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Brussels, my love? Is Europe ready for Trump in the White House?

"Brussels, my love?"
"Brussels, my love?" Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Shona Murray
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Brussels, my love? explores the potential threat of Trump 2.0. What would happen if a NATO ally were attacked by Putin? Would Trump respond proportionately and in the interests of America's closest partners? Or would he take the view that he bore no responsibility to respond?

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Is the EU fully prepared in the event of Donald Trump returning to the White House? In the last few weeks of his campaign, Republican candidate for president Donald Trump  has given the world a glimpse of his potential approach to Europe, and the war in Ukraine - if he were to return as Commander in Chief. 

He's told the world that he'd 'encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want to America's allies if those countries don't pay at least two per cent of GDP on defense. He also said he's have the Ukraine was 'settled 'in 24 hours. 

None of the indications based on these statements and more - albeit to his base while on the campaign trail - are in anyway comforting - so should Europe be prepared,  concerned? 

We were joined by Ian Bond, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform who warned that Trump was "subservient" to Putin - which is a threat to America's European allies.

 "We saw in the first Trump term that Trump was totally subservient to Putin. And I think Putin would love to be able to exploit that again." Bond went on to remind us that "Trump was was presented with an opportunity to say that America's intelligence agencies had shown that Russia had attacked America's democratic processes. And he basically said, President Putin assured me that he hadn't done that, and I have no reason to doubt him."

"It was an absolutely extraordinary, you know, jaw dropping moment."

However, Tomi Huhtanen from the Wilfred Martens Centre warned against 'Trump panic'. 

But, he said, Europe needs to be prepared: "we cannot anymore rely on US support. And indeed the Ukraine is the first thing. So we really need to triple up our support to Ukraine." He also said Europe needs to be independent on defense and security: 'we need to start to build up our own defense, defence capabilities, defense industry capability, military movement.'

Kaite Bolongaro, a journalist with M Lex recalled the January 6th insurrection in Washington DC led by Trump supporters who were led to believe the 2020 election was rigged or stolen by Joe Biden, despite there being no evidence to prove it.

"What we saw with the insurrection in in January of 2021, I do think we need to be aware. I mean, all of this checks and balances survived the first Trump presidency, but is it robust enough to survive another one where he's clearly laid out a map roadmap with his allies to undermine a lot of those systems? So I think that's the big question."

Vlad Gheorghe MEP from the Liberal, Renew Europe group in the European Parliament also called for strengthened European defense: "Now we're seeing that if the Americans stop helping, there is a huge issue there. So we need to step up and have our own real armed forces." And stop relying on 'Big Brother'.

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