After a G7 summit in Italy which like most before it was rather useless, Angela Merkel has gone back to Germany to address her political party, the CDU, where she delivered the news that this useless summit was rather more painful for her than its predecessors.
Apparently the chasm in both style and substance between European leaders lead by Merkel and Donald Trump is as wide as was expected.
She told her audience,
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days”.
She also described the meeting as “6 against 1”, the lone member being Donald Trump.
The G7 summit came shortly after a NATO summit where Donald Trump used his address to tell European members including Germany that they must pay at least the minimum 2% of GDP to NATO which is stipulated by the bloc.
Merkel also said,
“We Europeans must take our destiny into our own hands”.
It is unlikely that under Donald Trump NATO troops will leave Europe any time soon, but the ideological agenda of neo-liberal Europe and the very bureaucratic and technocratic method that the EU conducts business is simply anathema to Donald Trump.
Whether the much welcomed strain in the hegemonic alliance between the US and EU powers leads to a thaw in US relations with Russia is largely up to Donald Trump’s ability to whether the storm of Russiagate on the domestic front.
However, ironically if America really is going to grow manifestly distant from Europe, it could have the ironic effect of forcing Europe closer to Russia, the country on which Europe depends for much of its energy supplies.
During the Obama years, Europe was a political colony of the US and its political elite were all too happy to act as colonial Viceroys.
Now things have changed. The style questions means that the leaders of Europe and the American leadership have little in common.
It remains to be seen whether the substance will follow the style into this chasm.