The Trump victory is sending shockwaves across Europe. This article will be regularly updated as reactions keep coming.
As in the case of Brexit in the UK, US pollsters gave wrong predictions, insisting until the last day that Hillary Clinton had a comfortable lead.
I read there was a monkey somewhere in inner China that predicted that Donald Trump would win. At least someone.
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) November 9, 2016
Against the predictions of opinion polls, Donald Trump is set to become the 45th president of the United States. As Republicans gained control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the maverick politician will have enormous powers.
Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta said several states were too close to call, and that “she’s not done yet”.
Podesta urged those at the event to “head home” and “get some sleep,” as they would not be making any further announcements.
Agencies, however, said Trump was the winner, and Hillary Clinton conceded the election by 8:30AM CET.
Associated Press calling US presidential election for Donald Trump https://t.co/GuafZ0YWZe
— Storyful (@Storyful) November 9, 2016
Simultaneously, speaking at a Brussels matinée organised by the US ambassadors to the EU and NATO, Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, said that with Donald Trump, populism was going to be emboldened across the world.
The two-round French presidential election is due in April/May 2017, with the far-right Marine Le Pen almost certain to make it to the final ballot.
Marine Le Pen's head of strategy: "Their world is crumbling. Ours is emerging" https://t.co/pdK5KWZS9U
— Brexit Watch (@BrexitWatch) November 9, 2016
Le Pen congratulated Trump and the “liberated” people of America.
Félicitations au nouveau président des Etats-Unis Donald Trump et au peuple américain, libre ! MLP
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) November 9, 2016
Trump’s pre-election pledge to only help defend Europe as part of NATO if members pay their full dues will also worry the Baltic states, in particular.
Europe should take the opportunity to show it remains the standard-bearer of human rights, he said. “America is going in the opposite direction. What we should do is come closer together and reinforce internal and external policy ahead of key elections next year,” he added, with reference to the presidential election in France and the parliamentary election in Germany.
With Donald Trump, western society weight will be diminished, Gros further argued.
“A democracy that looks at minorities is in decline, while illiberal democracy for the majority is on the rise,” he said, in reference to Europe where Britain voted to leave the EU. The term “illiberal democracy” was in fact introduced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Asked by the EURACTIV Chief Editor Daniela Vincenti if the result of the US election could be interpreted as a response to an inequality problem, Gros said that it was not an economic problem, but an identity issue.
“Those that thought were on top politically and culturally are losing out,” Gros said, also in reference to the UK 23 June Brexit referendum.
It’s a matter or ruling by rule of law or rule of electoral majority.
“In Europe, we need to give the sign that we stick together. We’re also thinking of our own defence and own security,” Gros said, adding that ironically, without the UK, a common EU defence was more feasible now.
“With Putin and Trump a common EU defence is a necessity,” he added.
Trump was considered to clearly be the favourite of the Kremlin. As former CIA chief Michael V. Hayden said yesterday (3 November), there has always been a sympathetic authoritarian chord struck between Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Trump routinely comes to the defence of his Russian soulmate, the former CIA chief said. Sounding simultaneously populist and a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist, Trump has claimed that unseen forces could rig the US election. “It’s a theme that Putin is happy to echo,” Hayden wrote in The Washington Post.
The former CIA chief stresses that Trump also echoes Putin when it comes to Syria and ISIS. Here he follows Moscow’s line that America and the Russians have shared interests and that Russia and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad (and Iran) are “killing ISIS”, Hayden wrote.
Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform, tweeted that the biggest winner from Trump’s victory was Putin, while the biggest losers were Ukraine and other Eastern European states intimidated by Russia.
The biggest winner from Trump's victory: Putin. The biggest losers: Ukraine and other East European states intimidated by Russia @CER_London
— Charles Grant (@CER_Grant) November 9, 2016
Portraits of Putin, Trump and Le Pen made a buzz at a Moscow party last night.
— Patrick Reevell (@Reevellp) November 8, 2016
When Le Pen, Trump & Putin portraits were unveiled in a Moscow bar last night, it seemed a joke. But could there be 2 presidents here? pic.twitter.com/NVg9Mr9Nmg
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) November 9, 2016
Global financial markets plummeted, as Wall Street futures tumbled as much as 5% and Asian stocks sold off sharply.