EU party leaders team up to reject Trump ambassador

eu-us-flags [Georgi Gotev]

The three major “pro-European” groups in the European Parliament, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the ALDE liberals, have taken the position that the EU should reject Ted R. Malloch as US ambassador to the EU.

Manfred Weber, the leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, and Guy Verhofstadt, his colleague from ALDE, co-signed a letter to Council President Donald Tusk yesterday (2 February), proposing that the EU rejects Malloch as US ambassador to the EU.

Separately, S&D leader Gianni Pittella sent a letter, in which he says he tells Tusk and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini that Malloch would not be an acceptable choice and should be declared a ‘persona non grata’.

Malloch tipped to be Trump’s ambassador to the EU, said on 25 January that the bloc could collapse in the next 18 months. At first, the EU Commission spokesperson appeared to be unimpressed.

Juncker camp unimpressed by euro collapse forecast

The European Commission chief spokesperson used old quotes by his boss Jean-Claude Juncker to respond to a US politician close to President Donald Trump, who made dire predictions about the future of the EU and its common currency.

Weber and Verhofstadt quote other statements by Malloch, who expressed his ambition “to tame the bloc” just like the Soviet Union was brought down in the early 1990s.

“These statements reveal outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union”, the two leaders write, warning about “the potential to undermine seriously the transatlantic relationship”.

“On behalf of our political groups in the European Parliament we urge you not to accept the accreditation credentials of Mr Malloch, should he be proposed as US Ambassador to the EU,” the letter ends.

Pittella writes that Malloch’s comparison of the EU with the Soviet Union clearly shows his hostility “to our common values and principles”.

“We firmly believe that ignoring this unacceptable stance would undermine our future relationship with the US administration and could potentially contribute to the spread of populism and Euroscepticism across Europe,” the S&D leader wrote.

A country wishing to appoint an ambassador must request the so-called agrément from the host country.  In the case of the EU, third countries ask for agrément from the Council President, since the post was created in 2009, and all 28 countries must give their consent.

So far the US has not sent a notification, asking for an agrément for their new ambassador to the EU.