by Jeremy Shapiro & Dina Pardijs
New ECFR research into how Europeans have adapted to the new US administration reveals three ‘Trump effects’: the Regency Effect, the Messiah Effect, and the Antichrist Effect.
The Regency Effect dominates. European leaders have largely decided to hope the ‘regents’ around Donald Trump will ensure the familiar transatlantic relationship continues more or less in its current form.
Other politicians see in Trump a ‘Messiah’ or ‘Antichrist’ figure. For one camp he is a leader set on restoring Western conservative, Christian values; for the other he is a figure to oppose and rally against.
But Trump is a symptom of the rot in the transatlantic relationship, not the cause. Even before Trump, America was growing more self-interested and distant. Europeans could defend themselves, but they continue to look to America for security because they cannot resolve their own internal disputes.
A ‘post-American politics’ in Europe is possible and even necessary, but will only come about if EU member states recognise the need. Germany is central to this but its ‘regency’ instincts run deep and it lacks support from other member states.
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