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US-Election and the EU: Brussels fears the “Trumpocalypse” – only Orban wishes for his return

From Iowa and New Hampshire, the world looks a bit different than seen from Brussels. Supporters of the Republican Party in both US states recently chose the somewhat erratic hobby geographer Donald Trump as their favorite for the presidential race. He holds high regard for the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom the former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the small “dictator” of the EU. Last October, he suspected that the Hungarian leader was leading Turkey, which borders Russia.

Orbán’s plea to Trump: “Come back, Mr. President!”

On land, Turkey does not share a border with Russia, but both states, like Ukraine, are adjacent to the Black Sea. Orbán, on the other hand, may be attributed with ideological closeness to Russia, but there is no Hungarian-Russian border.

The Prime Minister of Hungary, the only EU head of government who still shakes hands with the Russian warlord Vladimir Putin, would have no objection to a second term for Trump and has already encouraged him: “Come back, Mr. President! Make America great again and bring us peace!”

Peace overnight – on Russia’s terms

In the White House, where he could sit again next January, Trump wants to fulfill his bold announcement to bring peace to Ukraine within 24 hours. Rachel Tausendfreund, an expert on transatlantic relations at the German Marshall Fund (GMF), sees good reason to believe that “Trump would suspend US support for Ukraine and push for a quick agreement, without much concern for Ukrainian territorial losses.”

In a GMF analysis, Tausendfreund also opined that Trump cannot withdraw the US from NATO because it is not possible without the support of the US Congress. However, he can “neglect and undermine” the alliance in favor of bilateral agreements.

Trump 2.0 would mean new tariffs and uncertainty about NATO

In his first term, Trump spread uncertainty about whether the US, as the leading Western power, would actually uphold its NATO security guarantee in the event of a crisis. He also expressed disturbing views about the EU, calling it a “foe” in terms of trade policy. New American tariffs on foreign products are expected if he is re-elected.

While the Putin sympathizer Orbán seems to be eagerly anticipating Trump 2.0, this scenario is haunting others. The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, told the French television channel “France 2 TV”: “If we want to draw lessons from history, I mean the way he has shaped the first four years of his term, then this is a clear threat.”

EU seeks to “arm” itself for Trump

The “Handelsblatt” was horrified: “But if Trump manages to return to the White House, an unrestrained policy at all levels with autocratic traits looms.” The news portal “Politico” even claimed to have perceived panic in Europe over the prospect of four more years of Trump.

However, theBelgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, whose country took over the rotating presidency of the European Council at the turn of the year, told the European Parliament regarding a potential Trump comeback: “Europeans should not fear this prospect. We should prepare for it.”

Merz supports “Plan B without America”

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the lead candidate of FDP in the European elections, complained during a visit to Brussels that the EU had not seriously addressed the question of Trump’s re-election for three and a half years. The uncertainties of the consequences of the US election on November 5 led CDU leader Friedrich Merz to make a comparison that evokes the situation before the First World War. Speaking to “Table Media,” Merz said that the EU’s and especially Germany’s preparation for a Trump revival in the White House was “careless,” ignoring “a Plan B without America.”

Merz also criticized the German government, asking, “Do they actually understand what is happening in the world right now?” He added, “To me, it seems like sleepwalking.” “The Sleepwalkers” – that is the title of the successful book by Australian historian Christopher Clark, in which he described how the European powers stumbled into the quagmire of trench warfare in 1914 due to a mixture of political blindness, lack of risk assessment, and arrogance.

Call for a European nuclear bomb

Militarily, Europe still does not achieve much together, while Russia seems to have completely shifted towards aggressive imperialism. Without the protective hand of America, the EU countries appear to be at the mercy of Moscow. Only one among them, France, is a nuclear power. However, the French nuclear arsenal does not compare to that of Russia. The same applies to the second European power with nuclear weapons, Great Britain.

German historian Herfried Münkler called on several media outlets to consider creating a European nuclear force in case the US nuclear umbrella may disappear. He envisioned the concept of a nuclear briefcase with the red button that would circulate among several European countries, including Germany – a thought experiment about a transatlantic “Trumpocalypse” (“Politico”).

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