Dr. Abdolreza Faraji Rad, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, referring to the highlighted difference between perspectives of the US and Europe, especially France, during Trump’s presidency, said: Over these years, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly called for greater independence in the international arena.
Referring to Trump’s criticism of the attitude of European countries toward NATO, Faraji Rad said: At that time, the Europeans raised the issue of the European army, which was well-received, but no practical action was taken to make it happen.
Commenting on the issue of tariffs in the Brussels-Washington dispute, the expert on geopolitical affairs said: Trump treated Europe the same as China c and increased tariffs, especially on auto exports from Europe to the United States.
According to Faraji Rad, the EU-US relations were strained during the Trump presidency because Trump encouraged Britain to leave the EU. Other US presidents, meanwhile, have sought greater cohesion and solidarity of the European Union.
He continued: During this period, the Republican President of the United States also incited some European states, including in the east of the continent, to leave the EU. As we see today, a country like Poland in Eastern Europe is murmuring about leaving the Union.
Another issue between Europe and the United States is terrorism; commenting on this issue Faraji Rad said: Terrorism is becoming more and more serious in Europe, especially in France. Also, criticism of Islam has been voiced by the French President Emmanuel Macron. In this regard, demonstrations were held in Islamic countries against his statements. Recently, he has called on Islamic scholars to pledge within two weeks that Islam is a religion in France and not a political current.
The expert further continued: Macron’s recent remarks about the need for more independent decisions against the United States or other issues are due to the defeat of Donald Trump in the elections; because Macron is now concerned that with the coming to power of Joe Biden, Europe would once again get closer to the United States and forget about what happened between the two sides of the Atlantic during the Trump era.
Dr. Faraji Rad stressed: Also, given the social currents we are witnessing on the streets of the United States and the rise of right-wing tendencies in that country, it is possible that after President Biden, a new president would come to power that would follow Trump’s policies and in that case, Europe would still be in a quandary.
The expert on Europe affairs also referred to Macron’s recent criticism of the German defence minister to the effect that Europe should have its own independent army to be able to defend itself and said: Of course, this issue was first raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a time when German-American relations over NATO were somehow strained.
He continued: It should be noted that from the beginning, the French pursued more independent policies vis-a-vis the United States, and we see the same trend in Macron’s time. It was only during the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy that France came closer to the United States, while other French presidents, compared with other European countries, were more or less trying to put more independent policies on the agenda.
Referring to Macron’s efforts for the 2021 French presidential elections in France, Faraji Rad added: Given the problems and grievances that have arisen following the terrorist operations in France or the COVID-19 pandemic, Macron now intends to create an atmosphere in which the French people imagine that the leadership of Europe is also the responsibility of France. However, given Germany’s withdrawal from this responsibility and Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, there is a chance for Paris to somehow be able to lead Europe.