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La Présidence de Trump : quelles conséquences pour l'Europe ?

Abstract : The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States may represent one of the greatest challenge to transatlantic relations since the end of WWII. Throughout the Cold War and since then, all US Presidents have based their foreign policy on a core set of beliefs that America’s closest partners in world affairs are democracies, that US prosperity is dependent on global free trade, and that its own security is unquestionably linked to the international context, especially its ties with Europe. Thus, American commitment to European prosperity and security has never been questioned. During his electoral campaign, however, Donald Trump made many statements that called into question every one of these core sets of beliefs that have formed the backbone of transatlantic relations for the last seventy years. From his strident criticism of free trade and his admiration of strong authoritarian leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, to his questioning of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, Donald Trump’s rhetoric has shaken the very foundations of the Atlantic alliance. This paper aims to analyze the full extent of the challenge that Donald Trump’s presidency represents for Europe. The second objective is to offer policy recommendations on how the European Union can manage Trump’s presidency, turning adversity into opportunity in order to make the next four years a success for the Atlantic alliance. The goal of this paper is to highlight a strategy for the EU to remain visibly present on the world stage, making the most of the potential opportunities that could open-up in the next four years. While isolationism is certainly a risk that must be taken into consideration, closer inspection reveals that Donald Trump has developed a core consistency in his understanding of world politics that can be divided into three main pillars. First, Trump has been clear that he is against free trade in its current form, which he blames for impoverishing American workers and weakening the US while serving the interests of a cosmopolitan elite. Second, Trump has been consistent in his belief that the US is getting a “bad deal” from its allies, who stand accused of taking advantage of American largesse. Third, Trump appears to have a fascination for strong leadership, and seems to believe he can obtain “better deals” by negotiating bilaterally with authoritarian strong men such as Russian President Putin than by working cooperatively with democratic allies and multilateral organizations such as NATO or the EU. These views represent a potential threat to the Atlantic alliance. Thus, it is essential for the EU and its Member States to respond intelligently and assertively in order to avoid a worst-case scenario. This paper will focus on several issues where Trump’s presidency is likely to have the most impact on transatlantic relations: trade, NATO, Russia, Iran and China. In each case, the aim will be to outline possible scenarios, and then provide policy recommendations on how the EU can turn challenges into opportunities.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 11:29:44 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 1:59:53 PM
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Arnault Barichella. La Présidence de Trump : quelles conséquences pour l'Europe ?. Questions et Entretiens d'Europe, Fondation Robert Schumann, 2017, pp.1-11. ⟨hal-01738129⟩

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