No matter what happens in the upcoming U.S. elections, if EU support for NATO, Ukraine and other shared transatlantic challenges withers, the glue holding the U.S. and Europe together will start to come undone.  There’s no sugarcoating it,  a second Trump administration would spell major trouble for transatlantic relations. And while Europeans are, indeed, powerless to affect the outcome of the 2024 U.S. elections, they do have a year to prepare for the worst and make preparations for the storm. If they fail to act, they only have themselves to blame. The policies which will define Trump’s second tenure are unclear currently. His campaign rhetoric and statements are more performance than substance. However, the unpredictability of his first term often masked two parallel policy drivers the transactional and personal nature of his approach to governance – which are unlikely to change. A second Trump administration will also likely be far more effective at pulling the levers of power.


  1. Establish contacts with Republican counterparts in the House and Senate at all levels.
  2. Focus on subnational diplomacy to promote municipal and other regional engagement.
  3. Strengthen local-level ties to broaden ties with the U.S. beyond those formed among national governments and armed forces.
  4. Establish extensive personal networks where candid opinions can be exchanged with U.S. lawmakers. Form strong ties with Congress and bolster relations with both Democrats and Republicans.
  5. Build up relations with the U.S. while shielding themselves from the vagaries of its politics.
  6. Build firewalls and take other measures on military preparedness, the European Union’s decision-making processes, institutionalizing ties between transatlantic stakeholders, and guarding against a potential drift away from the U.S. to safeguard their relationship.
  7. Fund Ukrainian assistance from outside the EU budget, either through national contributions or debt guarantees from member countries.   
  8. Commit to continue increasing spending in NATO and refocus on greater self-sufficiency when it comes to military equipment.  
  9. Improve the institutionalization of the transatlantic relationship and push U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to agree to a 21st century transatlantic partnership, and to commit to achieving this goal by 2030
  10. Reconstitute the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and other related stakeholder dialogues in order to make it politically harder for a future American administration to unravel transatlantic ties. 

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