Germany′s answer to ′America first′ is ′Europe united′

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called for greater EU integration and “ambition” after Donald Trump’s perceived undermining of trans-Atlantic ties at the G7. The bloc is facing challenges from inside and out.

Germany has responded to US President Donald Trump’s egotistic policy of ‘America First’ by calling on the European Union to “bundle its strength” and show more courage — continuing the more bellicose German rhetoric that followed the US decision last week to withdraw from a G7 statement.

“Under President Trump, the Atlantic has got wider,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday, standing at a podium emblazoned with the hashtag #EuropeUnited. “Where the US administration overtly calls our values and interests into question, we certainly need to take a more robust stance.”

During the speech, delivered to a room full of young Europeans at the Pulse of Europe event in Berlin, Maas slammed Trump’s willingness to undermine alliances that had developed over decades “in the time it takes to write a tweet.”

“It was a more surprising tone for a German foreign minister to take,” said Jonathan Hackenbroich, analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). “He said it himself in the speech: He never thought he would make such a speech at some point, especially on trans-Atlantic relations.”

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