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‘Europe united’ should counter ‘America first’, says German foreign minister

German justice minister Heiko Maas (AP) Photo: AP/Press Association Images

Germany’s new foreign minister has said Europe’s response to US president Donald Trump’s “America First” strategy should be “Europe United”.

In his first major policy speech since taking office, Heiko Maas said the European Union should strive for a “balanced partnership” with the United States.

Mr Maas said this means working with Washington where possible, filling voids in areas where the US is withdrawing, and pushing back where America is seen as crossing red lines.

Germany Foreign Policy Credit: Heiko Mass

Speaking in Berlin, Mr Mass said the EU should also increasingly move toward majority and away from unanimous decision-making, which encourages foreign powers to try to split the bloc.

Mr Maas also called for the EU to strengthen its outreach to former Soviet republics, and said Germany and France can be the driving force in reforming Europe.