Europe needs to replace the US as the world leader as Washington is no longer fits this role, the EU Commission head said following Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Whether the EU can do it is another matter.
“At this point, we have to replace the United States which as an international actor has lost vigor, and because of it, in the long-term, influence,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said while speaking to Belgium’s Flemish regional parliament on Wednesday. He went on to say that Washington had been turning away from constructive international relations “with a ferocity that can only surprise us.”
The top European official accused the US of being unwilling “to cooperate with other parts in the world.” His words came just days after the US President Donald Trump announced that he would pull the US out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, which he repeatedly denounced as the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Despite facing criticism from other parties to the deal, as well as some other members of the international community, the US leader seems to be sticking to his decision.
Juncker never addressed whether Europe is actually capable of overtaking the US at the top, though. Meanwhile, the latest attempt from EU leaders to exercise their influence – by convincing Trump to stay in the Iran deal – was a spectacular failure.
Now, the European leaders vow to work together and do their best to keep the Iranian deal in place. It remains to be seen if they can do it, even with the help of Russia, China and Iran itself, who all reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement.