Party leaders in EU want Trump’s possible EU envoy rejected
Party leaders at the European Parliament have called on the European Union to reject US President Donald Trump’s likely pick for ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, whose mission they said is to “disrupt or dissolve” the 28-member bloc.
The leaders of the conservative, socialist and liberal parties in Brussels wrote in a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk that Malloch’s stance toward “the values that define” the EU were marked by “outrageous malevolence.”
Malloch, who is said to have been interviewed for the post by Trump, recently told the BBC that he “had, in a previous career, a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union.” “So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming,” he said in controversial remarks.
In their letter, the EU leaders said Malloch’s statements “eloquently supported dissolution of the European Union and explicitly bet on the demise of the common currency within months.”
“These statements reveal outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union and, if pronounced by an official representative of the United States, they would have the potential to undermine seriously the transatlantic relationship that has, for the past 70 years, essentially contributed to peace, stability and prosperity on our continent,” read the letter.
The signatories to the letter warned that Malloch “should not be accredited” as an official representative to the union.
Trump’s possible nominee, who also strongly supported Brexit — Britain’s exit from the EU — has also said he believes that the euro could soon collapse.
The leader of the Socialists and Democrats group, Gianni Pittella, wrote a separate letter to the European Commission, saying that ignoring Malloch’s stance “would undermine our future relationship with the US administration and could potentially contribute to the spread of populism and Euroscepticism across Europe.”
The parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who is one of the signatories to the letter, described Trump as a threat to the EU.
Trump has formerly praised Britain’s vote to leave the EU and called for reforming the NATO, the military alliance bringing together many of the countries in Europe.
Trump playing ‘divide and rule’
Meanwhile, European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, accused Trump of seeking to “divide and rule” the EU and warned the bloc’s member states not to succumb to the ploy.
“First of all, we must be careful not to accept his game,” Oettinger told German Deutschlandfunk radio.
He was apparently referring to Trump’s recent claims against Germany, in which he said the EU had become a “vehicle” for German interests. The US president has also said more countries would vote to leave the union as Britain did last June.
Oettinger further urged the EU to be self-confident in its dealings with the new US president. “We have the bigger market,” he said. “As a team we are stronger.”