German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there are no guarantees for “eternal” US cooperation with the EU, in rare remarks that come amid uncertainty about President-elect Donald Trump's policies.
“From the point of view of some of our traditional partners — and I am thinking here as well about the transatlantic relations — there is no eternal guarantee for a close cooperation with us Europeans,” Merkel said at a Thursday event in Brussels, where she was to receive an honorary university doctorate.
Trump, a business tycoon-turned-president, has instilled concern in many of America’s allies by taking an impulsive attitude toward world matters and upsetting traditional norms of alliance and diplomatic protocol in the process. Trump, who will take over a week from now, has questioned many of the United States’ established policies and commitments.
NATO has been relying on US aid and cooperation to guarantee the security of its member states, most of them European countries.
The Thursday remarks by Merkel — generally considered a seasoned leader who often takes the middle ground when addressing the concerns of friends and foes alike — are likely to foreshadow an era of European independence from the US and perhaps even American isolation on the world stage, especially given that Merkel also spoke of the need for European resurgence.
“I am convinced that Europe and the EU must learn to take more responsibility in the world in the future,” she said on Thursday.
The German chancellor did caution, however, that, “Europe is facing the biggest challenges for decades,” including the recent refugee crisis, terror threats and the conflict in Ukraine.
She said the leaders of the bloc, who will hold a summit in Malta in early February and again in Rome in March, “urgently” need to agree on ways to tackle the challenges that can only be resolved at a supranational level.