Trump threatens EU's future: Tusk
(BRUSSELS) - As EU leaders prepare to meet at a summit on Friday, Council president Donald Tusk listed the Trump administration alongside Islamic extremism as a major threat to the existence of the European Union.
In a letter to the leaders of 27 European states, Mr Tusk said the "worrying declarations by the new American administration" contributed to making Europe's future highly unpredictable, with the new administration "seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy".
Mr Tusk reminded the United States of their own motto: "United we stand, divided we fall". Along with an "assertive China" and radical Islam, the new geopolitical situation which Europe faced were, he said, "more dangerous than ever before in the time since the signature of the Treaty of Rome".
Ironically, the EU is set later this year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community, later to become the European Union.
Mr Tusk also listed threats from "Russia's aggressive policy towards Ukraine and its neighbours, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa, with radical Islam playing a major role".
"In an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best", he said.
European was also threatened by "the rise in anti-EU, nationalist, increasingly xenophobic sentiment in the EU itself". National egoism "was becoming an attractive alternative to integration", he said.
There was a decline of faith in political integration, he said, and "submission to populist arguments as well as doubt in the fundamental values of liberal democracy are all increasingly visible".
Europe's response "in a world full of tension and confrontation" should be "courage, determination and political solidarity of Europeans", he said.
Europe should "have the courage to oppose the rhetoric of demagogues, who claim that European integration is beneficial only to the elites, that ordinary people have only suffered as its result, and that countries will cope better on their own, rather than together", he added.
Above all, he said, "we should never, under any circumstances, forget about the most important reasons why 60 years ago we decided to unite Europe.
And "it must be made crystal clear that the disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: the United States, Russia and China. Only together can we be fully independent.