LUXEMBOURG CITY – In blunt remarks aimed at Donald Trump, the president of the European Union Commission says European leaders will “have to teach the president-elect what Europe really is and how Europe works.” Meanwhile, the head of the E.U. foreign affairs was quoted as saying "the European Union and the United States are partners and will continue to be partners."
“Generally speaking,” President Jean Claude Juncker said, “the political class and the U.S. in general take no interest at all in Europe. Mr. Trump has said during his campaign … that Belgium is a little village in Europe. It’s spot on if you look from very far, but it does not reflect the reality. So we have to teach the president-elect what Europe really is and how Europe works.”
The EU is headquartered in Belgium.
Juncker said Trump poses risks for the relationship between the European Union and the United States.
Speaking to students at a conference in Luxemburg late Friday, Juncker said Trump must get up to speed on how Europe works in order to avoid “two years of wasted time” when he assumes the presidency in January.
Juncker reminded his audience that Trump had called NATO into question, which could have “harmful consequences” because it is the model of Europe’s defense.
“He called into question the Trans-Atlantic Alliance, which is actually quite pernicious, and so he questions the model of the defense of Europe,” Juncker said. “With regards to refugees and non-American whites, Trump has an approach which in no way coincides with the convictions and feelings in Europe….”
Juncker’s remarks reflected the shock and concern among some European leaders at the election of Trump, who has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other statements, and questioned the principle of collective defense in NATO.
During the U.S. election campaign, candidate Trump was also a vocal critic of the open border migration policies of many EU nations.
The EU's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, called an emergency meeting in Brussels after Trump’s victory Tuesday.
According to the Voice of America, Mogherini said the EU would stand strong in its support for the Paris Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal; two policies Trump has criticized.
“The European Union and the United States are partners and will continue to be partners for what concerns us in the European Union based on our own values, principles, interests, and also we discussed the need to strengthen the European unity around some key issues that will be even more crucial in the months to come. First of all, the need to work on the multilateral system, for us it's extremely important to work on the climate change agreement implementation,” she said.
Mogherini said the Iran nuclear deal is a multi-lateral agreement that is also in the interest of Europe.
"And on Iran let me tell you very clearly, I've stated this already: This is not a bilateral agreement, this is multilateral agreement endorsed by a U.N. Security Council resolution, so it's our European interest, but it's also a U.N. somehow interest and duty to guarantee that the agreement is implemented in full for the all duration of the agreement, which is 10 years,” she added.
Juncker's comments contrasted with the more diplomatic reactions of other European leaders, who have said they look forward to working with the next Republican president.
On Wednesday, after Trump’s victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk invited Trump to an EU-U.S. summit to discuss issues including terrorism and Ukraine.