Fractured EU in panic mode at summit convened in aftermath of Trump triumph

by WorldTribune Staff, November 14, 2016

In a move that was snubbed by Britain and France and called a “waste of time” by Hungary, a panicked European Union convened an emergency meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss Donald Trump’s U.S. victory.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who called the special summit on the eve of a scheduled meeting of EU ministers, said “we’ve decided together to engage with the incoming administration even from this very first week of transition.”

Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini

“It’s not up to us… it’s up to the next U.S. administration to define their own position,” she said following the two-and-a-half hour meeting.

Mogherini also slammed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s decision to sit out the meeting, linking it to Brexit.

“I guess it’s only normal for a country that has decided to leave not to be so interested in our discussion on the future of our relations,” she said.

Britain’s Foreign Office, explaining Johnson’s absence, said that “we do not see the need for an additional meeting on Sunday because the U.S. election timetable is long established. An act of democracy has taken place, there is a transition period and we will work with the current and future administrations to ensure the best outcomes for Britain.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, another no-show, said the meeting was “completely premature” and hit out at “frustrated and hysterical statements [that] have been made in Europe” after Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton.

“Until we know who will be in charge of the direction of U.S. diplomacy, until the White House officially makes public its economic and foreign policy priorities, this is a complete waste of time. I don’t know what we have to talk about,” he said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who also did not attend the emergency meeting, said: “Let’s stop talking about disarray (after the Trump victory). Isn’t this a chance for Europe to pull itself together?”