Thursday, December 1, 2016

Transatlantic Relations in the Aftermath of U.S. Elections (video)

By Carlo Di Giulio

The roundtable taking place at the Illini Union Thursday, November 10 was hosted by the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois, following one of the most controversial campaigns in recent years. After an unprecedented, reciprocal exchange of accusations and allegations between the candidates of the two major parties, the President Electe Donald Trump emerged as the winner despite unfavorable polls until the very morning of the election day.

The three speakers, with the outstanding moderation of Mrs. Niala Boodhoo, were called to discuss the aftermath of the US elections and the consequences on Europe and the rest of the world. Valerie Rouxel-Laxton, Head of Economic and Financial Affairs Section at the Delegation of the EU to the US, reassured the audience on future commitment of the EU in discussing with the President Elect about the future of Transatlantic relations. In spite of bitter tones during his campaign and discouraging comments on free trade deals and the US role in NATO, Mr. Trump has not compromised the relations between the two blocks, and the US is still highly regarded in Europe by EU Institutions and citizens as a model of democracy and perhaps the most important partner in the international arena.

Professor Kourtikakis and Professor Gelbman dived deep into the technical details of the elections, sharing with the audience their expertise as political scientists. The early results of the polls, proved wrong later on November 8 after the results, as well as the possible consequences in international relations after Mr. Trump will take office at the White House.  More anecdotal notes on questions and reactions from their students in class were only a few points touched upon by the speakers.

The following reception was a pleasant opportunity for members of the audience to engage in further discussion, and approach the speakers to ask questions and exchange opinions.

The world has been waiting for the results of the 2016 US elections for months. Since the very beginning of the 2016 campaign, the two candidates have fostered curiosity, perplexities, and debate in the US and all around the world. The role of the US in the international arena is prominent for its economic and military power. As is typical with election results, almost a half of the electorate in the US celebrated a victory, while the other half was surprised with disappointment. Similar reactions were registered among US allies and partners. Yet, institutions are ready to welcome the President Elect when he takes office in January, regardless of his political affiliation and strategy to keep working for maintaining fruitful and solid relations.

To view the video of the roundtable, please visit Media Space to watch.

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