November 9, 2016 / 10:06 AM / 3 years ago

EU eyes more self-reliance after Trump victory

U.S. President elect Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union must take responsibility for dealing with neighbours Russia, Africa and the Middle East, its commissioner for “neighbourhood policy” said on Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected U.S. president.

“Europe must shoulder its own share of international responsibility, especially in its neighbourhood,” Johannes Hahn said on Twitter, although he also said: “America and Europe have always been strongest when they worked together.”

During his campaign, Trump promised radical changes in U.S. policy, praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and questioned the cost of U.S. military and other commitments in Europe.

The EU faces a more aggressive Russia to the east, conflicts in the Middle East to the south and an increased threat from Islamist militants among others.

The conservative leader in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said: “The message is clear: it is now up to Europe. We must be more self-confident and assume more responsibility. We do not know what to expect from the USA.

“For the political culture in Europe, this is another wake-up call.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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