“Current challenges to the EU are more dangerous than ever before.”
So says European Council President Donald Tusk, who met leaders of the Baltic states on Tuesday, before a summit that he will chair in Malta to prepare the bloc’s future after Britain leaves,
Tusk identified threats such as China, Russia and radical Islam and highlighted what he called ‘worrying declarations’ by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multi-polar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best,” Tusk said at a news conference in Estonia.
“Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation, with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy.”
Current challenges to EU more dangerous than ever before. Changing geopolitical situation makes our future unpredictable.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 31 janvier 2017
Tusk put his thoughts down in a letter to national leaders before Friday’s Malta summit.
His remarks were among the strongest directed at the new US president since Trump took office on January 20 and reflect a growing sense in many European capitals of a need to respond to his policy moves, notably the ban on the entry of refugees and others from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Leaders in Brussels have been particularly concerned that Trump has supported Brexit and spoken of other countries following Britain out of the bloc.
Tuesday’s meeting in Tallinn saw leaders sign up to a high-speed railway project to integrate the Baltic States to the European rail network, helped by EU funds.
In President Obama’s final days in the White House, a massive US military reinforcement arrived in Poland, aimed at showing Moscow Washington’s commitment to its allies.
Under Donald Trump, it is feared that commitment is no longer guaranteed.