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Here's the stark impact that Trump's victory will have on Europe's fractured politics

The impact on Europe of Donald Trump's victory in the race for the White House is under the microscope ahead of next year's run of important elections on the continent and in light of mixed reactions from regional political heavyweights.

A tepid congratulatory message from German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to the president-elect was peppered with explicit references to non-discriminatory values which she made clear she expects Trump to respect in order to foster a "close cooperation" between the two countries.

Speaking to CNBC, Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at Germany's Bundestag (national parliament), said the chancellor's comments were justified given the Republican leader had questioned the validity of NATO and made some "dubious offers" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nonetheless, he says giving a Trump presidency an open-minded chance is critical at what he sees as an unusually challenging juncture for Europe.

"The environment of Europe has become more and more dangerous, chaotic and violent so we have, in a way, even to reinvent the West as a political concept. For that we need and want to have a close relationship."

Roettgen said time will tell whether apprehension over Trump is warranted as there is currently too little information to determine his international approach and its effects on geopolitics.

According to Roettgen, "We have now to wait and see because there is no foreign policy program. There were some remarks which caused concern and worries but - for the first time, I would say in American history - the world does not know what, on foreign policy at least, to expect from the president-elect."

"This is an absolute novelty, a political novelty in American history," he added.

The 'special relationship'?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande (L) and European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande (L) and European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Turning to the U.K., Stephen Booth, acting director of the political analysis group, Open Europe, believes there is potential for a Trump presidency to alter the trajectory of the Brexit process, although it could go one of two ways.

Speaking to CNBC by phone, Booth said, "It could be helpful for the U.K. in the sense that EU member states may be more concerned about U.S. disengagement from Europe on security and foreign policy matters and therefore turn to the U.K. for a closer partnership on these issues."

However, he cautioned, this optimistic scenario was far from inevitable.

"On the other hand, the U.S. election result may fuel the concern of incumbent leaders about the prospect of having their own difficult domestic elections and therefore prompt a lack of intellectual flexibility with regards to approaching Brexit," said Booth.

"It's exactly that ability to think outside the box which is required for the establishment of a positive U.K. / EU relationship in a post-Brexit world," he concluded.

French elections looming

France is among the European countries with a critical election looming in 2017, with voters set to choose a new president in the spring. The leader of France's far-right Front National party (FN), presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, was among the first to congratulate Trump – indeed before his victory had even been made official – declaring "their world is collapsing. Ours is being built."

But Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told CNBC via phone that attempts by European nationalist politicians to claim they – and Trump - are outsiders from the political establishment is a misleading representation – even if effective.

According to Bond, "To portray Trump's victory as a revolt against the elite is misleading. Trump's father was an enormous property developer and he has risen by exploiting the system himself."

Linking this to Europe, Bond added, "Both Brexiteers and Le Pen have done a good job of making themselves look like outsiders which they are not necessarily. And they have also successfully tapped into the fact that this is largely about identity politics rather than the economy."

Indeed, Bond said that the quality of life for many of the working and middle classes is better today in terms of both material possessions and health. Where the situation has deteriorated for many is in the prestige or perceived value of their work, with the consequent impact on individual's status in society and their feelings of self-worth.

Bond believes both Trump and the nationalist parties in Europe have done an excellent job of tapping into this sentiment and painting globalization and migrants as the bogeymen.

And the growth in momentum of this argument could very well affect France's presidential election.

Looking at an historical precedent, Bond highlighted, "Last time the socialists swallowed hard and voted for (center-right former President) Jacques Chirac when faced with a choice between him and Marine Le Pen's far-right father, Jean-Marie Le Pen."

"You can't take it for granted that this time socialist voters will swallow hard and vote for (presidential hopeful Alain) Juppé. They may stay away and not vote at all or even vote for the Fronte National," he warned.

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