Europe's response

Trump’s Travel Ban a Blow to the Atlantic Alliance

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The U.S. president’s ban on Muslims traveling to the United States is a further sign of a clash of values with Europe, writes a foreign policy analyst.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Late January, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a travel ban on Muslims from seven countries, leading to outrage in the United States and abroad.
    • In the coming days two courts in the U.S. will decide on rulings by lower courts blocking the ban and calling it unconstitutional.
    • The courts’ rulings are seen as a test of the extent of the president’s power over immigration and national security.
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DISTORTED main 75260256 Syrian women seated AP
Courts to decide what will come of the ban on Muslims entering the U.S. from seven countries. Source: AP [M]

President Donald Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries puts at risk U.S. relations with America’s European partners.  At first glance, the measure would seem to have little to do with Europe. But in reality, it will affect European citizens and businesses, and even European security. Perhaps most important, the ban has shaken to the core European perceptions of the transatlantic alliance as being one based on shared values and the rule of law.

The executive order comes at a time when European concerns about the new president are already rather high. Trump has in the past referred to NATO as obsolete, and although key members of his Cabinet have offered supportive statements on the alliance, uncertainty lingers across the Continent. The president has also been publicly supportive of Britain’s vote last summer to leave the European Union and suggested that others might follow. His criticism of the European Union at a recent press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, and in an earlier interview with the Times and Bild, has brought into question whether U.S. support for European integration — a fundamental tenet of American foreign policy since 1946 — will continue. In a letter to European leaders, European Council President Donald Tusk included “worrying declarations by the new American administration” as one of the challenges facing the European Union.

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