The European Union is not wavering. The announcement of the alliance in the Pacific between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to face China purely and simply excludes the 27 from the zone.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, says he regrets this decision. But in Brussels voices are much more critical. “It’s a way of telling Europeans you have nothing to do in the Indo-Pacific zone“, summarizes Frédéric Grare, researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He also underlines that the EU has its share of responsibility in this turnaround.”The United States has long asked Europeans to be more involved“, he adds.
For France, the first member country to have adopted a strategy for this region of the world in 2018, it is a blow. It is a contract of 56 billion euros for 12 submarines which goes up in smoke. On Tweeter, MEP Arnaud Danjean (PPE) believes that “Australia must now expect much more than a deadline to conclude a trade agreement with the EU”.
But the breach of the contract, in favor of American submarines, goes beyond the simple commercial question between Paris and Canberra underlines Frédéric Grare. That “means that other ties of the partnership are in danger as the political trust between the two countries is broken“, he judges.
On Euronews, the previous president of the European Commission believes that this new alliance does not change much for the EU. Jean-Claude Juncker especially invites the 27 not to waste time rethinking their strategy with regard to China. “Stop being naive about China and let’s not just listen to European companies that want to make a profit in China“, advises the Luxembourger. This announcement between Washington, London and Canberra deals a first blow to the Indo-Pacific strategy of the EU presented the same day.