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US elections 2016

EU Parliament's foreign affairs committee head 'astonished and afraid' of US election campaign

The head of the EU Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok tells DW why the US election race scares him and why he is not sure anymore who will win. He also talks about the prospect of a Trump presidency.

DW: You are currently traveling in the US just before the election. Looking at the final days of the campaign from a European perspective what is your sense of the election?

Elmar Brok: I am really astonished and afraid of this type of campaign which has nothing to do with issues, but is just personal questions and attacking each other. It is just lying in many cases and I think it is a big danger for democracy overall. And we see that this kind of campaigning is starting in Europe now too, as we saw in the Brexit campaign and the whole populist campaign in Europe.

In just a few days we will know who won the election. What is your assessment and also your hope of how it will turn out?

Elmar Brok Abgeordneter des Europarlaments (Imago)

Brok is hoping for a Clinton victory

Who will win I am not sure anymore. But [Donald] Trump's type of campaigning seems to be working. But I would hope that Hillary Clinton will win, because then we would have a politician here (in Washington) who has an understanding of Europe, who has the experience and with whom we can develop the relationship between Europe and the United States off the base that we have built over the last 70 years.

What would happen should Donald Trump win?

First we should try to do business as usual with him. He is then elected and we have to deal with him. And I would hope that he would govern in a different way than he is campaigning. But that is only a hope. We do not know. And when I see how convinced he is that we have to change the system here we could get some more surprises we do not like.

Elmar Brok is chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament and a member of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

The interview was conducted by Michael Knigge in Washington.

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