Europe must fill the vacuum left by American leadership

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Europe must fill the vacuum left by American leadership when it comes to defending human rights around the globe - says the S&D delegation who just concluded its five-day visit in Washington DC. 
 
The delegation took place at a crucial moment when we witness more and more aberrations in American leadership, undermining much of the rule-based international order that we have established together after World War II. Only a week ago, the US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council, the world’s most important human rights body. This was only the latest effort by the Trump administration to pull away from international organisations and agreements.
 
During its visit in the US capital, the S&D delegation, composed of three MEPs: Soraya Post, Antonio Panzeri and Wajid Khan met with representatives of leading Washington think tanks, NGO’s, members of US Congress and former and current senior officials in the US administration. The focus of their talks was human rights, immigration - including the latest decision to separate children from their families, women’s reproductive rights and the rights of minorities and LGBTI community.
 
S&D spokesperson on human rights Soraya Post, who led the delegation, said:
 
"After our meetings in Washington it is clear to me that the Trump administration is distancing itself more and more from its partnership with the EU and our common values. The inhumane policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the US/Mexico border is a form of torture and a clear violation of asylum seekers and children’s rights. To "Make America Great Again" – means back to a time where women, children and minorities did not have access to their full human rights. We see no space for optimism”.
 
MEP Antonio Panzeri, the chair of EP DROI Committee added:
 
“Today, the US finds itself facing unprecedented challenges in terms of human rights and in terms of the quality of democracy itself. This is the consequence of the new policies interpreted by the American President. 
 
For these reasons, I think that the EU's task, in the context of transatlantic relations will need to be redefined. The EU has to ensure the appropriate space for all policies that recall human rights, in its relationship with the USA.” 
 
 
S&D MEP Wajid Khan added: 
 
“Our meetings this week have highlighted that this administration is moving the USA backwards. Trump's policies, from brutal family separations to Islamophobic travel bans, are removing the freedoms that America has so long upheld around the world. It is so disappointing to see what was once the land of the free become a dystopian nightmare for so many.”