Global Affairs

EU-US ties: Breaking up is hard to do

Donald Trump has done much to anger European leaders on issues ranging from trade to Iran relations, but the reality is that the EU has too much at stake to turn its back on the transatlantic alliance.

Europe has its own Donald, every bit as real as that other, more famous, Donald in Washington. His full name is Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland and now president of the European Union Council, as the body which brings together the heads of government and state of the EU is formally known.

Like America's Donald, his European namesake is also unpredictable. And, like the "Real Donald" in Washington, the Donald in Brussels also vents his spleen in tweets. "With friends like these," he tweeted recently referring to the United States, "who needs enemies?" Thanks to US President Trump, he added, Europeans "got rid of all illusions"; from now on, any European should "realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2018, with the headline 'EU-US ties: Breaking up is hard to do'. Print Edition | Subscribe