Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who has taken over the rotating presidency of the European Union, said that if former EU President Donald Trump is re-elected, "democracies will be tested and freedoms will be tested". 

In an address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, De Croo said that "Europe should not fear a scenario in which the United States is left on its own", referring to the possibility of Donald Trump returning to the White House. 

The Belgian leader's remarks are seen as not ruling out the possibility of a 'thaw' in the decades-long trans-Atlantic relationship.

"If 2024 brings us 'America first' again, it means very much 'Europe on its own'," Prime Minister De Croo said, referring to Trump's "America first" slogan.

The EU must quickly learn to stand on its own two feet, the Belgian leader said, adding that if Donald Trump wins in November, "we as Europeans should not be afraid of this perspective."

"If Trump comes, Europe will be on its own"

Recalling the European Parliament elections in June as well as the US presidential elections on November 5, De Croo said: 

"2024 will be a year when our democracies and freedoms will be tested. Elections will be held not only for this parliament, but also for the US Congress and the US presidency. 2024 will be a very important year. A lot is at stake for Europe, a lot is at stake for the West. If 2024 brings us 'America First' again, Europe will be on its own more than ever. As Europeans, we must not fear this possibility, we must embrace it. We must embrace it by putting Europe on a firmer footing. A stronger, more sovereign, more confident Europe, a Europe where people make an impact, make a difference and achieve success in their lives. A common Europe that protects them, that strengthens the economy. A Europe that prepares the future."

De Croo referred to the 2017-2021 Trump administration, when US-European relations declined due to constant conflicts over trade, security and military cooperation, reminding that these tensions eroded trust and cooperation.