The European Union It has been totally ignored in this geostrategic maneuver by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia and their representatives have limited themselves to saying that they will “study” its implications while trying to limit the damage that will inevitably occur. At the headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance, Also in Brussels, a major crisis is anticipated taking into account the irritation expressed by France at what it considers a “betrayal” on the part of Australia. The unexpected announcement also came on the same day that the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, had solemnly said before the plenary session of the European Parliament that it considered essential that the EU develop its
own military and technological capabilities so as not to depend on the United States.
The High Representative for European Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, Just yesterday, who presented the main lines of that strategic autonomy plan for the EU, said that what happened shows that “we must be able to survive alone, as others do.” Its spokespersons had previously said that the different governments are “evaluating among ourselves” the implications of the security pact announced by the three Anglo-Saxon countries aimed at guaranteeing security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, with an eye on containing the expansion of China, which is an objective that also interests Europe.
The European Commission was not informed in advance, as admitted yesterday by Borrell’s spokesman, who limited himself to saying that “we are in contact with our partners to obtain more information about it and we will analyze the implications this has for us.” The next Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, scheduled for October 18, “could be the occasion to analyze it,” said the spokesman for the European Union’s Foreign Service.
For now, the colossal irritation expressed by France has not been transferred to all the institutions that seem to be concerned above all with cooling the environment in an attempt to minimize the negative effects. According to the Commission, the contacts with the three partner countries involved in this alliance are “continuous”, in fact today Von der Leyen is scheduled to participate in a meeting on the environment in which he will also be American Joe Biden. “In any case, this does not influence, for example, our commercial relations with partners,” says the Commission. A free trade agreement with Australia is currently being negotiated that, in addition to the usual processing, will need to be approved by all countries, France included, something that at this time can be considered impossible, after the Australian decision to cancel its contract to buy 12 submarines French whose first delivery was scheduled in 2030. For Borrell, who acknowledges “understanding” the “irritation” of France, the important thing now is “not to mix pears with apples” when it comes to negotiations. “We are not taking specific action motivated by concrete events. Trade agreements with Australia will continue and we will see how things develop. ‘
Regarding the United States, the EU was trying to reactivate precisely the framework of the failed free trade agreement, trying to agree on a kind of regulatory convergence in sensitive matters of industrial and technological policy, precisely to marginalize China in the control of the design of the telecommunications and computer products, so that the West can preserve at least the essential factor of world standards. Considering that this is a field in which the same objective is defined as in the military alliance, Brussels will probably try to preserve this path while waiting for the waters to calm in the rest.
In NATO, however, it is expected that France’s reaction to this event will provoke a major crisis. Allied sources assume that French President Emmanuel Macron he is going to charge the United States and the United Kingdom for having ignored the interests of the other allies in a project of this magnitude. Australia is one of the countries associated with NATO whose relations are more fluid with the rest of the alliance and its military frequently participate in joint missions, but “this organization is where these differences are discussed and we take for granted that in this case they are discussions are going to be tense ‘because of the importance of what has happened.
And in the midst of it all, Russia contemplates these events with a certain derision and taking advantage of the troubled waters, the Vladimir Putin regime has taken the opportunity to return the gesture to France, reminding it that in 2015 Paris canceled the sale of two ships of strategic projection of the class “Mistral” as part of the sanctions for the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism