European cohesion, multilateral order under threat - Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Rising nationalism and a winner-take-all attitude is undermining the cohesion of Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, two days after U.S.

Reuters September 28, 2018 00:07:30 IST
European cohesion, multilateral order under threat - Merkel

European cohesion multilateral order under threat  Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Rising nationalism and a winner-take-all attitude is undermining the cohesion of Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, two days after U.S. President Donald Trump rejected globalism and touted "America First" in a United Nations speech.

Without naming Trump or his nationalist, protectionist approach, Merkel told fellow conservatives at an event of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin that the European Union and Germany were facing a watershed moment.

Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), potentially undermining one of the foundations of the modern global economy, which Washington was instrumental in creating.

The tycoon-turned-president has also questioned the value of the NATO alliance, the centrepiece of transatlantic security cooperation for almost seven decades.

"Perhaps the most threatening development for me is that multilateralism has come under such pressure," Merkel said. "Europe is facing attacks from the outside and from the inside."

Merkel, who grew up in old Communist East Germany, called the end of the Cold War illusory, saying she never would have expected the world would face a similar ideological clash between different schools of thought again.

"I did not expect to have conflicts of different systems again, as we have today with China, but also in dealing with data and certainly also with the United States of America," Merkel said.

The changing political landscape and shifting international order, she said, make it necessary again to emphasize supposedly self-evident achievements such as tolerance and the art of striving for political compromises.

"It's a time of decisions where supposedly obvious things call for a standpoint," said Merkel, adding that win-win outcomes could hardly be achieved if some were approaching the resolution of disputes with a winner-take-all attitude.

"Where compromises are scorned, democracy is in danger," Merkel said, and it was the "supreme discipline of democracy" to find a balance between various interests.

Her warning followed a report by Germany's leading economic institutes who said on Thursday that any escalation of trade friction involving the United States could cause a major recession in Germany and Europe.

Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday was a thunderous recitation of his "America First" policies. He has disrupted the world order by withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord, and threatened to punish NATO nations for not paying more for their common defence.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.