on their agenda. Then Trump says I am not sure about climate change. But this is what they have on their agenda. So, for them, it is a completely new situation, and they are not prepared for it. And that is why they get so aggressive and said: “We can’t trust the Americans anymore.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.