EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton pointed to recent tension over a new submarine partnership among the U.S., U.K. and Australia that effectively voided a previous contract between France and the Aussie nation.
“I planned this visit many weeks ago with a positive agenda, to deepen EU-U.S. cooperation,” Breton said during a live event Tuesday. “Something has changed. There is a growing feeling in Europe – and I say this with regret – that something is broken in our transatlantic relations.”
The new partnership announced last week and dubbed “AUKUS,” prompted France’s foreign affairs minister to condemn the move as a “stab in the back.”
And Breton – who was appointed to his EU post by French President Emmanuel Macron – said Tuesday, “It is probably time to maybe pause and reset our EU-U.S. relationship.”
“A partnership works when both parties are honest and truthful with each other, when both parties treat each other with respect and when both partners are strong,” he added. “There is a strong perception that trust between the EU and U.S. has been just eroded.”
Breton welcomed the Biden administration’s decision to lift the travel ban and allow vaccinated Europeans into the U.S., but said the move should have been carried out sooner.
“Let’s be honest… we should have done this before,” he said, noting that Europe is leading the world in the number of vaccines administered.
The EU commissioner further condemned the U.S.’s international response to the pandemic and pointed to an export ban the U.S. placed on raw materials needed for the coronavirus vaccine.
European diplomats are now considering postponing a U.S.-EU summit scheduled for later this month, first reported Politico.
Story continues at: EU on the outs with the US