Dignitaries are arriving in the Belgian capital for a two-day meeting of European Union leaders, where people might expect to hear key statements on Russia, Trump’s attacks on the EU and Brexit.
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But with an incumbent out of the way, with rumours swirling that he might not even be invited, an old political insider has given a surprisingly apocalyptic view of America’s future, following US vice-president Joe Biden’s explosive speech to EU ambassadors last week.
What Biden said
He called US president Donald Trump a “carcass in the process” of the “first fundamental realignment” of the US under the leadership of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Biden said “a great deal of damage” had been done in relations between Washington and Europe, with US-Russian relations particularly strained.
He also hinted at the future, saying: “We will get out of the first economic war to be waged on one generation of Americans in 200 years”.
Why the party boys might be laughing
Like Biden, many in the EU-US relationship were hoping for better times, although they probably didn’t expect the contrast between his and Trump’s political loyalties to become quite so stark. And Trump’s own unpredictability and his increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the EU has some worried about the future of transatlantic relations – how will it play in Belgium?