Trump's Victory

A Threat to European Unity

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The unexpected, and in some quarters unwelcome, victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Presidential elections may embolden European nationalists in upcoming elections, and presents a unique danger to Germany in terms of political ideology, a former German foreign minister warns.

  • Facts


    • After Mr. Trump’s victory, British bookmakers William Hill significantly raised the odds of French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen, winning the French presidential election next year.
    • There are many similarities between Mr. Trump’s policies and Germany’s anti-immigration, anti-E.U. party, Alternative for Germany. After Mr. Trump’s win, the party’s leader tweeted a message: This night changes the USA, Europe and the world!
    • Germany faces internal pressure from nationalists like AfD and external pressure from increasingly aggressive Russian foreign policy.
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Member of the anti-European Union group called Europe of Nations and Freedoms in the European Parliament pose for a group photo after a joint news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels,
United on the right: France's Marine Le Pen and the Netherlands' far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders at a joint news conference in Brussels. Source: Reuters

In 2016 and 2017, leading nations of the Western world will make, or have already made, decisions that will fundamentally change “the West,” as it has been known for years. First, there was the Brexit vote in Great Britain and now there is Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

Will a third instance see France choose right-wing populist politician, Marine Le Pen, as president in the spring of 2017 – and thereby say no to Europe?

It seemed inconceivable that Mr. Trump could become the next U.S. president or that a majority in Great Britain could vote for the Brexit. But we’ve since learned otherwise. Apparently, the foundations of the Western world – European and trans-Atlantic cohesion, a Western outlook – are being shaken – and without any real awareness of the possible consequences.

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