The red carpet and protests of women in pink caps with “ears” are already waiting for the president of USA Donald Trump.
During the campaign period, Donald Trump did not find approving words for Brussels, the city in which he visited for the last time 20 years ago. “It’s a very beautiful city, but living in it is like being in a den,” Trump said in a television interview in January 2016. Thus, the xenophobic populist wanted to emphasize the threat that, in his opinion, Muslim migrants make up in the Belgian capital.
After the terrorist attacks in March 2016, the incumbent president of the United States spoke even sharply in an interview with NBC. “Belgium is no longer Belgium, it’s some sort of horror show!” This happens when there is no assimilation, they want to have Sharia law, not our laws. “At what stage should we ask how much can this be tolerated?” – then said Trump.
Tramp’s busy schedule in Brussels
Today, Donald Trump arrives on a visit to the “den” where NATO headquarters is located and the European Commission, the executive institution of the EU, is sitting. It’s hard to say, he will change his mind in the 36 hours that he will be here. Through the enhanced security measures of the city itself, he does not see much. Unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump and his wife Melanie will not stop at the hotel, but will spend the night at the American embassy. Its building is located only a few hundred meters from the royal palace and the buildings of the European Union. Security forces will ring the whole territory.
The courtesy visit of Trump will take place in the royal palace, where he will host the King of Belgium. In the European Council building, Chairman Donald Tusk and Chairman of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will be waiting for him. For the exchange of views, the protocol provides for 30 minutes. NATO Allies Summit will be held in the new headquarters of the alliance in Avery, a suburb of Brussels. Through increased security measures, Trump will practically not have the opportunity to communicate with ordinary Belgians: many roads will be blocked, the traffic of the subway will also be changed, air traffic over the neighboring airport will be limited.
European diplomats were somewhat nervous before the visit of such an unpredictable visitor. How will he react to the clapping and hugging of Jean-Claude Juncker, by whom he is known? Between the Pan-European Junker and the nationalist Trump lies a huge political abyss. Free trade against isolationism. The liberal against the illiberal.
Europeans want to talk with Trump about free trade, and he, in turn, wants to receive from the European NATO allies clear assurances of increasing financial defense spending and greater activity in the joint struggle against Terrorist group “Islamic State.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who was already attending Trump in Washington, was preparing a meeting of 28 heads of state and government in Brussels. Stoltenberg is pleased that after the election to the position, Trump has several times confirmed the importance of the existence of NATO. Even despite the criticism that the main financial burden lies with the United States.
Far away decisions from this meeting are not expected – the delegates will gather for the grand opening of the new NATO headquarters, the construction of which took seven years. Perhaps Donald Trump, as an investor and builder, will be interested in the fact that the time of putting the building into operation had to be postponed, the project estimate for that time increased by 300 million euros, and with communications technology for 4,000 employees, many problems arose.
NATO officially calls this not even a summit, but a “special meeting.” Trump uses this opportunity for a first acquaintance and a tete-a-tete conversation with the new French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump’s visit and protesters will not fail to pay attention. Organizers expect 20,000 participants, including activists of the women’s rights movement, who will wear pink hats with “ears”, are already familiar from the mass protests of women in the US.