- Reta Jo Lewis, Esq., Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Martin Quencez, Fellow and Program Officer, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
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Donald Trump's election and protectionist policies could either bolster European populist movements or accelerate their demise. Indeed, Trump has found common cause with a host of hardline, populist and anti-immigrant politicians in Europe, all of whom preach a similar brand of cultural nationalism and reject open trade, international institutions and other hallmarks of the liberal global order. Their gains in recent years mirrored Trump’s rise and inspired the American president. However, it remains to be seen what will be the real impact of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy in Europe. Most analysts anticipate a boost for Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in The Netherlands and the AFD in Germany in a year of particularly challenging elections. But the reverse trend could also occur, if the European far-right electorate realize the collateral damage inflicted by Trump’s nationalist policies.
How are populisms on both sides of the Atlantic shaping one another? Will there be a “Trump Generation” and, if so, who will it represent? Is the Brexit generational conflict a common trend in Europe and the United States ? Will democratic values need to be defended, or will they simply evolve as we enter into a new era for democracy?