Franco-German alliance raises US fears

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Mon Jan 27 10:08:21 MST 2003

The US seems to be trying actively to drive a wedge between EU states as the
Finacial Times is reporting:

Franco-German alliance raises US fears
By Judy Dempsey in Brussels
Published: January 26 2003 22:04 | Last Updated: January 26 2003 22:04
US envoys in Europe are putting pressure on European Union countries to
weaken the deepening Franco-German alliance, fearing it will lead to a more
independent European defence and foreign policy.
Diplomats say the US envoys have raised their concerns in bilateral meetings
with European officials, a move that reflects the ever-widening gap in the
transatlantic relationship. France and Germany have set out proposals to
give the EU greater political clout.
Washington [...] fears the Franco-German axis could [...] leading to a
stronger, more independent Europe, diplomats say.
"It is not really the 'old Europe' that worries Rumsfeld. It is the 'new
Europe' that France and Germany are creating," says a EU military officer.
"Washington is worried about the potential of the Franco-German axis."
The US questions two aspects of the Franco-German proposals. Diplomats say
Washington dislikes plans to set up a defence procurement agency that could
lead to better co-ordination in spending, research and the kind of military
equipment either purchased or produced by EU countries.
The other US concern with the proposals, now finding support in the
Convention on the Future of Europe, is scrapping the individual right of
veto of member states over foreign policy. [...]
The US and other non-EU countries dislike the system. "We spend a lot of
time working our relations on the bilateral level," explains a US official.
"If qualified majority voting was introduced, we would have to do more of
our lobbying in Brussels, which will be more difficult for us."


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