6 years ago

Europe in Review 2016

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The biggest events that shaped the European Union in 2016.

The election of the

The election of the property magnate after a campaign marked by racism, sexism and "post-truth" arguments will have consequences for EU security, politics and public debate. By Andrew Rettman For anyone who thought that the Brexit vote in June would mark the year' r's biggest political upset, the real earthquake came on 8 November - the day the US elected Donald Trump. mini ster Viktor Orban said after Trump invited him to As with British pollsters and Brexit, US pollsters had predicted that the controversial property developer would lose. German chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe' e's most powe rful politician, was among the few who voiced alarm. The moment that hi s victory became clear, at about 8:00 a.m. Brussels time on 9 November, US diplomats in the EU capital began saying he would govern more soberly than he had campaigned. Foreign policy experts said Trump, who has no political experience, would submit to the tutelage of the Republican Party just as actor-turned-politician Ronald Reagan had done in the 1980s. president Barack Obama also said that the “solemnity” Most EU leaders greeted the outcome as though they agreed with Obama. British prime minister Theresa May said she would “earliest convenience”. She said she was willing to cooperate wi th Trump, but only on the basis of “values” including respect for the “dignity of every individual, irrespective of origin, colour, religion, sex”. END OF AN ERA? racist and sexist hysteria at his campaign rallil es. campaign, but which surfaced during it, he boasted about grabbing women “by the pussy”. Ukraine, and vowed to scrap the Paris accord on global warming. Some right-wing EU leaders welcomed Trump, saying that his nationalist politics was a vindication of their own views. printed on its front page on 9 November, in a 04 — EUROPE IN REVIEW DECEMBER 2016 Photo: Jeso Carneiro

“American Psycho”, said Liberation, a left-wing French daily. The US has had controversial leaders in the recent past, such as the inarticulate George W Bush whose rift with France and Germany. policy, then the coming rupture in EU-US relations If he tries to do a deal with China and Russia to divide the end of the post-World War II transatlantic alliance. It could also mean the end of the Western-led, rulesbased post-Cold War world order. EU HOLDS ITS BREATH after 20 January, has tried to sound conciliatory and statesman-like since the election, but he has given scant ground for optimism. He has pledged to “normalise” ties with Russia, even and to massacre civilians in Syria. He has displayed his ignorance of international affairs by, for instance, telling the UK who to appoint as its With EU chancelleries watching whom he picks for his new team as a sign of his intentions, he has also is RATIONAL”, because they wanted to enslave humanity. acceptable to torture terrorism suspects. chairman of Breitbart, a hard-right news website that was accused of spreading conspiracy theories and other disinformation during the campaign. WAR OF IDEAS ideological blow against the EU. The spectacle of a right-wing populist becoming the most powerful person in the world comes amid a war of ideas in Europe. Far-right and anti-EU parties such as the National Front in France and the AfD in Germany hailed a propitious omen. the values that have maintained world order for the past 70 years. Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel EUROPE IN REVIEW DECEMBER 2016— 05

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