The Lady and the Trump: the US Presidential Election 2016 and Its Impact on Europe


On 8 November the American voters will decide who will be their next president. If Europeans could do that for them, they would elect Hillary Clinton. With less than four weeks to go, it looks increasingly as if Americans will do what a majority of Europeans would if they were in their shoes. But what if Trump will end up in the White House after an election campaign which has gone beyond all limits of decency? How has the presidential race impacted Europe and U.S.-European relations regardless of the election outcome? Has it undermined transatlantic trust? Has it bolstered populism and blurred boundaries of decency in political discourse also in Europe? And, whatever the election result will be: what sort of transatlantic cooperation can we expect regarding the major issues of our time: terrorism, migration, climate change, trade (TTIP) and international security (NATO)? During the Obama administrations the U.S. has shifted its global priorities away from Europe and cut back on its leading role on foreign affairs. With a (post Brexit) European Union in crisis mood, U.S. leadership was and will be sorely missed. Trump’s isolationism and his openly displayed disdain for the European Union would seriously undermine, if not destroy transatlantic relations. Hillary Clinton, in her time as U.S. Secretary of State, showed interest in European concerns and NATO, built bridges with the Arab world and promoted TTIP as an ‘economic NATO’ ( a position she seems to not longer fully uphold). Once the dust has settled, what sort of administration will emerge in Washington and what does it mean for Europe?

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Date of Publication
January 2017
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
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