Angela Markel WEF 2018
In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), Chancellor Angela Merkel and Swiss Federal President Alain Berset speak at the beginning of their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Jan. 24, 2018 in Davos, Switzerland. Getty

On the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to Davos, Switzerland, European leaders on Wednesday came together to warn the world about the perils of Nationalism. European Leaders warned the World Economic Forum on the dangerous implications of slipping back to nationalism, while defending free trade, which president Trump has opposed, and encouraged global co-operation between nations.

The views of many government leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, juxtaposed with Trump’s policies of being in favour of denouncing the climate pact, revised free trade deals and the threat to end Iran’s nuclear program.

Merkel said nationalism ignores the lessons learned from the great conflicts of the 20th century, referring to world wars where leaders "almost sleepwalked into a horrendous situation," the Independent reported

On climate change, Merkel said the world needs to draw their own conclusions without the United States, referring to Trump’s withdrawal from the climate pact.

Merkel questioned if the West had learned their lesson from the conflicts wrought during the world wars. She said the lessons ingrained in the formation of United Nations were the world’s need to cooperate with each other, Times of Malta reported.

"We are seeing nationalism, populism and in a lot of countries a polarized atmosphere," Merkel addressed the crowd in Davos.

"The lesson that we drew at the formation of the United Nations was a lesson of multilateralism — an answer of cooperation," she added.

Macron spoke for a full hour about the sudden surge of populism in nations and the dangers of nationalism creeping into the world, which has led to a rise in inequality.

"We have a situation where people are being told, on social and financial issues, that the answer is to do less, to cut our taxes, there is no limit, it's a race to the bottom," Macron said.

He further stressed the importance of globalization and international cooperation, by saying it’s conducive for economic and democratic growth.

"If we aren't able to agree a standard of international cooperation, we will never convince the middle class, the working class that globalization is good for them," he added.

Other world leaders seemed to stand in solidarity, in their stance against protectionism.

Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi deplored the practice of protectionism with the Indian prime minister equating the practice of protectionism with Terrorism and climate change.

Narendra Modi WEP 2018
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he delivers a speech on the opening day of the World Economic Forum 2018 annual meeting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Davos, Switzerland. Getty

"Many countries are becoming inward focused and globalization is shrinking and such tendencies can’t be considered a lesser risk than terrorism or climate change," Modi said, the Hindu reported.

Merkel shared similar views as the Indian prime minister, saying protectionism is not the answer to opinions of unfairness in trade deals. She said countries need to look for multilateral answers other than isolating themselves from the world, the Guardian reported.