US Vice President to visit Brussels, Munich security conference

Mike Pence [White House]

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Brussels and a security conference in Munich this month, the White House said yesterday (2 February), amid jitters about the health of the trans-Atlantic relationship.

After Pence met German Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, the White House said that the Vice President “plans to attend the Munich Security Conference and visit Brussels later this month”.

“He will engage with European Allies and partners about how to deepen and strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance.”

Michael Richard “Mike” Pence previously served as the 50th Governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. Pence positioned himself as a principled ideologue and supporter of the Tea Party movement, noting he was “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.

Germany to teach Trump’s inner circle how EU works

The inner circle of US President Donald Trump has little knowledge about the European Union and Germany is having to explain how the world’s biggest trading bloc does business, the German government’s transatlantic coordinator said today (2 February).

The 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference will be held on 17-19 February.  The annual gathering on international security policy is the world’s greatest of its kind. Washington announced that this year, the US delegation to the Munich conference will be bigger than usual.

Trump’s election has thrown a 75-year old alliance into deep crisis.

An interview with the new US President in Bild and The Times of London, in which he called NATO “obsolete” aroused concern across the 28-member alliance.

Germany says NATO concerned about Trump ‘obsolete’ remark

Germany’s Foreign Minister said yesterday (16 January) that US President-elect Donald Trump’s comments that NATO was obsolete had aroused concern across the 28-member alliance.

His apparent distain for NATO and the European Union, and his apparent willingness to engage with Russia have caused something close to panic in European capitals.

Trump staff asked EU officials which countries will leave the EU next

Aides to US President-elect Donald Trump recently asked EU officials over the phone which countries will be next to leave the bloc after Britain, outgoing US ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner said. Gardner was told about the conversations by EU institution staff members, but was not in on the calls.

Fears grow in EU that Trump is about to lift sanctions against Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to speak with Donald Trump tomorrow (28 January), a source said today (27 January), as rumours grow that the US president will lift the sanctions against Russia imposed over its intervention in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

For decades, US military power has underpinned European security. Trump has indicated that relationship has to be more of a two-way street.

European diplomats have expressed hope that the appointments of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and James Mattis as Secretary of Defence will moderate Trump’s support for nationalists and populist movements on the continent.

Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have invited Trump following his election to Brussels for an early summit to chart EU-US relations for the next four years.

Donald Tusk invites Donald Trump to EU-US summit

The leaders of the main European institutions issued reactions to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. In a letter, European Council President Donald Tusk invited Trump for an early summit to chart EU-US relations for the next four years.

In the meantime, Tusk scolded Trump and his “worrying declarations” in a letter to EU leaders ahead of today’s summit in Malta.

The Brief: Tusk gores Trump in clash of the Donalds

Donald Tusk today placed his namesake President Trump in the rogues’ gallery of EU bogeymen, alongside the likes of Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan.

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