Trump election: "Europe must respond"

Speaking with Steven Decraene at the US embassy in Brussels Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders (Francophone liberal) shared his thoughts on the ramifications for Europe of a Trump presidency.

"Many Europeans, not only in Belgium would have preferred Clinton. These are American elections and it's their choice."

"We now have to await the decisions of a new administration. You know there are always big differences between the campaign and the actions of a president."

"There is a trend towards protectionism, rejection of immigration. It's not only in the US, also in the UK. We've seen it in a Belgian region with the rejection of CETA too. It's a signal to Europe to do more. It must now be possible for the EU to be stronger in defence policy and foreign affairs, to sound a real voice in the entire world. I hope this will be the case. Perhaps it's not the trend across Europe but it's a good moment to say as a result of such a development we need a stronger Europe."

"Even under Obama there was a trend towards America folding in on itself. We already said it's time for Europe to do more in NATO. The trend will possibly be even more pronounced under President Trump."

"We should stop condemning the EU and consider the strengthening of the EU in all fields but especially in defence, foreign affairs."

"It will be difficult. We saw the programme. We will have to wait for the new administration's decisions. There could be moves towards protectionism. a new approach to climate change. We stand before important challenges."