Future of European Union

Nitya Chakraborty

2017 can unfold as a dramatic year completely changing the existing pattern of global alliances and the relationship between the major global powers. With Donald Trump taking over the reins of US administration on January 20 after eight years of Barack Obama’s rule, the US foreign policy is sure to undergo dramatic changes calling for unconventional measures which have not been so far the hallmark of the Republican Party’s global views. The policies of the new regime so far announced by Trump indicate that Trump will certainly improve US relations with Russia and there will be good understanding with President Putin which will lead USA to reduce its commitment and defence expenses for Europe. As Trump’s advisers as also the newly appointed secretary of state Rex Tillerson have explained that Trump will give focus on improving the quality of life of the average Americans and the new government will be spending more funds for USA by cutting its fund commitments to the other parts of the world including Europe.

Foreign policy analysts of the Trump point out that if  the new US President trough his diplomatic skills can establish rapport with Putin and Russia starts respecting its borders without posing a threat to the other European countries, the Europe and NATO  have no reasons to  constantly talk of security treat from Russia. That will save lot of funds for the US as the US will be able to reduce its huge commitments to NATO in the name of Russian threat. Pentagon and the Republicans establishment may not like this approach but if Trump can get implemented his approach, the global relations will take a new turn giving big impetus to the anti-EU and anti- NATO forces in Europe. At the other end, the relationship with China will be high and low but at the end, both will see that their economic relations improve at a speedier rate and this understanding will help in finding out an understanding on the major irritants like the Chinese position on South China Sea rights. As Trump observers see it, Trump has to do something initially to satisfy his US support base of white working class but ultimately, it will be w sort of working status quo since like Chinese President Xi  Jinping shares the view of Trump it is economics which will determine political relationship. That way, Trump will like to have a three way understanding between US, Russia and China in 2017.

Indian policy makers- both at the level of the Government and the Corporate sector, have been assessing the possible impact of the key appointments made by the US President –elect Donald Trump till now on the basis of the feedback received from Indian sources in Washington. Donald Trump will officially take over on January 20, 2017 but his transition team is already on work and the Indian embassy officials in Washington and New York are keeping engaged with the close aides of Trump to get some idea of the India policy that is likely to emerge once Trump administration starts functioning. Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in New Delhi is just monitoring the developments but sources say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident that Trump will be good for India in dealing with Pakistan and China and also in stepping up business relations further. The PMO view is that Trump is basically a businessman and he has strong common sense in terms of business operations. He will certainly take into account the significance of expansion in India-US relationship in view of the huge market potential in India.PMO sources say that PM Modi is sure to establish a personal rapport with Trump and that will be helpful in sorting out some of the irritants including the issue of HIB visas for Indian software engineers and the operations of the Indian IT companies in USA.

Trump has appointed Rex Tillerson, CEO of the oil giant ExxonMobil as the Secretary of State. Mr. Tillerson is known to be a friend of Russian President Putin and h e has been a firm critic of US sanctions against Russia on Ukraine. Indian foreign policy analysts feel that this appointment signals that Trump wants to normalize relations with Russia and he might review the issue of sanctions on the lines Tillerson has been saying. Indian view is that Trump will get elbow room in dealing firmly with China right now by improving relations with Russia. (IPA/To be continued)

Thursday, 5 January, 2017