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Trump’s ‘America First’ polices have hurt EU’s soft power, bloc should take action & not simply talk – foreign policy chief

FILE PHOTO: European Union foreign and defense ministers in Brussels, Belgium © REUTERS/Emmanuel Dunand

16 Feb, 2020

Brussels must learn to take action, especially since Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies are at odds with the bloc’s own interests, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said, noting that divisions will harm the union.

“Europe has to develop an appetite for power,” Borrell told the Munich Security Conference. “We should be able to act… not everyday making comments, expressing concern,” he told world leaders, lawmakers, and senior officials gathered at the summit.

Borrell lamented that Brussels’ “soft power,” obtained largely through the bloc’s economic strength, has withered – partly as a result of US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies, which have often been at odds with Europe on trade issues.

The foreign policy chief said EU states must either get in line or get out of the way when it comes to foreign policy, stating that “When there is no unanimity [in the bloc], the remaining majority have to act.”

The bloc has remained indecisive on a number of key foreign policy issues, including Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as well as Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – positions that Brussels has protested but done little to counter.

The EU also has yet to lay out a clear stance on Washington’s controversial Middle East peace roadmap.

Borrell has repeatedly urged his colleagues in the newly formed European Commission to take a bolder stance on foreign policy issues. Earlier this month, he penned an opinion piece unambiguously titled ‘Embracing Europe’s Power’

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