Blog AnalysisNATO

A light visit for Trump. Objective: not to annoy the big boss


(B2) Glitter, handshakes, rhinestones and marble… but above all not too much work… Donald Trump's trip to Brussels, for his first NATO summit in Brussels (renamed “special meeting”), was studied to the millimeter, so as not to put the new American president at fault, and to avoid as much as possible the possible blunders of the unpredictable president. On the program, a lot of shows, not too much work, according to what B2 was able to find out from well-informed sources.

Not too many work sessions

No working session that is too long has been planned. Explanation: the president has difficulty concentrating and, after an hour, he gets bored. On the other hand, meals were organized. Explanation: the president loves it, it fits like a glove, he is very worldly. So… upon his arrival late in the afternoon, first visit, very formal, with King Philippe of Belgium.

…and meals

On Thursday, the American president will have a meeting with the leaders of the European Union, the Pole Donald Tusk (European Council) and the Luxembourger Jean-Claude Juncker (European Commission). Then he will have lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron who will benefit from a real exclusivity that very few leaders will have during this stay. And finally a dinner will bring together all the leaders of the 28 member nations of NATO. This will be the only working session. And, between the pear and the cheese, we will decide on the big things.

Without forgetting real estate

The highlight of the trip, however, should be the visit to the new NATO site and the inauguration of a memorial with a real stone from the Berlin Wall. The last construction machines are leaving the site, the cleaning machines are replacing them, the last windows are being washed, the press podiums have been installed. The former owner of Trump Tower loves it...the building. This reminds him of his job as a business manager. Everything has been reviewed with a fine-tooth comb (or almost) so that the American president can admire this architectural beauty. No doubt he will ask: how much does it cost? (NB: 1,1 billion euros) and who pays for it all...

The press aside

Finally, no press conference was organized to avoid a regular bombardment by the press and, above all, any improvised exit from the unpredictable president, which would bring down the entire diplomatic scaffolding, cleverly designed. During the meeting at the Belgian Royal Palace, the Americans wanted “ favor the image said a royal communicator. And no room for journalists” We had to remove editors to make more room for cameras and photographers ».

And the tweet?

However, the president will still have one instrument: tweeting, which has the advantage of being able to say as much nonsense as one wants without risking a boomerang return and avoids answering questions... As Steven Ekovich, of the American University of Paris, When something sensible comes out of the White House, you can be sure Donald Trump didn't write it. But, afterwards, he takes out a tweet which is his thought. » With this process, “he does not threaten the United States he threatens himself and his party ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) During the IHEDN meetings in Paris, Saturday May 20.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).