Outgoing Ambassador of the US to the EU, Anthony Gardner, said the most important message that he has been trying to new US administration is that “The EU … is not about to fall apart.”

In his final press briefing in Brussels, Gardner expressed surprise at the dominant perspective of the incoming Trump administration: “I was struck,” Gardner explained, “in various calls that have been going on between the incoming administration and the EU, the first question that is being asked is what country is about to leave next after the UK.”

Gardner continued to explain the perceptions in Washington DC about the European Union, alluding particularly to those of the Trump transition team. “Domestically, the perceived idea of some is that 2017 is the year in which the EU is going to fall apart. And I hope that Nigel Farage is not the only voice they are listening to because that is a fringe voice.”

Reflecting on the work of the US Mission to the EU, Gardner explained, “This mission has been playing a critical role in saying ‘that’s inaccurate, here’s how the EU is delivering … More than that, the Brexit risk is actually increasing a sense of purpose for Europe. Just look at the opinion polls, even in countries in Europe that have been Eurosceptic, support for Europe has been going up.”