Germany’s top diplomat Heiko Maas suggests rethinking relations between the US and Europe, building them under the auspices of a “balanced partnership”.
In an interview with the economic weekly Handelsblatt, Maas suggested that the relations between Europe and the US began to get strained even before President Trump came to power and the process is bound to continue after him. The United States and Europe began to drift apart after the “binding force of the conflict between the West and the East went down in history.”
Germany seeks further cooperation with the US, but protests against actions that are detrimental to European interests. The foreign minister said that strengthening European autonomy for legal protection against sanctions would be a step in the right direction.
Maas warned that Europe must join efforts to achieve greater autonomy from the US: “Single-handedly, we will fail in this task. The main goal of our foreign policy is therefore to build a sovereign, strong Europe”.
Among other things, he mentioned the idea of the creation of a European Monetary Fund and an independent system of interbank payment channels, like and an independent SWIFT system.
In addition, Maas proposed to introduce a “digital tax” on the profits of American technology concerns.
The chief diplomat of Germany announced intention to conclude alliances within the framework of all-round cooperation with the Arab countries, as well as Japan, Canada and South Korea. According to Maas, it is necessary to build up a system of counterbalances “where the United States is crossing the red line.” To do this, it is necessary to make the European Union a “pillar of the international world order” and develop a European security and defense system.
Heiko Maas also noted the importance of cooperation between Europe and the US within NATO and in the fight against terrorism under the auspices of a new “balanced partnership”.