The fact that Biden did not consult with the EU on the creation of a new cooperation, on the basis of which Australia canceled a huge contract for the purchase of French submarines, upset the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
He said it was a clear breach of the agreement reached by leaders at the June G7 summit in Cornwall, UK. At that time, they pledged to remain united in confrontation with authoritarian regimes, especially China.
“The basic principles of the alliance are loyalty and transparency,” Michel said. “In this case, we are witnessing an obvious lack of both,” he added.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also rushed with similar criticism. In an interview with CNN television, she called on President Biden to clarify the situation.
“Friends are supposed to talk,” von der Leyen said.
Photo: Pool, Reuters
“There are a lot of questions we owe us answers to,” von der Leyen said. “One of our Member States is being treated in an unacceptable way,” France said. “So we want to know what happened and why,” she said, adding that friends should communicate.
EU leaders will discuss the dispute at a meeting in Slovenia on October 5.
Wounded pride of the French
The French government has already warned other EU states to be careful when negotiating with the United States. According to Secretary of State Jean-Yves Le Drian, the United States has shown that it does not care about good relations with the Allies. The same was said by Manfred Weber, the leader of the German Conservatives in the European Parliament.
However, as Politico points out, it is not clear whether the European Union intends to go further than irritated rhetoric in the current case. According to some EU diplomats, the whole affair is more of a trade dispute between Paris and Canberra, which has hurt French pride, than a real reason to disrupt relations with the United States.