300 days have elapsed since Trump inauguration and the post of US AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION REMAINS VACANT and NO ONE HAS YET BEEN NOMINATED.

Also, the following posts are VACANT without anyone Nominated

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Finland
  4. Hungary
  5. Ireland
  6. Sweden

Yet, considering the above countries

US Exports (2016) and US FDI

  1. Austria:  US$ 3.8 billion. US is Nr. 2 investor in Austria
  2. Belgium: US$ 32.1 billion. US is Nr. 2 Investor in Belgium
  3. Finland: US$ 1.6 billion
  4. Hungary: US$ 1.8 billion. US is Nr.5 investor in Hungary
  5. Ireland: US$ 9.6 billion. US is Nr. 1 investor in Ireland
  6. Sweden: US$ 3.8 billion. US is Nr. 8 investor in Sweden

Nomination, Awaiting Senate Confirmation

  1. Germany
  2. Luxembourg

International Organization VACANT Posts

  1. OECD
  2. OSCE

Admittedly, Trump is less interested in Europe than he is in other parts of the world. All US presidents until Trump have always supported and endorsed the rationale for the existence of the EU. Up until now, US leadership might have been resented in some quarters in Europe, but, nevertheless, it was seen as fundamentally beneficial for Europe and for Europe’s survival. This time around, America has a President who not only does not care about Europe but also does not ‘get it’. The European method of consensus building is clearly an anathema to Trump.

In Europe, Trump is very broadly unpopular, among both governments and the European population. In countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and France, the percentage of the population that has confidence in the US president to do the right thing has plummeted more than 50 points since Trump took office. Trump’s unpopularity in Europe reflects the fact that he is a very different American president to those that preceded him. He brings to the post not only a harsher tone, but a radically different ideology and a promise to upend decades of US foreign policy practice. His promise to put “America First” represents a fundamental challenge to the idea of the transatlantic relationship and the security of Europe. His appeal to racial intolerance and his stance on climate change represents an affront to European values. His antipathy towards European integration and his intention of rewriting the rules of international trade represent a threat to European prosperity.

None of this is to say that the transatlantic relationship will break down under Trump, or that he would create a lasting split. In order to survive and prosper in the world with declining US leadership, Europeans will have to redouble their defence effort, move forward with European integration and become more creative in forging relations with other major powers. Europe must learn to forge its relations with China, Russia and other powers without assuming that the US will always be supportive, ready to come to its rescue, as this may prove to be a false assumption.


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