Supporters of the pro-EU movement Pulse of Europe wave EU flags as they gather in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on April 8. EU leaders are considering taking steps to carve out greater autonomy from the United States.
On Aug. 21, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas took to German daily Handelsblatt to pen a candid op-ed that boldly called on Europe to re-evaluate the trans-Atlantic partnership and bolster its own autonomy in response to U.S. unilateralism. Maas, a member of the Social Democratic Party (the junior partner in Germany's ruling coalition) dismissed policy prescriptions that simply advise Europe to wait out the Donald Trump presidency. Instead, he argued that the forces that have led to the chasm in the trans-Atlantic relationship have been long in the making and that a more strategic approach to rebalance the relationship is required. Specifically, Maas called for a separate payment system to SWIFT (a Brussels-based company that facilitates global financial transactions) that would be insulated from U.S. secondary sanctions. He also proposed a European Monetary Fund (EMF) that would act independently of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as a European...
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