The arrival of a diplomatically unprepared President-elect Donald Trump in a transition period means that the european union must finally decide what it truly wants to be. As long as it was faced with the threat of the Soviet Union the EU could afford to act in the shadow of the United States, but with the emergence of a rampant Russia and an ever more aggressive China the member countries must rise to the challenge and become an active member of the International community in deeds and not only in words.

Europe's problems

The flood of refugees causing political instability in the European Union is the result of the previously occult struggle between the US and Russia that came out into the open with the Russian intervention against ISIS in Syria.

This flood will stop only when the conflicts in the world’s trouble spots have been resolved and the EU can no longer afford to wait for the superpowers to resolve their issues within the time frame of their own agendas.

The disjointed reaction of the EU to the refugee crisis and to the terrorist attacks has exposed its lack of a unified international voice and political agenda. Up till now the Union has behaved more as a body of accountants looking after the balance sheets than as a potentially powerful political entity that can be a decision maker on the world stage.

Trump's transition

The hesitant start to Trump’s transition plans seems to confirm the fears of many experts, including the Republicans that openly disavowed the Trump candidacy, that he is unprepared for the challenges that the Unites States now faces on the world stage.

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The cyber attacks that took place during the presidential campaign only served to prove that the Cold War never truly ended and that the world’s most powerful nation can no longer rely solely on its military strength to protect itself.

For these reasons the EU must redefine its role in international diplomacy and in the face of the new challenges. The Body was the result of a Cold War between two superpowers, but the emergence of an aggressive China means that Europe must step up to the plate to become a force of equilibrium in international politics.

The wars in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union and the recent conflict between the Ukraine and Russia should have been warning signs to the EU, but the lack of a truly unified leadership and a person capable of effectively representing the continent on the world stage only confirms that the European body has still not reached its full potential as a superpower.

Furthermore, until its roles have been defined properly and the new structure begins operations, the small groups of terrorists that have successfully caused confusion to world diplomacy will still be able to act with relative impunity.

United Europe

A strong, politically united European Union would be the perfect player to resolve any three sided conflicts between the United States, Russia and China. The current uncertainty regarding the true ambitions of Putin’s Russia and the militarily rampant Chinese leadership would be met by a fourth hand at the poker table of diplomacy, thus ensuring that the game is even and not manipulated by two players at the expense of the third.

A strong united European Union would be a strong ally at the side of any new American President, not only for Trump when he enters the Oval Office, but also well into the future. The emergence of a strong, confident and militarily-prepared Europe could play an even greater role in finding solutions to the world trouble spots and thus prevent more human tragedies in the future. But is the EU up to the challenge?