As Merkel knows, Trumps rudeness and arrogance can unite Europe | Natalie Nougayrde
The US presidents tour was a stark reminder that he embodies everything the EU is meant to stand up against
Donald Trumps visit to Europe has left the continents leaders both aghast and determined to make the best of a bad situation. There is, after all, nothing that brings people together better than having to confront a common problem. So goes the theory, at least.
Minute analysis of the mans handshakes, pushing and shoving, and vocabulary (or lack of) brings to mind the excruciating efforts Europeans once put into deciphering the inner workings of the Politburo. Trumpology has become a European science, and its as much guesswork as Kremlinology was.
But it has a positive effect. Just like the Soviet threat forced Europeans to focus their minds on what they had in common and how they could protect it, Trump may be starting to help improve Europes ability to integrate. The continents interests lie in making sure the toxicity of Trump is somehow curtailed. That can only happen if it sets new ambitions for itself. Just weeksafter Emmanuel Macrons electoral victory in France brought a major moment of solace, Trumps tour will have starkly reminded Europeans ofthe new world of uncertainties, andthe need to pull together.
This is why, although not an entirely new message, German chancellor Angela Merkels words about Europe no longer being able to depend completely on others, and now holding its fate in its own hands, rang as a logical conclusion to a dismaying three days of Trumpian diplomacy. Her statement no doubt served many purposes, ahead of Germanys September elections. Casting yourself as the anti-Trump voice can only give your approval ratings a boost.