What does the dispute mean for the European Union?

NSThe European Union has taken some time to come to a common position on the AUKUS Charter. Last Thursday, foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell expressed understanding for French anger, but insisted that the secret submarine deal would not weaken relations with Australia or prevent Europeans from getting more involved in the Indo-Pacific. A few days and a few conversations with Paris later, it looked different at the start of the week.

Thomas Gotchaker

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

This is “not a bilateral issue, but something that affects the European Union as a whole and relations with Australia and the United States,” Borrell said Monday evening in New York. Before that, the foreign ministers of the European Union had voted on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had spoken of a “betrayal of trust” by the United States and asked partners for solidarity.

The summit of the European Union institutions, also currently in New York, jumped in Paris. Council President Charles Michel recalled Joe Biden’s announcement when he visited Brussels last June that America is back. “What do you mean, America is back?” asked Michel. “Has America returned to America or elsewhere? We don’t know.” Transparency and loyalty are the core principles of the alliance.

“We see a clear lack of transparency and loyalty,” Michel said, making a comparison that Biden found unpleasant. With Trump’s predecessor, he was at least clearly indifferent to Europe. On the other hand, Biden made big speeches about renewing the transatlantic tape, but then offered the Europeans a fait accompli to withdraw from Afghanistan and now with the “strange announcement” from the American University of Kosovo. The heads of government will deal with the results at their meeting in Ljubljana at the beginning of October.

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