You are here
EU's Juncker demands clarity from Trump on trade, climate, NATO
By Reuters - Nov 10,2016 - Last updated at Nov 10,2016
The Slovenian, EU and US flags hang in downtown Sevnica, Slovenia, on Wednesday (AP photo)
BERLIN — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Thursday for clarity from Donald Trump on issues such as global trade, climate policy and future relations with NATO allies following his US victory in the presidential election.
During the election campaign, Trump, a billionaire businessman who has never held public office, strongly criticised free trade, NATO and policies designed to halt global warming, rattling Washington's allies and trade partners.
"We would like to know how things will proceed with global trade policy," Juncker said at a business event in Berlin.
"We would like to know what intentions he has regarding the [NATO] alliance. We must know what climate policies he intends to pursue. This must be cleared up in the next few months."
Juncker said he did not expect the trade deal between the United States and the European Union, currently being negotiated, to be finalised this year as previously planned.
"The trade deal with the United States, I do not view that as something that would happen in the next two years," he said.
Juncker, speaking in the German capital, also said on Thursday the EU's Stability and Growth Pact which sets rules on reducing public debt and budget deficits had to be flexible.
"Flexibility does not mean a departure for stability but an intelligent application of our common system of rules," he said.
Juncker said he understood Italy's position after the Commission forecast on Wednesday that Rome would break EU rules on budget deficit and public debt reduction this year and next.
Rome says the higher structural deficit is due to extraordinary spending on migration and post-earthquake reconstruction.
Juncker had said on Wednesday that the Commission must judge a country according to its problems and that in this situation the EU's place was "at Italy's side and not against it".
Juncker urged restraint in criticism of the European Central Bank's monetary policy and accused German politicians — many of whom frequently make verbal attacks on the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy — of applying double standards.
Juncker said former German finance minister Theo Waigel had in the 1990s told other EU states not to criticise the bank.
"Now, the European Central Bank is not exactly doing what many Germans want and now criticism of the ECB is allowed," Juncker said. "I'm in favour of discussing monetary policy in an argumentative manner, but this cannot happen depending on how one feels. This has to be consistent."
Addressing the rise of euroscepticism across the EU that was highlighted by Britain's vote in June to leave the bloc, Juncker said the European Commission had in the past "stuck its nose" into too many details of people's lives.
"There is now a draft for an EU directive, which I stopped, about the height of heels of female hairdressers all over Europe," Juncker said. "So I stopped that and now I have a row with the European labour unions."
BRUSSELS — The European Commission on Monday insisted talks on a huge US free trade agreement were on track, rejecting German claims that ir
STRASBOURG, France — The European Commission on Tuesday said France, Italy and Portugal were in violation of European Union (EU) rules on pu
An overhaul to slim down and speed up Italy's overweight bureaucracy will help boost "all-out structural reforms", Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said this week.
Apr 29, 2017
Apr 29, 2017
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.