24October2017

Home Editorial THE AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN EUROPE NOT AS BIG AS BEFORE

THE AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN EUROPE NOT AS BIG AS BEFORE

 

About a month ago German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview with a German daily said her work relationship with US President Donald Trump had been well developed. Despite differences of opinion among them, she still recognizes the important role the United States has in overcoming a number of conflicts. Merkel therefore does not hesitate to express the need for US involvement in various conflicts.

But last Sunday (28/5), Merkel no longer spoke in  the same tone. In a campaign in front of her supporters in Munich, Merkel firmly declared Europe to be self-reliant and no longer dependent on the United States and Britain. These two countries in view of the German Chancellor are no longer reliable. Nevertheless Germany and Europe continue to maintain good relations with the United States and Britain. In addition, good relations between Germany and France under the new President, Emmanuel Macron must also be maintained.

Merkel's statement seems to be an expression of her disappointment, after the G7 meeting in Italy Saturday (27/5), did not produce any decision. Merkel said negotiations at the summit which she described as "six against one" were tough, especially in the implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate deal.

What displeased Merkel most possibly was President Trump's attitude, who saw the negotiations as successful and satisfactory for America. Trump said he  would take steps related to the Climate agreement in Paris 2015 and indicated that he  would make America out of the deal. If America is really out, then this would be a blow to its allies in Europe. In addition to the Climate issue, Trump also strongly criticized NATO for failing its defense budget commitments by 2 percent of GDP of each member countries.

Angela Merkel's expression of European independence is a sign that the role of the United States in Europe is declining. This is different from the time during  post-World War II when Europe desperately needed the United States to rebuild the post-war continent. Indeed, European independence is important for its economic alliance. That independence may also be very useful for ASEAN and Indonesia to more easily enter the European market.

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