It took a while for the European Union to find a common position on the AUKUS Pact. Last Thursday, Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell expressed his understanding of the French anger, but insisted that the secret submarine deal would not weaken relations with Australia or prevent Europeans from becoming more involved in the Indo-Pacific. A few days and a few conversations with Paris later, it sounded different at the beginning of the week. It was "not a bilateral issue, but something that affects the European Union as a whole, relations with Australia and the United States," said Borrell on Monday evening in New York. Before that, the foreign ministers of the EU countries had voted on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had spoken of a "breach of trust" by the United States and asked the partners for solidarity.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

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The top of the EU institutions, currently also in New York, jumped in Paris. Council President Charles Michel recalled Joe Biden's announcement when he visited Brussels in June that America was back. "What do you mean, America is back?" Asked Michel. “Is America back in America or anywhere else? We don't know. ”Transparency and loyalty are the fundamental principles of an alliance. "We are seeing a clear lack of transparency and loyalty," said Michel and made a comparison that Biden found unflattering. With the predecessor Trump, it was at least clear that he was indifferent to Europe. On the other hand, Biden had made great speeches about the renewal of the transatlantic ribbon,The Europeans then, with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and now with the "strange announcement" from AUKUS, were presented with a fait accompli. The heads of government would deal with the consequences at their meeting in Ljubljana at the beginning of October.

Scheduled meetings are canceled

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen used an interview on CNN to express her protest.

“One of our Member States has been treated in a way that is unacceptable.

So we want to know what happened and why.

And that has to be clarified before you can continue with business as usual. ”The sentence was understood in Brussels to mean that relations with Washington are actually frozen for the time being.

Specifically, this means that the meeting of the new joint council for trade and technology planned for next week in Pittsburgh is likely to be canceled. This body is supposed to sound out a new free trade agreement; it had been agreed during Biden's visit to Brussels and was seen as the most important step in a renewed partnership. An agreement on the exchange of data, which provides for stricter rules and is the prerequisite for closer economic relations, will also not be in place anytime soon.

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