European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the election of Donald Trump as the next US president imperils the US-EU
relations, accusing him of ignorance with regard to the bloc.
“The election of Trump poses the risk of upsetting intercontinental relations in their foundation and in their structure,” Juncker warned at a conference in Luxembourg on Friday, adding that Trump’s statements on security policy could lead to “pernicious” consequences.
Junker, who as the head of the bloc’s executive body is one of Europe
’s most influential political figures, also criticized Trump’s ignorance of Europe
, recalling one of his statements during a mid-June rally in Atlanta, Georgia, in which he described Belgium, the country that hosts the headquarters of the EU and NATO, as “a beautiful city.”
“We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works,” Juncker said, adding that Americans usually had no interest in Europe.
He also warned that EU authorities would “waste” at least two years before Trump tours the world “he does not know.” The EU commissioner had on Thursday cast doubts over the US president-elect’s views about global trade, climate policy and Western security.
Junker’s blunt comments on Trump mirrored a widespread shock and concern among Europeans at the election of the real estate mogul, who among other controversial statements and stances has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has traditionally been considered by Washington as a formidable rival.
Trump has also already questioned the principle of the so-called collective defense in NATO.
Junker’s remarks during the past two days, however, have contrasted with the more diplomatic reactions of European leaders who have adopted a more positive attitude toward working with the next Republican president.
US President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to the crowd during his acceptance speech at his election night event in New York City in the early hours of November 9, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
On Tuesday, Trump stunned the world by defeating heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, sending the US on a new, uncertain path.
The New York businessman garnered 290 electoral votes in the election, while his rival and the former secretary of state received 232 votes despite winning the popular vote.
Thousands of people since then have demonstrated across the US to protest against Trump’s election victory, denouncing his controversial campaign rhetoric against Muslims, immigrants, women and other groups.
Trump’s election campaign had also been marred by his disparaging remarks against minorities in the US. His comments include a call to ban all Muslims from the US and shut the country’s doors to Mexican immigrants by erecting a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Seventy-year-old Trump, who will be the oldest first-term US president, has also sought a database to track Muslims across the US, arguing that the country would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques.