EU: Up to Trump to 'Show Us If He is Interested in Strengthening the Partnership'

European Council President Donald Tusk walks by flags of EU nations before a news conference at the EU Council building in Brussels on Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The chairman of the European Parliament’s committee for United States relations says that the EU is hoping for good relations with a Trump administration, but they really have no idea what Donald Trump’s foreign policy is.

“Foreign policy, and especially Europe, did not play a large role in the American presidential campaign so we know a lot about Mr. Trump on the one hand, but we are not very sure what exactly his foreign policy agenda is, so we just have to wait and see now,” David McAllister, a German member of the European Parliament and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said in a Q&A on the EU website.

“Who is he going to appoint as an adviser, who is he going to appoint as cabinet members and will his policies diverge from the rhetoric we have been hearing in the last few weeks and months?” he asked.

EU President Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland, said in a statement congratulating Trump on Thursday that “while respecting the democratic choice of the American people, we are at the same time aware of the new challenges that these results bring” — namely, “uncertainty over the future of our transatlantic relations.”

“The events of the last months and days should be treated as a warning sign for all who believe in liberal democracy. This means that we should finally get our act together and bring back a sense of direction, bring back confidence, bring back a sense of order.  Also in the global context whether we talk about trade, migration or security,” Tusk said, stressing that no country today “can be great in isolation.”

“But I do believe that America and Europe can, should and will work together. It is in our common interest. We have to recognize that this will take major efforts from both sides. The EU is a strong and reliable partner and will remain so. We expect the same from America and its new president.”

McAllister said these statements from Tusk and others in the EU have been “very clear”; now “it’s up to the president to show us if he is also interested in strengthening the partnership.”

“Mr Trump is critical on free-trade agreements. He wants to reverse the NAFTA agreement. He was very critical on TPP. The  planned TTIP agreement with us Europeans did not play such a central role in the presidential campaign. I think we will just have to wait and see what the next Trump administration will have for ideas,” the German MP continued.

“I believe trade negotiations with the Trump administration will be more difficult than under an Obama administration,” he added.

McAllister emphasized that NATO “is the main pillar for our security in Europe.”

“We are very much interested in having a good and close cooperation with our American allies when it comes to external security, but also to fight the challenges of international terrorism,” he said. “I expect President Trump to ask us in Europe to do more for our own security and that’s why this call from America will lead, in my view, to a closer cooperation on defense and security within the European partners in the NATO framework.”