Donald Trump’s election as US President is ‘very difficult moment’ for EU after comments on women and minorities

European Parliament President raises concern about President-elect's ‘worrying words’ on women and minorities

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 09 November 2016 15:39
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Trump win is a 'difficult moment for the EU'

Leaders of the European Union have raised concerns about Donald Trump’s “worrying words” about women and ethnic minorities while giving the new US President-elect a cautious welcome.

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said his shock victory was a “very difficult moment” but that the EU would respect America’s decision.

“We hope that Donald Trump…will respect the fundamental rights and rules of the European Union,” he added.

“We have common interests and common responsibilities and my hope is that we, in fruitful and in-depth cooperation as it was until today, will tackle these challenges together.”

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Mr Schulz noted that Mr Trump’s victory speech, which saw him call for unity in the US and praise Hillary Clinton’s service to the country, was in a markedly “different tone” to much of his divisive campaign.

“I am sure that the elected President Donald Trump will be a different one than the campaigner Donald Trump,” he added, saying he hoped the victor would uphold America’s constitution.

“It will not be easy because during the election campaign we heard some elements of protectionism and also some worrying words about women, about minorities.

“My experience is that election campaigns are different from the real politics during the term of a president, so I hope that we will get back to a rational cooperation.”

Donald Tusk, the European Council President, and his European Commission counterpart Jean-Claude Juncker, invited Mr Trump to an EU summit at his earliest convenience to chart a course for the next four years.

In a joint statement, they urged the Republican to commit to strengthening relations with the EU, including on Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the future of the troubled TTIP trade deal

“Over the years, the European Union and the United States have worked together to ensure peace and prosperity for our citizens and for people around the world,” the statement said.

“Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations.

“Only by co-operating closely can the EU and the US continue to make a difference when dealing with unprecedented challenges such as Daesh [Isis], the threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change and migration.”

The reaction to Mr Trump’s shock victory varied wildly among politicians across Europe, with Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel making frosty statements hinting at future disagreements, Theresa May offering her uncritical congratulations and right-wing figures including Marine Le Pen celebrating a “victory of the people”.

Amid widespread concern over the election’s impact on Europe as uncertainty continues over Brexit, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said transatlantic ties go beyond the election of Mr Trump.

“EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics. We'll continue to work together, rediscovering the strength of Europe,” she wrote on Twitter.

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