The Presidents of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, did not waste any time in extending an invitation to the President-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump, to visit the EU institutions in Brussels. European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, was less gracious in his congratulations.
As pragmatic politicians, Tusk and Juncker issued a joint letter underlining all the positives of he “strategic partnership between the European Union and the United States…rooted in our shared values of freedom, human rights, democracy and a belief in the market economy.” They struck the right tone of recognising the democratic decision of the American people and reaching out in friendship to the future leader of the world’s only superpower.
Meanwhile, over at the European Parliament, outgoing President, who does not expect to be around by the time Trump is inaugurated President of the United States, was much more mealy mouthed in his ‘congratulations’. He dwelled rather on the election campaign than on the result, and referred to Trump as “the standard-bearer of the angst and fears of millions of Americans”, stressing that “those concerns must now be addressed with credible policies and proposals.”
Admittedly Messers Tusk and Juncker are members of the centre-right European People’s Party which has long been linked with the US Republican Party, while Schulz is a Socialist, whose European political family, the PES, has historic links with the Democrats. Nevertheless, it seems that Schulz could not bring himself to offer wholehearted congratulations to the President-elect.
Schulz went on to say: “Trump’s role in diplomacy and deal-making will be tested from day-one and will require the right mix of responsibility, restraint and leadership” – thinly-veiled criticism of the future President of the USA that is hardly the way to get off to a good start. Once again, Schulz displays his narrow-mindedness and unsuitability for the dignity of high office.
Tusk and Juncker, on the other hand, waxed lyrical about how “ the European Union and the United States have worked together to ensure peace and prosperity for our citizens and for people around the world”, displaying a much better sense of occasion