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Belgian Prime Minister warns of challenges for democracy amid U.S. elections

Belgian Prime Minister warns of challenges for democracy amid U.S. elections Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Kroo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Freedom and democracy will be put to the test this year. However, Europe must also maintain its path and support for Ukraine, according to the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Kroo.

Referring to the possibility of Donald Trump returning to the White House, the Belgian leader said that Europe should not fear a scenario in which the United States leaves it alone.

The Prime Minister, whose country has assumed the rotating presidency of the EU Council, told MEPs:

"2024 will be a crucial year. A lot is at stake for Europe, a lot is at stake for the West. A year where our democracies and our liberties will be put to the test. Not only with the election for this house but equally so for U.S. Congress, equally so with an election for the American presidency."

According to him, if 2024 brings the slogan "America First" again, it will mean more than ever and will mean that Europe is on its own.

"We should as Europeans not fear that prospect – we should embrace it. We should embrace it by putting Europe on a more solid footing. Stronger, more sovereign, more self-reliant. A Europe that delivers and makes a difference in people’s lives. Protecting them, strengthening the economy, preparing a common European future," De Kroo says.

Support for Ukraine

In his speech, De Kroo says that Europe should continue to support Kyiv.

He says that Europe has achieved unity and solidarity in the face of Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine and it needs to be maintained, with a focus on Ukraine and ongoing military support.

According to him, for the United States and other allies, support for Ukraine is a strategic issue, a geopolitical measure.

De Kroo adds that supporting Ukraine is of existential importance for Europeans. It is the basis of their security and prosperity.

As a reminder, Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses with an unprecedented margin of victory. Trump's result reflected his popularity among Republican voters - even after two impeachments, his participation in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, committed by a crowd of supporters.