Elections: Strack-Zimmermann: Europe not prepared for Trump

Amid the traffic light hiccups and dwindling poll numbers, the Liberals are charting their course in Europe. The fight for voters should be led by a combative defense politician.

The FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann has called for Europe to be better prepared for the possible return of Donald Trump to the White House. In the last three and a half years of a Trump-free period, the politician’s re-election to the office of US President was not sufficiently on the radar, Strack-Zimmermann told the German Press Agency before her party’s European party conference.

“And that is fatal. In this respect, I fear, we are only prepared to a limited extent. As far as European security is concerned, certainly not,” she warned.

Strack-Zimmermann wants to run as the FDP’s top candidate for the European elections in June. The chairwoman of the Defense Committee has made a name for herself as a combative security politician who has also taken on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for more extensive military aid to Ukraine.

The FDP in Europe

The FDP candidates for the European elections are chosen at the party conference. At the same time, the political course in Europe is being defined. “You always have to assume the worst case scenario and what Mr. Trump said when he was still president. He questioned NATO, at least the usefulness of NATO,” said Strack-Zimmermann.

“He was actually quite angry that almost no nation in Europe achieved the two percent target and he repeatedly made it clear to us that he expected Europe to also do its part for the security of the West. ” A lot has happened in this area now.

“But nevertheless, the question naturally arises: How reliable will the United States be as a member of NATO in the future and continue to fulfill the leadership role?” said Strack-Zimmermann. And even if Joe Biden wins the election, Europe will have to reposition itself.

Strack-Zimmermann: Challenges lie on our doorstep

She said: “We can no longer assume that the United States will automatically solve our problems. In English it is called the Middle East, not coincidentally in our country it is called the Middle East, because the challenges are in the Middle East, in North Africa and for the past two years Ukraine is on our doorstep.” The creation of a European army is not just a crazy idea from a few, but is becoming increasingly realistic in view of the complex threats.

Strack-Zimmermann said she is aware of high expectations. “Anyone who is put forward as the top candidate knows that there are hopes of being successful. Of course you are carrying a package,” she said. She needs “support everywhere” from the party.

Appeal to young people

Her message to young people in Europe is that freedom cannot be taken for granted. “Open borders, internal market, 19 countries already have a common currency. Especially for young people: They can start training anywhere in Europe or study in a country of their own choice,” she said. “We have to make it clear to them that this freedom is not given to God, that it can be destroyed again and that this freedom also needs to be defended.”

She criticized EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU). This is responsible for regulations “that really scourge the economy” and make innovation impossible. Strack-Zimmermann: “And if we want to drive young people who may also be founding companies or, as it’s called, startups, out of Europe, then we have to continue like this.”