By James Crisp
(EurActiv) — Donald Trump has predicted the crumbling of and eventual collapse of the EU. His damaging assertion was met with a depressingly limp response by the European Commission.
Trump followed this up by saying the EU was “basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out.”
If the future of the EU is your business, this demands a swift rebuttal – to shore up diminishing confidence if nothing else. But we didn’t get that from the European Commission.
Chief Spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the executive “had read the interview with interest”. Asked if that was all the Commission had to say, Schinas said, “Yes”.
This is hardly an inspirational call to arms or passionate defence of the European project.
That was left to Commissioner Pierre Moscovici in Paris. He had obviously not been told about the communications strategy.
Trump is the antithesis of the Commission in many ways. He is passionate and instinctive, while the Commission is bloodless and cautious. He speaks in everyday language, it speaks jargon.
People voted for Trump, they didn’t for the Commission. The Commission attracts some public-spirited people, and Donald Trump is, well, Donald Trump.
There are still some citizens who look to the Commission for some kind of leadership on matters European. They will rightly see today’s response as woefully inadequate.
It’s possible that the executive considers itself above something as “populist” as fighting its corner.
But if the European Commission won’t defend the EU, why would anyone else bother?
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